Lazy T&R updates
Tuesday, June 1
  Rebecca: the latest 5/30/04
Dear friends and family,

I'm sorry you haven't heard from me in a few days; I spend quite some time writing an update Friday night, but before I sent it, I lost it. It was so late that I didn't have it in me to redo it at that time. Then yesterday (Saturday), I took care of Charity during the day and then spent several hours at the hospital in the late evening and early morning.

Anyhow, here's the latest:

Rebecca has been in the hospital for 2 weeks now, and on the ventilator all but a day and a half. She was just diagnosed with pneumonia, a secondary infection often a result of going on the ventilator. The symptoms are very similar to pertussis, and there is not much difference in the treatment. This infection does require a round of additional (and different) antibiotics, which general means a longer hospital stay. The doctor has ordered a reduction in the amount of morphine [for pain] and Adavan(sp?) [a sedative, I believe]. This is the beginning step to weaning Rebecca off the ventilator. The ventilator has been breathing for her, that her body might have the rest needed in order to heal. But she must be more awake to start breathing more on her own. At the same time, Rebecca is also receiving methadone to lesson the symptoms of morphine withdrawals. All this is done gradually and carefully to prevent Rebecca from having to be put back on the ventilator once she has her breathing tube removed.

Also, Friday morning the original breathing tube was replaced by a slightly larger [diameter] one. The nurses had been experiencing difficulty in bringing up Rebecca's saturation level [amount of oxygen in the blood] during the 'episodes' which required 'bagging' her. When the breathing tube was removed, it was found to be somewhat obstructed with dried, sticky mucus so characteristic of the disease. The larger tube should help prevent this from happening again.

Thank you so much for continuing to pray.

Love, Sue

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