Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lots of progress

It is so nice that the weather has finally warmed up enough that we can get outside!! Hope loves to be outside! Now that she is free from the ventilator during the day it is much easier to go outside with her. Last year in order to go outside we had to switch her from her bedside ventilator to the travel ventilator, hook up a tank of oxygen, take her suction machine and travel bag and somehow figure out a way to take all of this outside with us. As you can imagine, we didn't make it outside any too often. This year it's as simple as plopping her in the wagon and heading outside. She doesn't need the oxygen or the ventilator and now that she's more stable we don't take the other bags outside with us. Hope just loves to go for rides in her wagon. She loves to feel the bumps and get the fresh air in her face.
Last Thursday Hope went to see her ophthalmologist. Normally when she goes the doctor quickly holds a few toys or other objects up in front of her face for just a second or two and makes a determination on her ability to focus, follow, track etc based on that. It can be a little frustrating because it takes Hope a little longer to process things. This time her vision therapist went with us to the appointment. Before the doctor came in the therapist got Hope all set up watching a simple vision therapy dvd (basically a slide show of some of the images the therapist has been working with Hope on). When the doctor came in he was able to see Hope focusing and watching the dvd. This was so very helpful! The doctor thinks Hope's vision is improving and he wrote her a prescription for lenses that are not quite as strong as the ones she has now.
The big news for Hope is that she continues to do well with her ventilator weans. She is currently on pressure support (this is where she has to initiate all of her breaths, the ventilator just gives her the pressure behind it) for 4 hours each night. We will continue to increase this every couple of days and once she is on pressure support all night we will begin to leave her off of the ventilator at night. We will start with two hours and increase every 3-5 days. Assuming all goes well the vent team at U of M are hoping to have Hope completely ventilator free by August when she sees them again. If at that point Hope is doing well we will get the blessing to see about taking her trach out! We weren't expecting them to suggest this until next year so this is a wonderful surprise. Once Hope has her trach out life will be so different! Go Hope! Go Hope!!