Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 30, 2010

Mom's surgery went well overall though they did not get as far with the grafting as they had hoped to. One arm is completely grafted and the other has an inch or so left. She responded very well and has been pretty stable. They were also able to remove some more of the bad skin on her left leg that could be the source of some of her infection issues.

They will have to remove her left big toe due to the lack of blood flow that I reported a few weeks ago. This may also help to reduce her white blood cell levels so that she can concentrate on healing in other areas. Though this is not good news and will be anther hurdle to climb, the doctors also said that it was possible that she could start weaning off of the ventilator and not have to be given a tracheotomy.

As long as the good news is quickly followed by the bad, we will get through this. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27, 2010

The surgery went well. They were able to graft her right hand and the majority of her left arm. The process of re-covering the hand and inserting pins to ensure that the fingers keep their form and hold the grafting in place is very lengthy which accounts for the smaller area of grafting completed in the surgery.

WE can only pray that everything continues to be progressive and positive. There is no way that we could even hope to make up for all of the support that we have been given by friends, family, and even acquaintances. Have a wonderful evening and thank you so very much for all of your support.

October 27, 2010

This is more of a quick request than an update....Mom is scheduled for surgery at 3pm please keep her in your prayers. She is still doing well, however, she will be much better if these surgeries take well.

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 24, 2010

There isn't a great deal to report but overall, Mom's current grafting is still looking good. Though some bacteria has cropped up in her blood, they will continue with another surgery on Wednesday in light of the fact that her new skin is still intact. Hopefully she will respond well and we will be able to have her transferred to Maricopa when she is stable enough.

Thank you all so very much for your continued love and support!

-The Durham Family

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 21, 2010

I would like to begin with an apology for my lack of posting. I know that everyone visiting is full of anxiety and, trust me, I understand. This week has been a bit hectic on the home front for one reason or another.

Mom was taken into surgery yesterday evening around 6pm. They covered her neck, upper chest, and left hand with her own skin. There are a few pins in place through her fingers to keep the grafting in place and her hands from losing full range of mobility later on. In order to keep the tissue on her arms clean for the next few days while the pressure bandages are helping the grafts to take, the doctors covered the left and right with EZ Derm. This application to her arms will, hopefully, also inspire some tissue growth while they are in line for grafting.

The surgery itself went well. She had very good blood flow and remained stable throughout. Prior and following surgery she responded well to the doctor's requests and even grinned at a nurse. She has had fevers today but never over 100.5. Her heart rate has been a bit elevated but calms quite easily.

We won't know wether we are in the clear for a few more days yet so I ask you all to please continue to keep her in your prayers. We're not out of the woods yet but thank you all so very much for your continued dedication.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 19, 2010

The kidney specialists visited mom today. They believe that the issue cropping up in her right kidney could have existed previously but flared due to the irritation of several medications. They are confident that they can keep it under control as they will be monitoring it closely. The skin and blood cultures came back today and are both clean. Because of today's results, they have scheduled Mom for a 5pm grafting surgery where they will use skin from her inner thighs to cover her neck and upper chest. If the surgery goes well, they will also attempt to work on her hands so that they can prevent the possibility of future damage from atrophy.

We all need to pray as deeply as we can. Tomorrow is the third round of grafting and as it is her own skin, we are definitely gambling. If she can fight through it and keep this round, she may be able to be transferred within a few months to the Maricopa Burn Center. Though this would be wonderful for all of us to be in closer proximity to her, the burn center itself is known for its dedication and has a very positive reputation as such.

Please keep her in your thoughts tonight and tomorrow...My mother is an absolute angel and deserves the chance to rise above all of this so that we all have the chance to repay her for every second she has dedicated to the improvement of our lives.

-Bless you Momma. We all love you so very much and are fighting right beside you. Know that when you feel beaten, we are on either side to hold you up and comfort you. You are never alone.

Tia, Mannah, and Daddy

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18, 2010

News has definitely improved since Sunday. We were bombarded with circulation and kidney concerns yesterday morning, as of this morning however, news is much better. Dad had shown some concern on Friday and Saturday with the coloration of Mom's toes. They were turning purple in color and were very cold. The doctors began scanning again for blood flow in this area and were not registering any. Coincidentally, Mom's IV port was in the main artery of this same leg and once removed, blood flow registered in the area once again. Though there is some obvious arterial damage to her veins due to the burn damage, her toes are turing a normal pink color and now have more warmth to the touch.  Though her renal numbers are a bit high, they are not nearly as severe as the doctors had anticipated yesterday after today's visit with renal specialists. Her right kidney is the one in concern but her change in numbers are small enough to be in response to medications. All considered, scary weekend with an oddly redeeming Monday. 

Mom is on schedule for a grafting surgery sometime this week so please please pray that she accepts something so that we can get her covered up and protected. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October 16, 2010

Dad is much more comfortable in his new apartment just walking distance from the hospital. He started physical therapy yesterday and though it was painful, it went well. The only bandaging that he is still having changed every few days is over his right hand and is progressing well.

Mom has been much more stable over the last week. Her blood pressure and pulse is controlled and her temperatures have been continuously manageable. As of this morning, her blood cultures came back clean. They have noticed, however, that her white blood cell count has been rising. Though we are not sure of the actual cause, the heightened white blood cell count could be in relation to several things (medication, bacteria in other areas).

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 14, 2010

To be perfectly honest, there really is not very much to update with. Mom has continued to remain fairly stable. The doctors have said that if the next to cultures come back negative for bacteria, they will attempt a direct skin graft (using skin from her tummy) to her arms and see if her system will accept that more so because of the exact cellular composition match. Please let this work!!!

Dad is doing very well. He no longer has bandages on his left arm (though it is still VERY tender and red) and the amount of coverage on his right arm is minimal considering what it looked like just a week ago.

Thank you all for your dedication to their health and all of your prayers.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 12, 2010

Overall, there is not a huge amount to be said in this post, however, what I do have to say is positive. Mom had a restful day yesterday and last night. The doctors switched her antibiotic to a much stronger form. They say, overall, that her tissue is looking healthy. Her fever, heart rate, and oxygenation has been down to a much healthier level as well. As long as she maintains this level of health, they are considering another cleanup surgery just to relieve healthier tissue in some areas that have been neglected to aid of the harsher burns.

Thank you all again for your continued support!!!!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 10, 2010

Unfortunately, today turned out to be a bummer. The EZ Derm that they were able to apply to her neck and arms was rejected. They have removed all of it and her fevers and heart rate stabilized soon after. We are unsure of the reason behind her rejection. It could be a bacteria that is preventing fusion or possibly just her body rejecting this method, regardless, they will continue to vary treatment until they are successful.

Due to the stress that Mom's immune system has been under, she has developed Shingles. This virus is not uncommon in burn patients as they are already so compromised. Her legs have continued to progress a bit and, hopefully, they will be able to graft them in the next few days.

Another issue that needs to be dealt with soon for matters of her comfort and bacteria prevention, is the removal of the ventilator. She is still fighting some Pneumonia which makes the tubes necessary for the removal of built up fluids. Though this is counterintuitive, the tubes also increase the level of bacteria that can enter the body and irritate the healing process of her face as they must be tied in place.

This week we need to continue our prayers in hopes that she can be taken off of the ventilator safely and that her grafts will adhere without infection. Thank you all very very much for Savannah's birthday wishes. She appreciates every single one!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

October 9, 2010

We had an inspiring morning today. Dad went into visit mom and while he was giving her everyone's love he also told her that her Granddaughter Bailey would be visiting soon and Mom turned and gave him a big smile. She also tried to reach out and touch Uncle Barry. Though these may seem like small gestures, they have come to be the most inspirational moments of our day.

As of yesterday evening, the doctors were able to begin the application of the EZ Derm. She now has grafting on her neck and arms and has been responding to it well as of late this morning.

Please please please keep sending your prayers we will need each and every one of them before the end of this (very long and bumpy) road.

Friday, October 8, 2010

October 8, 2010

As I have conveyed in prior postings, progress is very slow. Dad was released from the hospital yesterday! He will, however, remain in out-patient care for bandage changes. Mom has continued to remain fairly stable. The doctors are still battling with the infection on her legs but are happy with the tissue in other areas. If she continues to maintain healthy tissue elsewhere, they will begin grafting her neck and upper chest areas with EZ Derm.

As a secondary note to today's post I would like to make a few comments about the Visitation Calendar:

Prior to visiting, it is very important that you contact me with the dates and make sure that they do not conflict with existing visits. The last thing we want to do is interrupt Mom's progress with a large influx of visitors. We appreciate every single visit, however, we need to make sure that she is not overwhelmed physically or mentally. We also have to keep her vulnerability to bacteria in mind.

I am sure that Mom misses and loves everyone so very much but we also have to understand how much stress she is dealing with.

Thank you all for your love and please know that both Mom and Dad love and appreciate your visits to this page and to the hospital.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 5, 2010

As you might have gathered from the lack of posting, we have had several days of stability. Mom's fevers have been low and controlled. She has been much more relaxed and appears to be in less pain. Though the cultures did come back positive for one of the bacterias, the doctors have exchanged her medicine and are now using a bleach based cleaner for her leg (the focal point of the bacterial issue). They hope to have the bacteria completely cleared by the end of this week and possibly begin the EZ Derm application. Just as with every other step of this process, we must "wait and see". In comparison to former days, however, she is consistently stable and the amount of rest that she is able to get has also increased.

Though Dad had hoped to be healing a bit quicker, the doctors say it will take a bit longer than he had anticipated. He is, however, doing wonderfully considering the circumstances.

Thank you all for your continued support and may you have a wonderful evening!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

October 4, 2010

This weekend proved to be very calm for both Mom and Dad. After reviewing his progress, the doctors have now decided that he only requires a medicated bandage change once a day. I cannot convey to you how much of an ordeal bandage changing can be. Aside from the general pain from the wounds, there is a great deal of discomfort brought on by the medicated cream that has to be applied. With these steps in mind, I am sure that you can just imagine how relieved he was to hear this news.

Mom was very consistent this weekend maintaing a very low fever throughout (this is common as the body is fighting to healing itself). As of yesterday morning, they had cultured her skin and sent it to the lab to determine if all of the bacteria from infection has been killed. When the lab can confirm that she no longer has any skin infection, they will begin the process of applying EZ Derm (a product derived from pig skin). This layer of EZ Derm is, in no means, permanent. EZ Derm does not stimulate tissue growth or attachment and is, therefor, a barrier. The application of this product is merely for protecting the living and vulnerable tissue beneath that is currently exposed. Once they have determined that she maintains stability without infection with the EZ Derm (3-5 days after application) they will move on to removing the EZ Derm and applying another round of Integra.

THank you all so very much for your continued thoughts and dedication to their progress. My Dad would also like everyone to know how much he appreciates every thought, prayer, and extended hand to our family. We are only as strong as the support that stands behind us.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October 2, 2010

I have to say that it is much nicer to be able to report the progress to all of you with first hand information.  Savannah, Natalie, Megan and I are visiting Mom and Dad this weekend.

Dad is healing wonderfully. His faced has progressed a GREAT deal in comparison to the first week that we were able to spend with him. His arms are progressing quickly as well. The burns were not quite as severe on the left allowing it to heal faster, however, the right is a fairly close second. They have said that it is possible that he will be discharged sometime during this coming week.

According to the doctor's report this morning, Mom is in a much better state than she has been over the last week. They believe that they have killed the three bacterias that were effecting her lungs and skin but will continue to administer the antibiotics through the remainder of the week.

In order to fight off later issues with muscular atrophy and the elasticity of her skin, they have begun regular therapy. The instruments that they use are in constant motion so that her joints can maintain proper lubrication and flexibility. In addition to the constant movement of her bed, they introduced a machine that moves her legs in a motion much like riding a bicycle. All of these efforts to continue body movement as much as possible will help a great deal in later rehabilitation.

Today's level of oxygenation into her lungs is the best that it has been during her time here. Her white blood cell count has come down to a normal level. The doctors seem hopeful that she is coming over a hump in the process of healing. We can only pray that she will support the doctor's optimism and continue to be so strong!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

October 1, 2010

In order to control the initial infection, the doctors have now removed the rest of the Integra. As soon as Mom can maintain normal temperature, white blood cell count, and heart rate the doctors will be able to apply another round of Integra or possibly another synthetic over her own healthy tissue. They are treating the current tissue bacteria with an antibiotic. 

In addition to the irritation that her lungs have suffered, the ventilator tubes are also a great source of irritation. The bacteria in her respiratory system is also being treated with an antibiotic. Today they are hoping to change out the old tubes and replace them with new to cut down on the build up of bacteria. The doctors will most likely be giving Mom a tracheotomy in the very near future. With this method, they will be able to maintain her medication levels with greater control and also reduce the amount of bacteria that would be introduced into her system. 

She has been fairly stable over the last 12 hours and hopefully continues to maintain that status.