Thursday, February 10, 2005

Sleep, how delightful

Last night I hit a wall. Too many days with too little sleep. Went to bed around 9pm and slept till now. Still ragged but at least I can type again.

Yesterday was a mixed day. Mom is definitely brighter and can open her eyes wider as evidenced by the little story I shared yesterday. But she is still very lethargic. We got both a new nurse and got to meet another doctor.

The nurse is Marisela (everyone calls her Mari) and she is fabulous. She does a great job talking to Mom and caring for her. Mari was very kind to US as well and didn't make us leave when Mom needed to be suctioned. Actually, once she figured us out, she let Jen and I stay and help. We helped Mari take off the C-collar to replace it and were able (working so tightly that even Nascar pit crews would be envious) to support her head and neck (Mari) and ET tube (Jen) so that we could shave (me) off all that icky bloody hair. With Jen guarding Mom's head from turning, I also massaged her neck gently to relieve the stiffness and soreness of 6 days in the C-collar. After a limited bath with wipey things, we reapplied lotion all over to help keep Mom's skin from getting dry. She definitely looked more comfortable once we were all finished. Even with the three of us working together, it still took about 90 minutes to accomplish.

The doctor, whose name I forgot (bad Dobby...) but will get today, is the faculty neurosurgeon on her case. He is delightful and very friendly. We talked a bit about Mom's progress and he was VERY impressed with her, her communication attempts and ability to follow commands. He was also very pleased with all of the family's efforts with the massage, PROM, lotion, etc. He said he would be talking to us again a couple times. Mari agreed that he is one of the nurse's favorites.

Had a conference with Dr. Sievers, Mom's primary attending. They want to put something into Mom's vein called an IV clot filter. This would catch any clots that have formed so they don't lodge someplace important. It is something that is placed using angiography (a type of Xray movie with dye in the veins to make it easier to see things) and would be placed soon but not on a day Mom is weaning on the vent.

Well, we did fail the vent wean yesterday. They put her on a T-piece, which allows disconnection of the ventilator without extubation, to see how she would do. Mom got really tachycardic (high heart rate), tachypneic (high breathing rate) and hypertensive (high blood pressure). So she isn't ready and they started the vent back up. I asked whether they would give her today off to recover and Mari said that probably they would only rest her overnight before trying again. So we will see.

We have now entered a new year- the year of the cock. We were unable to find a parade with dancing dragons, but we didn't really try that hard either.

We did successfully make it shopping and my inner belief that Target is the best store in the universe was confirmed. The Target in Glendale even has wine. We picked up food stuffs, including gourmet coffee there, some clothing items, health and beauty stuff and stickers for the map. It was a great haul and I am glad we won't have to go anywhere besides the hospital and apirport for a week.

Great job so far on the game! How lucky Mom is to be so blessed with love and concerns. As of my last check, we are up to 40 states and 14 other countries. Keep 'em coming.

With love and gratitude for you all-



Blogger Charissa said...

The entire Gilstrap and Saenz families are thinking and praying in earnest for your swift return to Tennessee! I only heard about the accident last night. I had just finished a conference with the mother of one of my students where I spent a half an hour raving to the about Pam Schneller and the Blair Children's Chorus. I know you have heard this probably hundreds of times but both Pam and Roland, you changed my life introducing me to a world that I would be lost without. Thank you. I know you will be well soon and back here introducing more people to that wonderful world of beautiful music and high standards of excellence!

With all my love and prayers
Charissa Gilstrap Saenz

9:19 AM  
Blogger glrya said...

s'okay, here i am. had to join and create a blog for the purpose of this response but i'm joining your map.

i'm in London, Ontario, Canada and am following the posts and hoping for the best, which you have been thoughtfully providing so far.

heard of pam from another poster at alt.callahan' newsgroup and i'm not the only one there wishing you well.

everybody get some sleep now! that's an order.


3:27 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

My friend Jessica in Palmer, Alaska is praying for Mrs. Schneller! I actually met her at the choir festival at Niagara Falls a couple of summers ago when I was on tour with the children's choir.

lots of love-everyone at school and church is praying!!!,

6:45 PM  
Blogger Pamela Sixfin said...

Sounds like a lot of progress made today and am glad Pam is responding better every day. Hope she can come off the ventilater soon. All my love, Pamela Sixfin

10:04 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...


Thought that I would log in and remind you that I represent Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

You are doing a wonderful job of keeping us all up to date on Pam's progress. Thank you so much.

It is good to hear that you finally got a decent night's sleep.

Hope to hear from you soon.

All of us here are praying for Pam.

All my love,

6:19 AM  
Blogger Mary Kathryn VanOsdale said...

Pam,I just wanted to send you and your family possitive thoughts. All of us at Blair are praying for your speedy recovery.I will be thinking of you when I play at the Pre College Alumni Concert.
Rolland, I have known you all of my musical life. I know you are strong and Pam is so lucky that she has you in her life.
Best Wishes
Mary Kathryn

6:28 AM  
Blogger Paul Hodges III said...

If you haven't already listed it, you can list Kuwait. I will be here for another few weeks. I am praying for Pam. I hope she continues to do better.

Paul III

9:35 AM  

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