Sunday, April 29, 2007

Still No Idea What Caused Brianna's Lung Problems

So far, the cultures taken from Brianna's bronchoscopy last Monday are negative. Nothing has grown from them, but they are allowing them another 4 to 7 days to be sure. A bacterial infection has been ruled out, so it's either viral or fungal. We pray it is not fungal. We may never know.

Brianna's weaning process plateaued on Friday. Her oxygen saturation - the amount of oxygen getting to her tissues - dropped slightly and it was obvious that no other areas of her lungs were going to open up. So on Saturday morning the new attending ICU doctor suggested turning her onto her stomach.

This process is known as "proning" and it will allow some of those air sacs, or alveoli, at the back of her lungs and behind her heart to open. Because she had been laying on her back for almost five days, the thinking is to turn her on her stomach to take pressure off the back of her lungs and let the ventilator open the passageways. This sounds so archaic and simple, but as my husband says, "They've been mending broken arms the same way for many years, it's just the process that has changed." And so it is with opening up those airways in someone with respiratory distress.

Last night the doctor called us at 10:30pm and our hearts dropped. But she was calling with news that turning Brianna may have helped. They had to go higher on the oxygen - up to 80% - and higher on the ventilator assistance. But they said that was to be expected until those air sacs popped open.

About 10 am this morning, their theory began to materialize. Her oxygen saturation increased even though they had gone down on the amount of oxygen given (66% - which is less toxic to the lungs). So we are hopeful this will continue to work. They plan on turning her everyday so she is on her back for 24 hours and then on her stomach. This will also help with her skin so that she doesn't get any sores from laying in one position too much. This is obviously not a cure though.

We are are convinced she had some sort of infection, but frustrated that no cause can be found. The doctors don't believe it's idiopathic pneumonia syndrome, or it's not a classic case of it, which relieves us. If it was, they said, she'd be getting worse. As I have said before, if a viral infection is the cause, it may take weeks and months before she will get better. That's because her immune system must still be surpressed due to the transplant. The type of white cells needed to fight an invading virus is a T-cell, and her new marrow won't produce those in any significant number for a while. We don't want any of the marrow donor's T-cells getting out of hand either because they could cause graft-versus-host disease.

So we are at a stand still and praying hard throughout the day that Brianna continues to fight and overcome this. We also pray that the doctors have the insight to know what should be done in order to cure her sick lungs. She's on all sorts of medications for the fungal infection she has in her right lung, and she's on antibiotics and an anti-viral for her left lung. It may just be a matter of time and we continue to pray that she holds out and stays strong while going through this. We are on the worst kind of emotional roller coster imaginable. We are thankful she is given a drug to sedate her and make her forget this, so she won't remember this time at all.

Thank you again for your love, support and prayers. Also, we appreciate all our friends who have asked their congregations to pray and who have requested prayers for the sick from the sisterhoods and brotherhoods of various churches. Our sweet 17-year-old Brianna desperately needs healing thoughts and prayers. And, finally, thank you for the Bible verses some of you have sent. They help give us strength and encouragement as we stumble along in the dark on this journey.


Sam I Am said...

oh happy day :) :) :)
Keep fighting Brianna!!!!!

Christy said...

I feel we are making progress here... One step closer to Paris Brianna! You will beat this thing! Here's a big smooch! You are a very strong girl, and your Mom is like "THE ROCK"!

Max said...

Hello Brianna and Mrs.Wilcox,
I hope you two are ok. Im sorry this is happening to such a pretty girl, To such a kind wounderful family. I pray for Brianna every night, and from what I have seen in this blog so are alot of other people. God wouldnt let so many prayers be unanswered everything will be ok, its just a little bumpy on your road of life right now. Something like this can only make you stronger Brianna, and it will make your family stronger too. Until then keep fighting, I miss you guys and I look forward to seeing you all again.

Kathy's Prims said...

Oh Iva! I am so happy to have some good news! Thank the Lord! My prayers are still with Brianna and your family! "For in the day of trouble he shall keep me safe and in his shelter......" Psalm 27:7

Kitty Forseth said...

Thank you Iva for the encouraging news! I know it's not the permanent solution, but we'll take anything that moves Brianna forward. What a wonderful solution, turning her.. I know her bed sores were going to become an issue soon. It sounds as if this will help her oxygenation and sores.

I miss you.. and hope to see you soon. In the meantime.. kiss Brianna for all of us.. hug John and Trevor, and tell them that we are praying for you ALL.

Hugs and kisses to you.. love you girlfriend!


FrostingsNSparkles said...

Lots of prayers, love and good thoughts from our family to yours (((hugs)))

colleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
colleen said...

Another baby step!! How encouraging. It may seem so small but remember that it is a step in the right direction and each of these little steps will lead you to a healthy daughter! Keep the faith girlfriend!

jojo said...

OOO IVA!!! I am so happpy to hear this!!! This is great news!!! Thanks for letting us know....I continue to pray daily for you and Brianna!! love ya jo

Carolee said...

Iva, I'm keeping Brianna and all of you in my prayers - that these baby steps become leaps on the road to a full recovery!

~ Carolee

Soft in the Head said... go Brianna....every baby step is that much closer to the goal!!!! We are all pulling for you! I see a chair with your name on it at a quaint little bistro in Paris! You go girl! Pam

turquoise cro said...

Brianna is in my prayers too! Get Well and HEAL!!! xoCinda