Friday, July 04, 2008


I’ve got to say that I really don’t know what to make of this day. I am completely exhausted. Physically, mentally and emotionally. Let me start with the positives of the day.
Positive #1: After 3 hours in Specials Lab we were able to get the broviac in a femoral vein in Elaina’s left leg. Yay! Best choice out of what we had to choose from. She now has 2 lumens for medications, etc. Her RA’s (lines put into her aorta at surgery) are coming out tomorrow.

Positive #2: Cath Lab was also today, and Dr Gray was able to access the “plump collateral” that we’re hoping was causing all the problems. He put a coil in it and now we’re just waiting for it to clot off (can you imagine, I’m praying for clots…).

Positive #3: Her gases are slowing improving. Well, she’s only had 3 since she got back from cath lab. The numbers that they are the most worried about are her PO2’s (partial pressure of oxygen in the blood) and her blood saturations. Normal PO2’s are between 60 &100. They want her saturations in the 80’s or above.
4:30 blood gas: PO2 31 Saturation 51
8:30 blood gas: PO2 34 Saturation 63
12:30 blood gas: PO2 38 Saturation 69
So she’s making progress. All I can do is pray that this continues and that we’ve found the underlying cause of her poor oxygenation.

Now, the not so positive parts of the day. The broviac is in Elaina's left femoral vein. Her left femoral artery is the one that was damaged by the art line earlier this week. Her circulation is very poor in this leg. We still can't find a pulse in her ankle or her foot and her foot is very dusky with sluggish capillary refill. It was warmer tonight than it was this afternoon, but it's still got a long way to go. THEN, I was given “THE talk” by the doctors and Palliative Care. If the procedure that was done in Cath Lab is not successful, if her oxygenation does not improve, there is not much that can be done to make things better. Elaina is currently on full support on the ventilator. They could possibly go a little higher on the nitric oxide, but it probably wouldn’t make a significant difference. There are still 2 collaterals that they were not able to coil. I’m not sure if this is because they were too small or if it’s because they are in a spot that the catheter couldn’t get to. Right now, they are not much of an issue, but if the blood flow “plumps” them up we could be right back where we are now. Also, because of all of this, they are concerned that there is just too much stress on her heart and they want me to think about what I want to have done if her heart stops. I also need to think about what I would do if this procedure doesn’t work and her saturations continue to drop. There were no surgical interventions offered to me. So, I may possibly have to make the hardest decision of my life. Needless to say, most of my day was spent in tears and in prayer. I would like to ask everyone if they would be willing to have a special fast for Elaina on Sunday. I know that God can work miracles. I know that He can heal the sick. Please join with me in her behalf on Sunday.

Now that I’ve depressed everyone, I’d like to close on a more positive note. The reason that I was so late posting was that I was finally able to hold my sweet precious Elaina for 3 whole hours tonight!!!!!!! This is the first time I’ve been able to hold her since June 11th. It was a beautiful, tender experience for both of us.


Krista said...

There is nothing better than holding your little sweetie for the 1st time in weeks...that's the best medicine for us mommies.

My heart breaks for you after reading about having "the talk". Our God is in the miracle business...keep believing.

Feel free to email me if you would like to "chat" one mom who totally understands (

Isabella said...

Hollie I am in tears and my heart is breaking for you. That is the most difficult talk you can ever have with a doctor. Don't give up hope (I know you won't). I am so glad you got to hold her, what a precious time it must have been for the both of you. I know that miracles do happen. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and we will be fasting with you on Sunday.

Vaeh's Blog said...

Oh, Hollie dear! I am in tears of sorrow & joy for you right now! I am so saddened about "the talk." For everything that our Vaeh has been through, we have been blessed to have never had "the talk," & I thank God for that! I cannot even begin to understand what you are experiencing right now. I just wish that I could come to sit with you & just give you a big hug:) So, just imagine a squeeze from me!

I am also in tears of joy as you were able to hold your beautiful little girl!! I think the most amazing feeling in the world is being able to hold you child for the first time... there is nothing like when they place that baby in your arms after birth. I think the only thing that would come even remotely close is the moment you are able to hold them after surgery!

Know that we continue to pray for you every moment we can & we'll be praying for you always!

Kathy said...

My heart is breaking for you too...Hollie...this is not the post I was looking forward to reading this morning.

You know what I need to tell them to call my Dr. Hanley and you're flying her to Stanford.

I HOPE HOPE HOPE and pray that things get better for Elaina.

If you EVER need to meet a miracle baby (I mean...even more SO than all of us) need to talk to Callie's mom (Karen)...her carepage is: CSTAPP (I think you have to ask permission first, but, then she will grant you access). Miracles DO NOT give up hope!

and how wonderful that you were able to hold your little angel. I know that she needed that!!! should call Krista..she's the MOST AWESOME MOM!!!

Lots of love,

Cornfields, children and waterballet said...

Oh Hollie--

I've talked with your Mom a couple of times this week. I forwarded on your "fast" request for Elaina to many of the LDS Ward members here in Kearney. Many of your dad's students have been asking about Elaina as well.

I hope that you can find the peace and strength you need right now to be able to face the road ahead of you.

You are in our prayers today!

the Snider Family
Kearney, NE

Valerie said...

I'm so glad that you got to hold Elaina! And I'm glad that you are trying to look at the positives in the midst of all this. You and the sweetheart have so much love flowing your way! Keep your chin up, just keep pushing one day at a time. I love you, and Elaina. You will have my prayers and fast on Sunday.

Love forever,

Gourley Family said...

What a wonderful blessing to be able to hold her! I got to hold sweet Ryker 3 times in his little life, and those moments were beyond precious! I loved every minute of it! I am praying for sweet Elaine, and for you!
All our hugs and love,
Emily and Mike

Vanessa said...

My heart is breaking for you right now. I can only imagine the pain your going through. Just remember that miracles happen and I'll be in agreement for a complete miracle on Elaina's behalf.

You have some wonderful moms, like Krista, who know what it's like to go through situations like this. Utilize these contacts when you are having a bad (or good) moment.