I'm back in Fort Worth now for a few days, but I wanted to give my impressions from yesterday and also give a long overdue update on the extent of damage to her hands/fingers.
First, the update to her fingers. I guess I hadn't been as clear as I should have been about how much of her hands and fingers will be or have been lost to the necrosis. On both hands, the outlook is essentially the same.
(First, look at this - its a picture of the hand bone - I'm going to refer to bones, as they are referred to here, sort of - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Scheme_human_hand_bones-en.svg )
OK, people continue to refer to Jamie's finger loss as potentially being limited to the DP bone (her fingertips). This is very much in need of a correction. Jamie WILL lose the DP bone on all fingers. This is not in question any longer. Jamie will also lose the MP bones on all fingers. The only question that remains is: How much of her PP bones will she keep. If she can keep her PP bones, at least to some minor extent, then we can hope to have finger-prosthetics like the X-Finger. Note: the Orthopedic Surgeon, who we do like, is pessimistic about how functional someone can be with eight finger-prosthetics, in addition to two thumb prosthetics. But, when you look at her hands, you can tell that her body is addressing this correctly. I mean, the black tips have shrunken to the point that they no longer look like they fit her healthy finger-stubs. They're just big scabs connected by bone.
I was going to discuss the thumbs separately, but since they've apparently got the same bone structure as the hands, then I'll just say that we're losing both thumbs down to the lower third of her PP bone.
There, so now everyone knows that this isn't about saving fingertips anymore.
Anyway, enough about that. Yesterday was largely ok, except that her hyperbaric treatment was cut pretty short. She just gets hot and sweaty, and considering that she was hot for most of the day, she was super hot and super sweaty. She stayed in the chamber for about 70 minutes (45 total compressed time) when she's supposed to be in there for 120 minutes (90 total compressed time) or so.
Her physical therapy sessions are about to become a lot more intensive (as requested by her doctors), especially for her legs. What this means is that we want to get Jamie sitting and bending and stuff soon, but to do that, we need to stretch her ligaments and muscles, which, up until now, have shortened due to non-use. Essentially, this means that the next few weeks are going to involve a lot of pain for Jamie. Every day she is going to pushed up to the point of extreme pain (even when on morphine), and then told to hold her position so her ligaments and such can stretch. It is not a fun proposition for Jamie.
As for her arms, her occupational therapist spent a long time doing bicep curl type exercises and wrist/elbow turning stuff. This was very exciting to watch. Everyone watching Jamie work her arms was so excited; we looked like we were watching someone lift a car off of their child. It was very exciting to see Jamie have such strength in her arms.
Its a process and it will suck and it will hurt almost as much as it sucks, but there is improvement to be found every day and today (yesterday's) improvements were better than most.