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Some Pain, Some Coughs, Some Visitors, Some Smiles

Julia had a rough night last night. As her anesthesia started to wear off, she started to feel more uncomfortable. She was able to use her “pain button” when she wanted and that helped to take the edge off the pain. Julia also got some oral pain meds during the night. Her nurse got her out of bed twice during the night to use the “commode”. It was slow moving, but Julia took her time and was determined to get out of bed.

Through the night, the monitors went off – Julia’s respiration rate falling just below the threshold when she fell into a deep sleep. Her nurse would come into the room, checking on everything and then reassuring me it was okay.

During the morning, Julia was visited by the surgery team, the pain management group, respiratory therapy and x-ray. Everyone is amazed at how well she is doing with only being out of surgery for 24 hours. Julia’s surgeon decided it was best to leave the chest tube in for at least one more day. They will take another x-ray tomorrow morning to see how things are progressing. Julia is also still on oxygen as her O2 level has dropped when they have tried to wean her off (we will try again tonight to see how it goes).

Julia has been coughing a bit (a very good thing) and exercising her lungs with the spirometer. Even though it is uncomfortable to breathe through the tube, Julia is persistent, trying to make the ball in the tube “dance” as long as she can. Her coughing is painful and Julia got some additional relief that was prescribed from the pain management team – she will be taking this as she transitions from the pain button.

This afternoon, Julia had several visitors – Mrs. Pronchik from school; Ryan, her friend from school, whose brother happens to be in CHOP too; and Julia’s friend Devon with her family. Julia was happy to have some visitors and even felt strong enough to color with Devon and her sister. Tonight, Julia’s nurse said that she would take her for a walk down the hall. Getting her moving will be the best thing to get Julia’s lungs working well and her oxygen level up. Julia fell sound asleep at 8 PM, snuggling under her new quillow and pulling Kevin close to her heart. Walking will need to wait until the Julia wakes up later tonight. Until then, she is resting, sleeping peacefully and smiling from her sweet dreams.

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