Deep in the woods but not worse …


(5th Blog Post by “Bert & I” on Behalf of Hospitalized Ali)

Elevated pain levels continued to plague Ali all day, perhaps on account of attempts to further reduce her morphine dosing. This afternoon the morphine was reduced from 4mg/hour to 3mg/hour and appears to have been relatively well tolerated.

A pain-free moment ...

Holding her own today …

Morphine falling ...

… as morphine falls to 3mg/hour

In addition, Ali’s breathing improved to the point where for much of the day she was able to sustain oxygen blood levels that are nearly normal, even without supplemental oxygen.

Oxygen rising ...

Oxygen rising …  94% vs. 98% normal

On the other hand, sleep continues to elude Ali for more than 15-20 minute intervals. 😦

Weekends are notably quiet here at Tongren Hospital, and the nursing staff appears to be considerably reduced compared with busy weekdays. So it’s just as well that Ali’s regular caregiver is pitching in alongside the round-the-clock bedside presence of her mother Uschi and brother Mattias.

Ever-present mother Uschi ... Guardian brother ...

Ever-present mother Uschi & brother Mattias

In the welcome news department, it appears increasingly likely that Ali has lost no motor functionality that she had before the surgery, and she seems to have gained some sensory function, which is quite common when the spinal cord has been directly handled in surgery.

Also, so far as we can tell, Ali complains mostly about the acute neck pain associated with her surgery rather than the chronic neuropathic pain that had so disabled her in recent months. Once the acute pain subsides, presumably in a few more days, we’ll get a much clearer picture of whether neuropathic pain has been alleviated, which was a core objective of the surgery.

Still no idea when we may be able get Ali back to her own bed in her apartment across the street … presumably as soon as the middle of next week.

Meanwhile, the nursing care at Kunming Tongren Hospital continues to be highly attentive.

Nursing focus ...

Helping Ali raise her blood oxygen levels

3 responses »

  1. I have been sharing this with my medical, family and close friends. All are sending prayers and love and offers of help….pain management doctor in NY and prayers from my friend in Santiago walking the Camino! You have many angels with you there and all over. Thanks for specific medical info. Love and hugs to you all, barbara

  2. More sensory function sounds fantastic and I crossed my fingers, that this positive process goes forward. Send you all my love and bracing thoughts to all.

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