8:40 AM Sam had another stable and uneventful night. No big changes thus far. Trapper was still waiting for Doctors to round when he updated me this morning. It sounds like they didn't try to aggressively wake her last night and she had a restful night.
10:05 AM Trapper and family had a long, detailed conversation with the Doctor today. They discussed Sam's progress thus far, some expected outcomes and the length of recovery. Sam is progressing somewhat as expected, the doctor today was very hopeful about Sam's recovery. He was clear that she will not be the way she was before (100%), she may not regain the function of the left side of her body (it is too early to say this) but they felt based on where her brain damage occurred her cognition should recover. The brain is complex and many things factor into these types of injuries and the recovery. Sam is also not out of the woods yet with regard to possible complications moving forward.
Most of Sam's brain damage has occurred on the right side of her brain- this explains why the left side of her body is not working normally (the right side of the brain controls left motor movement). Other potential issues a person may experience when the right brain is damaged include (photo below for visual assistance): attention issues (difficulty focusing on tasks), left neglect (problems attending to things on the left side), Visual perception deficits (which may be worse since Sam's aneurysm was very close to her eye), Reasoning and problem solving, memory, organization (can come across as difficulty explaining a story), Social commmunication (trouble with non verbal cues, jokes etc). - I will note these are examples Im providing to help explain where her damage is- the doctor who spoke with Trapper and family today focused on Sams abilities - they expect her cognition, ability to speak etc will be intact and she may have more benefit with these areas because she is right handed. The two hemispheres of the brain work together but there is some thought that right handed people are left brain dominant- meaning maybe more skills are stored there. It is too early to know what she will do, but it was a very positive conversation in that they do beleive if we have no more set backs Sam will survive and have some quality of life.
In preparation for the long recovery they have plans to proceed with Tracheostomy (surgical incision in the neck to place her breathing tube directly into her trachea), as well as a permanent feeding tube directly into her stomach (both of these are currently in her mouth which is not a safe longterm option as the tubes contribute to oral sores and skin breakdown- they are also not comfortable). The dates have not been set yet for these but the tracheostomy is tentatively planned for Tuesday.
While we are understanding this is going to be a long road, that we are not out of the critical period for Sam yet- everyone has breathed a little lighter today knowing that we are one step closer to having our girl back. One step closer to hearing that beautiful laugh and seeing that bear hug of a smile. It was an uplifting conversation and we can all celebrate the small step forward. Please continue to send your positivity, love, energy and prayers to this family! Thank you all so very much.
2:35 PM Sam is having more vasospasms, she was taken for CTA to further evaluate. The vasospams are problematic, not necessarily unexpected but we don't like them. They have discussed doing another angiogram to try to go in and inject some of these areas with medication directly to try to minimize the vasoconstriction (she remains on IV medication to try to decrease these)- explained above in further detail but when she has a vasospams the vessel is clamping down and decreasing blood flow to that area, which then decreases oxygen to that area. At this time they do not believe the benefit of the angiogram outweigh the risk so for now they will continue to monitor. She will likely undergo multiple repeat CTA's over the next few weeks to continue to follow things closely and each time her care team with weigh the risks and benefits to Sam and choose what is best for her at that time. For today, no angiogram is planned as of yet. Thank you!
9:39 PM ( I apologize for the late update- this was actually started at 7 pm but I had some techinical difficulties with the website) Sam has undergone more scans today which appear stable/unchanged. They are concerned she may be having seizures (she is on medication to help prevent seizures right now), they have hooked her up to an EEG (electroencephalography- a test that detects abnormalities in the brain waves and/or the electrical activity ) to help evaluate this further. Sam seemed to have more active neuro checks mixed with some disheartening ones which prompted the scans. Overall Trapper felt good about the day in that her scans appear stable thus far.