About this blog

After sharing e-mail after e-mail with my mother's friends and family I decided that it would be more efficient to put this information on a blog so that it would be centrally located. Here you will find information mostly on Fredi Balzano's health struggles. Feel free to contact me with specific questions.

See my other blog at daisybrainlives.blogspot.com for thoughts on knitting and cooking and other family highlights.

Thanks everyone.

Tracy B.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

June 11, 2007

Hi Everyone:

Tracy here with more news about Fredi.

When last we heard of her progress (or lack thereof) she was recovering from surgery to repair her hiatal hernia, had been off the ventilator and breathing on her own and then suffered a setback, was suffering from fevers was back on antibiotics and the ventilator, was moved back to ICU so they could isolate her infection.... yada, yada, yada. She wasn't responding to the antibiotics and so they did a nuclear med study where they remove some of her blood, treat it with it with isotopes to tag the white blood cells, reintroduce the blood to her body and give her a CT scan to see where those little white cells go. That's where the infection is. So... by the time they did this she was finally responding to the antibiotics and it turns out that it was just another rather vehement pneumonia.


She is back on the 14th floor at St. Vinnie's being weaned from the ventilator once again. She has been fever free for a week and the biggest concern is keeping her infection free. Going to see her requires gown and gloves and she is kept cleaner than she would like. She is always complaining that they want to give her a bath. She has been watching TV but is frustrated by the fact that she couldn't partake of the Sopranos because the hospital TV doesn't have HBO. She gets OT and PT almost every day and I will be bringing her something to squeeze so she can work on her hand strength.

I have been trying to convince her to allow more visitors. She still refuses.

I have had a few of you ask about her tracheostomy and when she will be able to talk again. She asks the same questions. From what I know these are the steps:
Slowly reduce the support she receives from the respirator until she is breathing on her own all or most of the time
Begin reducing the size of the balloon blocking access to her trachea to see if she aspirates when she swallows. This will be key to knowing if the tracheostomy will be able to be reversed. The whole picture is not just about the free flow of air but also the free and appropriate assimilation of swallowed matter including her own secretions.

Assuming all goes well, it will take weeks but the goal is to get her breathing on her own and swallowing efficiently. Keep your fingers crossed or whatever else works for you.

I am attaching August's School photo for any of you who care. He is getting big.


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