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Progress Report: 24 Hours

Posted Sep 17 2009 12:00am
Less than 24 hours after the completion of Yannai's upgrade, he has already improved dramatically so I wanted to update everyone on his progress.

From start to finish, the surgery yesterday took about 8 hours and Yannai was then transferred to the surgical intensive care unit (SICU). As a nurse I have obviously been around sick people and even very sick people, but I have never in my life seen that many tubes and wires hooked up to one person. Between the IV medications (8 pumps were running), arterial lines to monitor blood pressure (2), EKG leads (5), oxygen saturation monitor, surgical drain, intubation tubing, compression boots, and the lovely foley catheter, Yannai was hooked up to machines from head to toe. He also had both wrists restrained so that he didn't pull on anything. His eyes would occasionally flicker open as he tried to wake himself up to see his guests. Each time, he would wake up for a few brief minutes and try to motion with his hands to ask how everything had went. He asked (or signaled) about the same things each time, forgetting what the answer had been just a few minutes earlier. We kept telling him, "The surgery is done. Everything went great."

Fast forward less than 24 hours and the changes we can already see are incredible. Yannai has been extubated and is now able to breathe on his own and speak to us. He's not saying much since his throat is obviously sore and he is very much knocked out on pain medicine. He is enjoying listening to us tell him about how well things went and all the messages people have left wishing him well. He has already been advanced to a clear liquid diet. The jaundiced color of his skin is already fading. Pretty soon he might even have to come up with a new nickname since "Yellow" isn't so fitting anymore.

We still have a long way to go. Yannai is still in a lot of pain and pushing his little pain medicine button as often as he can. He will hopefully be moved to a stepdown unit later today or early tomorrow. For now he is not really up to visitors, but hopefully by next week he will be looking forward to seeing everyone. I have strict instructions to tell everyone that presents are welcome and will greatly impact his recuperation.
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