Kirsten Is Recovering – Sunday, September 2, 2012

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EEG sensors and leads
Kirsten is sleeping. Finally.

She has had a plethora of EEG sensors glued to her scalp, which makes her look even more like a cyborg than before. She will be connected to the EEG for continuous monitoring for twenty-four hours. The EEG software is running on the Windows operating system, which makes me very nervous. After the first BSOD, will I have to jump in and reformat the HDD?

I’ve stated here before that I am very skeptical that Kirsten is experiencing seizures. She is on high levels of stress hormones, and the episodes have basically stopped. I think most of the evidence points to endocrine imbalance as the cause of the episodes, and hope they’ll subside as her hormones are brought to stable, healthy levels.

EEG running on Windows

The surgeon just came in and talked to us about the internal bleeding. We were reminded, once again, how close Kirsten came to dying. That’s always nice to hear. He thinks the subcutaneous and internal bleeding were both related to inadequate clotting caused by liver stress. Sounds plausible.

Dr. Brodsky stopped by and said he’s not changing anything, since she looks great, feels good, and is eating well.

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Central venous catheter
After four short hours of sleep, I awoke and headed up to Maine Medical Center to see Kirsten. Before I left I phoned Kirsten’s night nurse, Angela, who said Kirsten had a very good night. Maggie had gotten herself transferred to SCU 4 so she could be with Kirsten. She was in very good hands, and received excellent care.

I arrived early to the hospital so I could be there for the medical team’s rounds. It was only me and three doctors; weekend staffing is much smaller. They didn’t say anything I didn’t already know. When they talked about NPO and diet her day nurse, Gail, suggested they start slowly: clear liquids followed by other liquids and then on to solids as tolerable. I told them Kirsten had an appetite and was asking for food immediately after the embolization, so the attending removed her NPO order and said she could eat whatever she liked. No restrictions! Kirsten ordered an omelet, banana, potatoes, orange juice, and blueberry yogurt, and ate most of it, requiring no mechanical assistance.

The SCU team is primary while she’s here. They’ll likely move her to a floor later today if vitals remain unremarkable, after which the hospital team will take over, with Dr. Diamond-Falk attending. I spoke with her this morning. She’s great!

Kate visited briefly and brought me a dirty chai latte from Bard Coffee. I had picked up a venti dirty chai–two shots, no water–from Starbucks on the way, but had inhaled it.

Kirsten’s friend Ann from R9/CICU also visited briefly, which was nice.

The girls stayed another night in New Hampshire with Mark and Cindy. They have been canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, and having all manner of fun. I miss them, but it’s been very good for them to be away the last twenty-four hours.

14 Comment

  1. Sara Sterling says: Reply

    I’m very glad she had a good night and ate a good breakfast. I’m sorry yesterday was so hard-here’s to hoping for a much better day! Thank you for keeping us updated-we’ve been closely monitering the blog. Love to all.

    1. You’re welcome. :)

  2. Clarke, i.e. Dad says: Reply

    Same here Brent.

    I really appreciate you being there for Kirsten.

    1. There’s no other place I would be. Kirsten is the love of my life.

  3. Very relieved she is able to eat real food! Very promising. You’re an amazing ally, man.

  4. Very pleased to hear that Kirsten had a good night and is eating solid food! You must be exhausted. I hope you get the change to rest a little – soon.

    Hoping to hear more good news very soon.

    1. I. Am. Sofa. King. Exhausted! If she continues to be stable today, I’m going to split early, grab a beer, and hit the hay.

  5. Nola Wilkinson says: Reply

    As a longtime family friend of the Uhlers, I too am grateful that you take time to write this wonderful blog. It keeps us posted on what’s happening with dear Kirsten without having to pester the family with phone calls. Your loving care of Kirsten and thoughtful consideration for those of us that are far away are great appreciated. Hoping for more good news!

    1. Thank you, Nola. Not having to deal with phone calls is a primary motivation for the blog. It’s also therapeutic and a valuable record.

  6. Tanya Safsten says: Reply

    I may have missed something, but what will the c.v. catheter be used for? Is it for getting medicine directly into her blood stream? How is it different then the I.V.? I couldn’t tell at first what part of her body it was in until I enlarged it and saw it’s near her shoulder. Is that her front? It looks painful…

    We love guys!

    1. An IV goes into smaller veins and can’t stay in for long durations. If medicines like potassium are given as much as is required for Kirsten, they could damage the veins.

      Kirsten has a PICC line, which goes in near her shoulder and snakes to just outside her heart. Through it medicines can be administered and blood drawn. It can remain in the body for a year.

      The central line is the next step up from a PICC line. Because Kirsten was receiving a blood transfusion through the PICC, surgery wanted another access line just in case they ran into trouble. It is in her left clavicle area and snakes down to just outside her heart.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_venous_catheter

      1. Tanya Safsten says: Reply

        Thanks, Brent.

  7. Reta Van Orden says: Reply

    Brent,

    Thank you for your posts. Kirsten was a good friend to me in our teenage years. She is a dear! Thank you for your love for her when the rest of us are not able to be near. Please give Soni a hug for me.

    Reta

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