12/28 - Big Weekend Update

Weekend update from Houston -

Since the weekend is (or was) upon us, we have a different schedule than normal. Saturday, Jamie had hyperbaric at 8:30am and today it was at 11:30am. Jamie still had her wound care treatments both days and also had some physical and occupational therapy sessions. She’s still a bit weak from her surgery on Christmas Eve, so her therapy sessions aren’t as rigorous as they would have been without the surgery, but that’s ok. Also, she’s just been okayed to get food again, though they’ve got her back on the nighttime tube feeds for tonight, at the least. The results from the surgery are readily apparent. Even though Jamie still has some pain in her legs, as of Sunday night, the wounds on her legs are practically weeping fluids – ok, weeping is a bit dramatic, but it is substantially increased from before. This was the intent behind the surgery: to increase the vascular dilation in/to her legs. So, success. Dr. Lin also wants us to consider a cervical sympathectamy (it’s the same as the lumbar sympathectamy, but the incision is in/near the cervical bone [that’s the neck, sort of, btw]. The goal of this procedure would be to (1) reduce pain, (2) increase blood flow… recall that for Jamie’s previous surgery, it was for (1) increasing blood flow and also (2) to reduce pain. Its just a thought for now and we wouldn’t be moving on this for a week or more.

Minor procedural update – Jamie’s been approved to do hyperbaric treatments on every day of the week. We had planned on only going 5 days per week, but since Jamie is responding well to the treatments and is a strong candidate for treatment, then she gets to do it as much as possible.

The past few days’ wound care sessions have involved a substantial amount of debreeding of her wounds. (I know that this is misspelled, but this is how it is pronounced: de-breed-ing). The standard routine is that three wound care techs come in and, the routine involves removing yesterday’s bandages, cleaning and tending to (and debreeding) the wounds, applying some healing salves to the wounds and reapplying new bandages. Lately and at Jamie’s request, they’ve been debreeding the wounds intensively. This includes taking a scalpel to work at the edges of Jamie’s scabs (both hard and soft) and slowly seeing what parts are loose and removing them in order to expose the healthy skin below. They’ve been pulling off giant scabs on a daily basis, which is a good sign that the skin is healing… at least, where we’re talking about pulling scabs off…. THAT skin is good. Where the skin is healing, it is scarring in some places and becoming keloid. Not sure if that is spelled right, but it means that the skin gets hard and ugly-scar like… of course, this isn’t too big of a concern for now, but mom tends to these scars every day by rubbing vitamins on those areas.

Speaking of debreeding, Dr. Lin now recommends that we have weekly debreedment sessions in the OR. During these sessions, the first of which will be on Wednesday, Dr. Lin will attend to the same areas (thigh, calf, hip, butt, elbow) that have significant wounds on them. These surgeries will not involve those parts of her skin that are fully necrotic (hands, fingers, toes, feet). This is just to remove some parts of the wounds that would be far too painful to address during these daily wound care sessions. The debreedment would go a bit deeper, nothing too serious. Its really just intended to get the wounds addressed in an intensive manner.

In other news, we may be moving out of the ICU sometime soon. Really, this isn’t too big of an improvement, since we had already left the ICU in Seton roughly 3 weeks ago. Jamie doesn’t require the level of treatment that the typical ICU patient requires. We just need our meds, when requested and scheduled. The new rooms are much larger, have showers/bathrooms and have beds that fold out for mom. She needs to be sleeping in a real bed if she insists on being here, which she does and will continue to do, I believe.

Finally, Mom had to go back to McAllen to take care of a bit of business. Its not like her time there will be enjoyable… it will be rushed and hectic, but hopefully she makes us some money!! Not quite the break from the hospital that she’d like or that she deserves, but it will at least be a change of scenery. As of this writing (8:50pm on Sunday), mom is somewhere around Kingsville, so she’s got a little while to go. She’ll be back on Tuesday though. In the mean time, Jamie’s Aunt Nancy and cousin Jennifer are here to look after her. I’m here too, but I’ll be leaving tomorrow afternoon back to Dallas and I’ll be there until Friday night or so (thanks work! I really appreciate that).

Not much else that can be added. We wish everyone a happy new year and see you soon!