Saturday Update at 7:10 pm CT
HEATHER GETS RID OF HER DRAINAGE TUBE! We were able to remove the EVD, External Ventricle Drain, today. This was the tube that was draining the fluid off her brain since surgery. The full report of the MRI hasn't been completed, but the Neuro Surgery team said that everything looked well from their perspective, so they ordered the drain to be removed. They did give her some numbing medication, before they removed it, but it was still a little painful for her.
Please pray that we can improve her swallow over the weekend before the next swallow test. There are some swallow exercises we can do with her to help strengthen it. They had given us permission to give her very small amounts of pudding and have her swallow twice, but, today they told us NPO, which means nothing by mouth. If she doesn't pass the swallow test this next time, they will have to put a pic line in her abdomen and she will receive nutrition through it. You cannot leave the feeding tube in the nose for very long without there being risk for infection. Also, she cannot leave the Hospital with a feeding tube in her nose.
She has responded well to the antibiotic, and her fever has finally stopped going up and down for at least a couple of days now. The heart rate is still staying right around 100 beats per minute, but that is within a normal range for her, and the blood pressure is within normal range as well. Hopefully she will go to the step down unit soon, which is in the same area, but on the other hallway beside ICU.
Her sister, Jenah, and her family from Indiana came in today and that was a huge encouragement to Heather. She has had a great time with her sisters. There was a cartoon video that they remembered from the hospital in Atlanta, GA when Heather had her first brain surgery. It's called "Once Upon a Forest", and in that cartoon Little Bosworth, a little bird, gets himself stuck in the mud and he can't get himself out. So, the mole, a badger and a hedgehog devise a plan to help get him out of the mud. Once he is out of the mud, all of the birds begin to sing, "He's back, He's back, Oh, yeah, He's back, He's back... so the girls found that song and played it for Heather as they did range of motion with her, and Heather thought it was great. It is good to see her smiling and laughing since she could do nothing for 7 days.
Things you can continue to help us pray about:
1. Pray that her ability to swallow will improve so that the feeding tube comes out and she can eat again.
2. Pray that there are no issues that arise with the fluid in her brain, and that the shunt she has had since 1996 will not get clogged and that it
will continue to do its job of draining that extra fluid.
3. Pray that her vision improves, and that she can begin to recognize numbers and letters again, as well as be able to read.
4. Pray that her dizziness goes away.
5. Pray that her voice returns.
6. Pray that she will get stronger in her ability to move her right leg.
7. Pray that her left hip pain and tenderness in both arms and legs will calm down without medication so that she can progress with rehab.
8. Pray that she will begin to regain function in her right arm and hand, if God will permit.
9. Pray for wisdom that we choose the correct Rehabilitation facility that will be able to advance her to the next level of care as quickly as
possible, and to the one that will be the most experienced in working with those who have severe Neurological issues!
10. Also continue to pray for all of our family as we seek to assist and be of help to Heather as well others that we are meeting each day.
Bro. Monte Watts, Evangelist for over 25 years, who went to heaven over 3 years ago, used to remind Heather of this verse of Scripture. "I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor." Psalm 140:12
The bulldog & the bow are from her two sisters, Hannah & Jenah.
Both pictures were taken today.