Hannah's Get Well Site
Updates |  Leave Note |  Articles |  Hannah in ICU |  Car Pics |  Hannah Pics |  Day 25 | 

Week 2 (May 10 - May 16)

Thursday, May 16 11:30 AM
This update is from Hannah
Hey everybody. I'm doing good even though I have a tube down my throat. So just wanted to let everyone know that I'm ok ( for a person dying of boredom). For the first time in my life I have insomnia. Didn't know hospitals could give you that. Oh well. I actally have a bad case of neumonia. I'm not going to tell you my complaints, I have too many things to be grateful for. I'm learnineg how to walk again (I feel like an old lady with my walker). Thanx for all of your emails(that I still havent read yet) but I will, and for all your prayers. I really appreciate them.
With love,
Oh,and I forgot to mention that I still have no voice so if you decide to call all I can do is listen (which is ok).

Wednesday, May 15 10:00 PM
Hannah is finally out of ICU. She was moved to a room on the 4th floor today. At present, she doesn't have a roommate. She understands that getting out of ICU means she is one step closer to coming home, and that has lifted her spirits. Her neck is looking better today, it looks like the swelling has gone down some. I think the next hurdle is to get her where she can breathe when the trach is capped. For that to work, the swelling around her neck must continue to go down. Hopefully, they will know the correct antibiotic to give her in another day or two (from the cultures they took yesterday).
Even though Hannah is in her own room, she still does not have her voice. I have stressed to her not to answer the phone, but if she does and you don't hear anything, don't say I didn't tell you. :-)
They are increasing the "food" that Hannah is getting through her tube, which seems like another good thing. Mom and I are starting to take turns on days with Hannah. Tomorrow is my turn, so my update tomorrow should have more information. Thanks for checking in on Hannah's progress. I have received many comments about how often people are hitting this page, and we appreciate it. Thanks again!

Tuesday, May 14 11:15 PM
Hannah had a pretty good day. With the help of a walker and a physical therapest, she walked from her bed to the nursing station and back (about 40 feet). They did have to run a camera down her trach and check things from the inside. The doctor didn't see any problems, other than the fact that Hannah's trach has an infection. That is what is causing the swelling. They did some blood cultures (I need an "ICU for Dummies" book), and they are hopeful they will have something from that in a couple days. While they are waiting on that, they will use warm compresses and continue the antibiotics she is already on.
It has been a blast to have the whiteboard in Hannah's hand. I wanted to list a few of the things she has been "saying".
    "Leave, Get Dad" - When mom just couldn't stop looking for ways to "help"
    "I haven't eaten in 8 days" - It was actually more like 13, but what's a couple days
    When she read the article about the Mock crash canceled, "Bummer, I was really looking forward to that"
    After sitting in the chair for a little too long, "Please put me back in the bed, my butt is numb"
I know that I have thanked people for their prayers before, but I also want to thank you for the many emails (over 700 now). I have read many of them, and God has used them to help keep me encouraged. I printed them out and put them in a book for Hannah. She has started reading them, but she has a long way to go.
Hannah did get to read the first article from the paper tonight. She wrote, "I don't remember the whole day". That makes sense. Up until the accident, it was probably just like any other day, and the memory of those days all blend together. I also showed her a printed copy of the website, and she laughed hard on the captions under the picutres of the car. I know I got some mixed feedback on the picutres of the car, but her smile and her laugh settled it for me.

Tuesday, May 14 8:35 AM
Hannah is doing very well. The physical therapist had her walking around her room yesterday. They also removed her breathing machine yesterday. While she was in the coma, the machine did the breathing for her. As she was waking up and the drugs were wearing off, she was partially using the machine. If her breathing was not sufficient, the machine would compensate. For the past day or so, she has not used the machine at all. She is breathing oxygen from a tube connected to the console in the wall at the head of the bed. Her smile is typical Hannah. She is so anxious to get out of the hospital. She is not accustomed to having to be so dependent, and it is hard for her.
As you continue to pray for Hannah, pray for her neck. It is swollen around the trach tube. The doctor looked at it last night, and if it is worse today, they may have to remove the sutures and look around. I will find out more when the drama team make their rounds.

Sunday, May 12 7:30 PM
Finally, I have uploaded some new pics (4) to the HannahICU page. Hannah has had a pretty good day, but I think she gets frustrated because she can't do some of the things she would like. She really wants to talk (who would have guessed?), and she wants to walk. I think it is just one of those things where anything you do is not comfortable, and you want to do something else. If she is laying in bed, she may want to sit up in a chair. When they sit her up in the chair, she wants something else. Oh well, she is a teenager.
There is talk of Hannah getting into her own room tomorrow. We are not sure yet, but I will post it here as soon as I get a chance. I know she is up to typing, so I hope to have her doing an update or two this week.
As I have said before, we really appreciate the prayers that have been prayed for Hannah. I heard one person say that it is like an insult to ask God for the same thing more than once. This person felt that was a sign of impatience and a failure to wait upon the Lord. I respectfully disagree with this person. When I think of "hard prayer", I am reminded of the story Jesus told about the person who had went to bed for the night when a friend knocked on his door. The man didn't answer the door on the first knock or even the second, but because of the neighbor's persistance, the man answered the door. (My Bible is not in front of me, so if somebody wants to send me the chapter and verse, I will post it). I know many people "prayed hard" for Hannah, and that is why she is with us today. Thanks!

Sunday, May 12 00:10 AM
I apologize for the late update. I have been selfishly spending the evening with Hannah having a great time. Earlier in the day, I told her I needed to get her picture for the web, but she didn't want me to, so I didn't get any pictures uploaded today. I talked with her tonight, and she understands why I think it would be good for people to see how she is looking now compared to before.
We have worked out hand signals for her to let me know when she is in pain, wants water, is too hot, and a few other things. I quized her later, and she remembered all of the signals (typical Hannah). I felt like Mr. Miyagi* (Karate Kid), saying, "Show me Hannah in pain".
It was awesome to spend the evening with Hannah. The roles are backwards. Usually, she is the one telling the long stories, and I am listening. Now, she has to lay there and listen to me ramble. It was awesome to see her really laugh when I read her the letter from Emily (which is with the articles on the site), and I got to the part about "You look like a machine". Somebody asked if the trach was permanent. No, it is not. They don't like to leave a breathing tube in for more than 2 weeks (because of infection). They tried to remove Hannah's tube, but she was having trouble breathing, so they had to do the trach. I don't have a clue how long she will need it, but when they remove it, she will be left with a small battle scar.
I have received some good feedback concerning putting the emails online. No matter what we do, I will not post any email addresses. Also, some people have contacted me to let me know theirs was personal, and I will be sure not to post those.

* Thanks to IMDB for the correct spelling of Mr Miyagi's name

Saturday, May 11 8:00 AM
Hannah is doing great. She has been writing things to us throughout the night. They are going to try to put a valve on her trach tube that will allow exhaled air to go through her vocal cords. If that works, she should be able to talk some. I think it is a simple as pulling the tube off her trach, putting the valve over the tube, and plugging the tube into the valve. Is is not surgical, and they will not leave it on. It is just something they can do "as needed" when Hannah is trying to tell us something (which for her would be all the time).
Last night, I figured out that Hannah was asking me what the date was. When I told her it was May 10, she looked sad. I asked what was wrong, and this time I could read her lips. She said Prom. She didn't dwell on it, but it did bother her.
On another note, Lisa, one of the nurses that had her on one of the first nights dropped by. We were telling Hannah about all of the great nurses she has had. I told her that has only been one that I had a problem with. She asked for the whiteboard and wrote, "I can guess which one". When we saw what she had wrote, her mom and I along with Lisa just looked at each other. Hannah quickly looked at Lisa and shook her head no, telling her it wasn't her. People say that patients don't remember much from the ICU. Well, right now Hannah is remembering.
The last 12ish hours have been some of the best hours of my life. It is so cool to see Hannah being Hannah. She is still complaining of being hungry, but they should be able to start the tube feedings today. She is also adjusting to her nose and mouth not working the same, but she will get used to that.
I hope to do an update later today and include a new picture of Hannah without all the tubes and IVs coming from everywhere. Thanks again!

Friday, May 10 11:00 PM
Hannah is waking up and doing great! She is still on the sedative Diprivan (at 18), but she is very aware that we are there. I had a little whiteboard and some markers with me in case she tried to tell me something. When I got there and walked up to her bed, she pulled the pen from my shirt and wanted to write something. I grabbed the whiteboard, and we were able to communicate with her. Her legibility is terrible, but we figured out a couple of things she wanted. At one point, I told her not to write things in Spanish, because I only read English. She grinned at me. One thing she said is that she is hungry. That was a bummer, because they can't feed her until tomorrow, because her stomach is still sore from getting the tube today. Once I explained that to her, she never mentioned it again (typical Hannah). Next, she let us know she was hot. She is running a little temperature, and she has these things on her legs to help her circulation. We put a cool washcloth on her head, and she loved it. Whenever it started to get warm, she would grab my hand and point toward the sink. I would run it under cold water, and put it back on her forehead. Her last request was the hardest to figure out. Her question was "Can I take a bath?". Mom talked with her nurse, and she said sure. So, mom was giving her a sponge bath when I left to update the site.
Right now, I don't know how the news could be any better. She is doing much more than I had hoped for this early in the game. As I said before, I know there are some bends in the road ahead, but I am very excited about what lies ahead. I will try to get a picture of her tomorrow and put it on the site.
PS, I have the emails printed out for Hannah to read, but I was thinking of sharing them on the site. My only regret is that I didn't think to tell people up front that their comments would not be private. I have read most of the emails, and I don't see anything that would be a problem. I am still thinking this over, and I am open for input. If you would like to let me know what you think, Click here to send me feedback.

Friday, May 10 2:05 PM
The doctor just came out and told us that everything went well. The nurse is cleaning things up and we should be able to go in and see Hannah. They gave her some pretty decent drugs for the surgery, so she will be out of it for a couple hours. When she does wake up, she will not be able to talk, but I look forward to doing the head shake thing with her. I will try to post an update later tonight, after I have had a chance to "quiz" her some. I know there are many people still praying hard for Hannah, and I know she appreciates it, as do we.

Friday, May 10 10:00 AM
The trach is scheduled for 1:00 today. They it said it may take around an hour. I am looking forward to when it is done, because Hannah should be off the drugs and able to communicate (but not talk). I should be able to update a little quicker now, since we found a modem line close. I am about 8 feet from Hannah right now...

Friday, May 10 9:45 AM
Hannah is resting peacefully now. We are waiting for the Drama team to come through and let us know when they are going to do the trach. I wrote to Hannah in the journal I am keeping to her that it is cool that she is ministering to people even when she is laying in a hospital bed sedated. The nurse she had for the past two nights had been caring for another patient that didn't make it. The first night, she said Hannah is just what she needed that night. Last night, while she was cleaning Hannah, Hannah looked at her and smiled. I know I am just a tad bit biased, but I think she is one of the greatest kids a father could ever have.
I will try to update the site as soon as I know what time the trach will be. Thanks again for your prayers and support!
Week 2 (May 3 - May 9)
Week 1 (April 26 - May 2)