Melit Became the Sleeping Beauty

May 12, 2012

Room E ICU

Cagayan de Oro Medical Center


When she came out of surgery after seven grueling hours, Melit was unrecognizable. The nurses thought a man was admitted to ICU Room E. Her hair was gone and there were all sorts of tube attached to her. She looked so fragile that we were afraid to touch her body, much more her head although Dr. Cadiz encouraged us.
The seven hours included several procedures with Latin-sounding names: craniectomy (fronto-temporal-parietal); evacuation of intracerebral hemorrage; expansion duraplasty; and bone graft transplant of subcutaneous pouch in the left  abdominal wall. In other words, Melit had two incisions – in the head where the right part of  her skull was sewed off so that they can vacuum the blood and in her stomach where the planted the bone flap until such time when she is ready for another surgery where the bone flap will be screwed, literally, back to her head.

There were two things that struck us the most: one, she looked like a marrionette doll attached to several strings or tubes for that matter, and  Melit was in deep sleep.

Right there and then, we were introduced to the abbreviated world of medical science:

E.T. was endotracheal tube, which was attached to a mechanical ventilator that breathes for her.

NGT was nasogastric tube which was used for feeding (they call it enteral nutrition) and administration of oral medicines.

IV was intravenous lines for dextrose (parenteral nutrition) and  medicines. For her today, there are three IV lines: a dextrose, one for mannitol, and one for dopamine which has an infusion pump.

A catheter was attached to her bladder to drain the urine.

Another catheter was attached to her brain to drain excess fluids after the operation.

OD was once a day, Q6 is every six hours, OF was osteorized food, O2 Sat was oxygen saturation, HR was heart rate and so on and so forth. Every day was another abbreviation.

We looked at her and wonder how science and our faith saved her from death, but we were asking what science can do and what faith is required to bring her to life once again.

So far, Melit is in the world in between. She is not gone, and but still not with us. Not yet.


Vitals today: Blood Pressure –  (BP) 90/60

Temperature    –   37.7

O2 Sat – 100

Heart Rate: 61

Respiratory Rate: 22

Meds today: Mannitol, Dopamine, Ranitidine, Citicoline, Leviteracetam, Kalium Durules, Oxacillin, and Ceftriaxone.

Diagnostic Tests today: X-Ray, HGT, and CBC


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