Amanda is now able to open her eyes on command for very short periods, and she is ‘tracking’ which means her pupils can follow movement, but only to the ‘midline’, so from her far left to the point right in front of her nose. With a left-side brain bleed it’s likely she has no awareness of the right side of her body at this stage and so acknowledges nothing to the right of an imaginary line running down the centre of her body, from the top of her head to her toes.
She has very limited use of her left hand and can softly gently grip on command. She has been using it to investigate the various wires, lines and the breathing tube, which the doctors are keen to take out, but only once she is more awake than asleep.
Her heart rate is good and a chest xray yesterday was clear. She also had a second MRI scan but her neurosurgeon is frustrated that the image is still too blurred by the remaing blood in her brain to be able to see what caused the bleed, and he is keen to find out.
She has a temperature, which is her brain’s way of killing the bugs it thinks are causing her to be ill. But no infection so far. Meanwhile they are doing regular blood checks and also making sure the breathing tube isnt causing infection.
I watch the heart monitor and know when it gets up around 95 – 100 that she is awake and will be able to hear me. She knows I’m there as she twiddles my wedding ring as I hold her hand.
Today is her 53rd birthday. I have all her cards but don’t intend to even mention it in case it upsets her (although that would be hard to tell)
As she is in for the long haul they gave me a diary to start keeping as she will need to know what’s been happening during this time. They have also set up a daily whiteboard which once she can see it, will help plan and focus on each day. She’d love that level of organisation!
As you would expect the nurses are amazing and just sit at the foot of her bed watching, noting stuff down, and keeping busy around her, keeping her comfortable medicated and hygienic.
But today will be a hard one. Not a ‘Happy Birthday’, but maybe a ‘Many Happy Returns’.