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December 1, 2010 - Mental confusion & Low Oxygenation

Well, yesterday was an extremely "sleepy" day. Greg had been so heavily medicated while he was on the ventilator again to keep him calm and comfortable that even after they turned the medications off yesterday, it took hours before he even began to wake up. They removed the breathing tube/ ventilator close to 2PM and in all honesty, I was afraid that he wasn't ready but I was wrong! He initially did so well, maintaining a high oxygen concentration on just minimal oxygen through his nose. After about three hours, his oxygen level dropped significantly and they had to put a face mask on him too, but through the night, they were able to remove that and currently he is again only on a low flow through his nose, It's very important that he gets awake and clear enough to breathe deeply and effectively in order to prevent pneumonia or any other lung complications.

Just as big an issue today is his mental status - the medications, procedures and ventilator for the past two days has left him in a spot of confusion about what is going on. He knows very well how uncomfortable he is and that he feels awful, but is having a tough time putting it all together. He has minutes where he is very clear, like this morning when he was asking when he could take a shower, but earlier, he thought Elise was a gummy bear! Yes, he makes us smile even now!

Please pray that the effects of the medications would clear his body/ mind so that he would not be frightened or confused about what is going on. It's difficult for the nurses to properly medicate him for his pain because his respirations get depressed by the pain meds and it also causes further confusion. I can only imagine how much he hurts as a result of everything and I pray that his medications can get properly organized as he clears mentally.

Another concern for today is swallowing - they have ordered a "swallow test" to make sure he is not going to aspirate what he takes by mouth into his lungs, since he has choked on a few mouthfuls of water since yesterday. His anti-rejection meds are due soon, so we just don't want there to be any delay to those.

They are changing his dialysis today from continuous to intermittent, and they have removed the Swan Ganz catheter into his heart. If they wind up taking out some other "lines", they will be able to get him up to the chair, which would be a good thing! So, If you'd pray along those lines as well, we'd be grateful.

Greg's dad arrived safely yesterday and it's such a blessing to have him here. Elise's is still here too and her presence has been a real comfort to Elise. Elise and I are hanging in there -- pretty tired but glad that we have each other to provide Greg the support he needs while having a chance to catch a little nap here and there. We sort of feel like Tom Hanks in the movie "The Terminal", where he lives in the airport -- the third floor lounge has become "home" for now!

That's it for now - I hope that you all have great days today and that you're supported by people who care with all the tough things in your lives, as we are. We know that God is in control of every detail of the day to come and we trust that it is all for good.

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