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