Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Big Decisions for Brianna this Week

Like most teens today, Brianna loves playing with her camera and taking pictures of herself. Here's one she took before she was hospitalized. She wanted her hair cut and I think it looks so good this length. She's making progress, but in the meantime, I miss hearing her laugh and seeing her sparkling eyes.

She was turned on her back yesterday afternoon and it seems that this position has some problems. She has a hole in her right lung. It's hard to tell how big or where, but when she's on her back the ventilator settings seem to jump around a lot. It seems that the air is escaping through the hole and then out the chest tube. So that will be discussed in rounds today. We're at a point where if she can be weaned a couple more points down on the MAP (mean air pressure) she can go to a conventional ventilator or a dual ventilator. Some big changes are likely to take place in the next few days. Your positive thoughts and prayers for continual healing for Brianna and for insight for the doctors are appreciated.

Also, I want to thank the owner of the San Francisco Examiner, Philip Anshutz, for his generous offer of having a lung specialist from Denver come and review Brianna's history. John feels so honored to work for him and his company, and I am so grateful for his understanding and willingness to help get Brianna well. We think the doctors listened Dr. Zamora's advice and have been following it. Some of what he advised the doctors here, they had talked about early on, but Brianna was just too unstable. But he did provide some new insight that helped us. With the progress Brianna has made over the last two weeks she's been in the ICU, her lungs may be healed enough for less intensive ventilation.

My brother will come out today and stay for the next couple of days. John was able to come stay with me last night. I miss him and feel so safe and comforted when he's there. He is always there when I need him. My mom was here for the last couple days too, and my dad was here on Saturday. I feel lucky to have such wonderful, caring parents. My family has been so supportive and it will be nice to have my brother here with me. My cousin will be stopping by this afternoon as well. The last time we saw him, we were all at his wedding this past August in Lake Tahoe dancing some Serbian kolos and having a great time. Brianna wants to celebrate like that again, she said weeks ago.

In the next few days, there will be much change here and I will try to let you know as soon as I am able. My days start at 6:15 am, when I get up so that I can be at the hospital by 7:30 am when the nurses change. They work 12-hour shifts, from 7 am/pm to 7:30 pm/am. I get a chance to talk to the night nurse to see how things went and to talk to the day's nurse. Of course, I also am there to stroke my daughter's brow, massage her hands, legs and feet and move her limbs around a bit. Rounds are usually at 9:30 am and then the doctors come talk to me about 10 am. Then I am on the phone to tell John and the family of their report. Then I am in her room again trying to exercise her legs and feet.

I usually slip away for lunch and try to sit outside a bit, to write my blog, make phone calls or sneak in a nap. Then I'm back in her room moving her limbs around and talking to the nurses about how well Brianna's doing. I either stay until 7 pm until the night nurse comes on and I can talk with them for a couple of minutes or we leave around 5:30 for a bite to eat and return by 7:30 pm to talk with the night nurse until 8 pm. Then it's off to the hotel to try and relax, charge up our cell phones and computer and give Trevor a call to see how his day went. We usually get a call from our transplant doctor around 9 pm to let us know if there are any problems or if she's doing okay. Then we try to drift off to sleep and start all over again. They are long days and lately, I've been forgetting what day it is or how long we've really been at the hospital. Time has really stood still for us.

My God sister Melanie, her husband Alan and her son MIcheal have sent Brianna and Trevor gifts. They are such kind and loving people that we really think of as family. In fact, I grew up with Melanie and was so excited when she would stay with us or visit. I also want to say thank you for making this time for Brianna and Trevor a little less traumatic with your kindness. I am sending a big hug to you and look forward to the day when we are all celebrating Brianna's return home together.

So many of you have sent cards and gifts and I'm sorry if we haven't sent thank you's. I know you probably don't expect them, but I want you all to know they do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Thank you, thank you. When this craziness is over and Brianna is well, I hope to recognize your giving spirit.

God bless...Iva


Judith Weber said...

Thanks so much for the pictures. Brianna's eyes and smile just jump off the blog site. She is glistening. How wonderful your friends and family came. And, how wonderful the specialist came with such reassurance about her current care and perhaps another procedure to aid her progress.
It's so kind of you to think about others caring about you and Brianna, but we are just so grateful to you for allowing us to be a part of her healing.
Love, Judy

Sam I Am said...

what a beautiful young lady :) She has amazing eyes!!!!!
sending prayers and hugs to you and brianna..

Kitty Forseth said...

Beautiful pics Iva! Thank you so much for posting them :). It is easy to see Brianna's wonderful spirit in those sparkly eyes!

I pray that her guardian angels are rocking her and singing softly to her.. helping her to heal and giving her strength.

As Judith said.. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the healing.. Brianna has been adopted by us all!

Night my friend, I pray that you and John get some sleep.

xoxo Kitty

Christy said...

An amazing picture of such a strong woman...Hurdles coming up, so remember to chant, Paris, Paris, Paris.... Lots more prayers from Oregon coming your way! Love, Christy

Disgusted Cats said...

I'm feeling punky tonight, so this will be brief. Just wanted to send my love, prayers and good wishes! Hugs, Joanne

Sam I Am said...

Hi Sweets! Just wanted to let you know that I posted pics of the trip on my blog..so you can check 'em out :)

Kingfisher Farm said...

Iva, the eyes are the window to the soul, surely this photo of Brianna illustrates this beautifully! I am awed by her grace. I am awed by your grace as well. I pray for a dramatic recovery of her lungs! And may God grant you more strength........so much love is coming your way! HUGS Pam

Janice Earheart said...


Your friends in Tennessee are praying for Brianna and all your family.

Love to you all,

Janice. E.

Carolee said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures, Iva - you have a beautiful and amazing daughter! Sending continued prayers for strength and healing...

~ Carolee