As we have mentioned in previous updates, Heather still has a long way to go and along the process to recovery, there will be ups and downs. After seeing great improvement in her alertness last evening, she had a little set back through the night. Her fever began spiking again, and her heart rate began speeding up. They are continuing to check for infection, but so far, there is no known cause for this. This could be a condition called "storming" (PSH) Paroxysmal Sympathetic Hyperactivity. This is common in those who have had trauma to the brain. When a fever cannot be determined by another diagnosis, or cause, it may possibly be what they consider a neuro fever, and it will spike up and down. It may be coming from the central area of the brain and really doesn't respond to medication. Other symptoms of storming is rapid heart rate, along with high blood pressure, etc. They have just given her a beta blocker to see if this will help with the rapid heart rate.
There is some cloudy substance coming from her lungs when they suction her tube. They are doing a culture and being sure pneumonia hasn't set in. They will not remove the ventilator today because of these new issues she is faced with. They want to be sure that she is strong enough to support her airway on her own. Also, we are having an issue with her absorbing her seizure drugs. Her levels are remaining low and this is a little bit of a challenge to regulate them. They will have to keep tweaking and adjusting until the levels are as they should be. Though her surgery was to stop her seizures, please understand that the part of the left hemisphere that is still attached to the blood supply and kept alive so that there is not a voided space in her brain,; it is still firing activity. Therefore, she will continue to be on seizure drugs for a very long time. You cannot suddenly stop them. You have to slowly wean off of them. Please continue to pray for wisdom for the different teams that are assisting us with her care.
Dr. Neimat came by a few minutes ago, and she opened her eyes really big to look at him. Then, she lifted her hand to his direction to shake his hand. No one prompted her, or ask her to do so, and for those of you who know her, she is all about making the other person feel important and special. He was elated by this response and said that it takes a lot more effort for a person to process that information than to just follow a command like squeeze your hand, or raise your thumb. He was so encouraged and excited that her personality is shining through.