Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday recap

Steve seems better today than yesterday.

His shortness of breath is much resolved. The increased oxygen seemed to help; now he's down to 4 liters, with the hope of continually weaning to lower numbers.

Yesterday's X-ray shows the same pneumonia activity as late Friday night, which is good news. There is no indication of new or spreading infection. Some of what shows up on the X-ray image now may be clusters of white blood cells that rushed in to the rescue.

(Steve's attending doctor told us that to fight pneumonia, your body relies on antibiotics for 10% of ammunition and your own immune system for the rest. That explains why the old and young and immune-compromised are most at risk of complications.)

The X-ray also showed some atelectasis -- collapsed air pockets in the lungs. (He's had this before.) This can happen when a patient is sedentary and/or doesn't take enough deep breaths. It can also explain some of his shortness of breath.

With that news, he started using an incentive spirometer for deep breathing exercises. And a physical therapist visited this afternoon to evaluate his ability to walk (with the walker). They walked from the room to the nurses' station and back -- his longest walk since Friday at home.

Steve received his last dose of IV antibiotics sometime last night and is now taking oral Levaquin.

If his breathing stays in control and he doesn't spike a fever while on the oral Levaquin, he'll probably be released sometime Wednesday. Of course, we're flexible and understanding if that's delayed another day. (Dealing with a serious long-term illness tests and refines all kinds of character traits -- including flexibility and patience.)

Today was logistically possible thanks to Betty, Jim, Beth B., Celeste W., Sharon G., Dawn L., Kelly S. and Liz S. Thank you!

And thank you all for continued prayers and support.


Sweetest Whimsy said...

Praying for a return home tomorrow! Steve, you are a trooper!!!

Anonymous said...

We are also praying that things continue to move in the right direction... Lifting you up today when you simply cannot! Love, The Mango's

Laura said...

Hoping that the fever is gone and Steve is home soon!