Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Making Progress

Hope with Great Grandma Anderson

Hope & Aunt Emily

All healed up

Hope has had a wonderful couple of weeks. As you can see from the picture, the incision from her surgery has healed to the point you can hardly even see it. She saw the surgeon at U of M last week and he was very happy with how it all looks. The big activation day is just a couple weeks away now!

Hope has also made great progress on the ventilator. At her appointment with the pulmonologist we put together a plan to begin weaning Hope's ventilator settings on a regular basis. On this wean we took her rate from 31 breaths per minute down to 29. She has done very well with it and if she continues to do so, we will lower the rate by 2 every two weeks. After she reaches a rate of 21 we will begin to lower the PEEP (the amount of pressure that the vent gives her continuously to keep her airway open).

Hope is also now on less oxygen. She has done great with that as well. In addition to ALL of this Hope is now getting only 2 breathing treatments each day. This makes her very happy because she really doesn't like getting the breathing treatments.

All of these changes are little steps towards getting Hope off of the ventilator - which goes without saying, would be WONDERFUL!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Post Surgery Update

Hope made it very successfully through her cochlear implant surgery. She arrived at U of M and check in around 12:30pm on Thursday. After getting all checked out (blood pressure, temperature, weight etc) we found out that they had not reserved a bed (room) for her following the surgery. There was a scramble to find a bed and when we came close to not being able to find one for her we almost had to pack up and come home. That would not have made anyone very happy! Eventually though (about 2 hours later) they had a bed for her and Hope was wheeled off for surgery.

The surgery began with a test that involved putting needles in her ear and electrically stimulating her auditory nerve. They began with the right ear and found no response. Then they tested the left ear. They had to use more "power" than usual but were able to get a good clear response on the left side. However, they found that as they repeated the stimulation the response diminished. This is called "Adaptation". Unfortunately there isn't a lot of research or knowledge available on this condition. The surgeon felt that it was still worth proceeding and that Hope would still be able to gain access to sound by having the implant done.

Hope's mom, dad, Grandma Holtz, Grandpa Holtz, Grandma Robinson and Grandpa Robinson all waited patently in waiting area for the next 5 hours while the surgery was performed. Everyone was very eager to see her after the surgery and she looked great! She was a bit groggy but seemed to be feeling well. Hope had to stay one night in the hospital but was released the next morning. Although she has been a little more sleepy than usual, she is feeling well and is mostly back to her normal self. There is just a small incision behind her left ear. She will go back to see the surgeon again in two weeks and the big day of activation is August 17th!