Mark had a quiet day today. They took him off of his sedation meds last night at 11:00 and he hasn't been back on. As long as his heart rate, ICP (inter-cranial pressure), and blood pressure stay stable, they will leave him off of them. When he gets agitated from too much stimuli, or starts to realize he's awake and gets frustrated because he can't do certain things (talk, move, etc.) then they may have to sedate him again. These agitations make his heart rate, ICP and blood pressure rise.
Dr. Cook said he was doing fantastic 24 hours after surgery. There is no noticable swelling, which is quite amazing as they put so much titanium into his face. I found out the long sutures from his eyebrow to his bottom lid are to keep his bottom lid from sagging due to swelling. They went in behind his lower eyelid to put in screws. I asked if they were planning to do anymore surgeries, and they said no. The neurosurgeon put a titanium plate in the left side of his head before he closed his last surgery (Dec. 2nd). He needed the plate because just above his ear it had "shattered like when you drop a glass bowl on the floor".
The respiratory therapist is really pushing to get him off of his ventilator. Mark needs to have control of his airway which means that he could protect it by coughing or gagging if he were to vomit or have any kind of secretion get into his throat. He said there's a 50/50 chance they will have to do a tracheostomy (put a hole in his trachea/throat). I paniced, but it's really not that big of a deal. When he gets fully recovered as far as his airway is concerned, they just sew it closed and it heals just fine. He may have a little scar.
He has not had to have any cerebral fluid drained from his skull for 60 hours. I'm hoping they pull that drain in the next day or two. Once that happens, and he's off of the ventilator, he will probably be moved to another floor. Woohoo!
Mark slept a lot today, but during his alert time he really seemed to want to get his gown off. I call it his dress. I think he can feel the catheter and he wants it OUT! I don't blame him. I swear it's as big as a water hose. I really have to monitor him when he has visitors. If I don't, they'll have to give his room an NC17 rating. That's my Mark!
There is a journal in his room where visitors can write a note to him. I encourage all of you who read this to post a note here or in the journal if you visit his room. If not for him, then for me. I am so grateful for all of your concern and prayers. I would not be handling this well without them. I feel their power and influence, and I'm sure Mark does as well.