Star of the PICU: Cecily

Cecily is the attending nurse who has been entertaining us since we got into room 6 of the PICU. She told us the night nurse would be cool, but I’m sure no-one will be as cool as Cecily. Her cool factors include chocolate, Amazing Nate and bringing Patient Care Tech Bob over for some awesome Napolean Dynamite impressions.

Day of Surgery – PICU Evening Update

Natalie’s PICU update – her color is returning and she’s resting. No post-surgery seizures so far which is good. Apparently the anesthesia takes up to 24 hours to come off of, so she has a lot of nausea right now. I guess it’s better that she just sleeps it off. We’ve been able to hunker down with her in the room but it’s getting close to the time that they kick us out. Angela takes the night shift tonight.

Angela kisses Natalie:








Gabriel and Marisa pose over Natalie’s bed:








Greg and Natalie

Day 2 Morning Check-In

Angela called and said that Natalie was sick a couple more times last night. She hasn’t been able to take any of her anti-seizure meds because they are oral only (no intravenous) and she hasn’t been able to take anything yet… I’m packing up some clothes for Angela and am heading up to the hospital. Gabe and Ris are sleeping in still – it was a long day for them yesterday so I thought I’d give them that.

10AM Day after Surgery

Natalie still doesn’t feel well, but smiles for the picture. She looks so much better today. She’s still swollen from the surgery, and has what might be the world’s worst headache.


Day 2 – PICU to Neuro/Trauma Unit (NTU)

Natalie’s update for 2nd day: The results of this morning’s CT scan came back normal so she has been moved to the Neuro Trauma Unit (NTU), which is good. She has been awake for longer periods, and is responding verbally to questions. She is drinking some Sprite and was able to take her anti-seizure meds, but is still getting sick.  The nausea should pass with time while the body works the after effects of the anesthesia out. She told us that she’s hungry but doesn’t want anything to eat yet because of the nausea. We’ll be starting her on “clear” foods like jello or broth first. Of course, she doesn’t like either.

Natalie’s new nurse in NTU is Cassie, who quickly changed out Natalie’s pillow and reset some monitors to make her more comfortable.

Day 2 – The Princess and the Frog

Angela is getting some rest in the back of the room, and Natalie is watching Princess and the Frog, which is AWESOME. She’s staying awake longer, but still feels awful. I just gave her a french fry and am hoping it stays down so she can have more real food.  At the end of the movie Natalie very quietly sang a little bit of the song “Never Knew I Needed” by Ne-Yo that plays at the end of Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog”. Too cute.

This surgery is tough but we knew that going in, and she’s doing a lot better than we expected. The chance to not have any more seizures is good, we just need to get through all of this.

Thanks to our friends…

A facebook comment from Angela: “Positive thoughts, prayers, phone calls, well wishes, texts, messages, wall posts, “Likes”, fasting, candle lighting – we feel all the positive energy coming our way and there is no doubt in our mind that our little girl is so very loved. I’m so grateful, I’m exhausted, but, my strength has been renewed.”

Day 2 – Sodium Levels

Natalie’s sodium levels have to be monitored, so Noemi, the lab tech was called in to take a quick blood sample for the test (note the silver bandage on Natalie’s right middle finger). She also has a daughter named Natalie, which is a very special name. Sodium levels look good.  There was an initial concern because Natalie’s urine output was high, which is a sign that sodium may be off – and this is a particular concern with brain surgery.

Day 2: A Residency Visit

Resident Dr. Mumert was in to see Natalie on behalf of Dr. Kestle. We discussed the swelling on the right side of Natalie’s face that is due to the surgery. There were cuts made in the muscle of her right temple and in the muscles she uses for chewing, so swelling can continue and could get worse for a little while. This will probably be the soreness that lasts longest, but will get better faster with use.

Natalie just feels terrible so she doesn’t even want to look at the camera right now. I don’t blame her. This photo was taken after she received some morphine so she’s definitely feeling “heavy” here. She’s awake but out of it.

A Gift on our Doorstep

I found a gift basket at the door when I got home tonight. We have awesome neighbors! Risa had an orange, and Gabriel had what might have been his first Red Delicious apple from the treats inside. Thank you Tammy, Ken and Camron!