Monday, February 7, 2011

Rachael Hinkle Update #13

Updates will be found on a website that has been setup for Rachael

Please forgive us for the long delay between updates. There has been much going on that demands much of our time. Here is the latest information:

Rachael remains in a Ranchos 3 state of cognition. This is one step below what is needed for participatory rehabilitation. We continue to pray for the next step. She is breathing on her own but they do assist her with 2 ml of oxygen. She has breathed room air on her own. She is still being fed via the PEG tube. Though based on input from some professionals that she was swallowing, she does not swallow.  She is trying to figure it out.  As I mentioned earlier on, swallowing is voluntary to the back of the throat then becomes involuntary. Often, brain injury patients need to learn to swallow again.

Rachael's heart rate has never settled to the normal rate you would want for a woman her age. Since the accident it has been very rapid. We need prayer to have the Lord bring that heart rate down to normal.
She is moving much more than she was several weeks ago. She is regularly moving her right arm up and down and moving most of the right side of her body. She can move the left side but almost all activity is focused on her right at this time. She does fix her eyes upon us at times. Though this could be coincidental, the stare is focused on our eyes. We have brought this to the attention of the neurologists. One stated that he has experience with occipital lobe strokes and it is pretty much 50 50 on outcome if full vision returns. The injury from Hypoxia and stroke are similar with the exception that Hypoxia impacts the whole brain and a stroke can be localized to specific areas. We are not yet sure that Rachael can see. The doctor is going to try another test to see if there is involuntary tracking with her eyes.
We do know that she follows sound. She also opens her eyes if the room has been quiet for a while and we speak. This is not always the case. Remember there is a sleep/wake cycle to coma patients.

Her temp was normal for a few days but has been on the high side of the 90's for a while. We think she may be getting a cold as indications suggest this.

We are getting trained up on how to care for Rachael at home. Nancy much more than I as I am teaching during the day. Nancy has had to leave the school due to caring for Rachael. We are both comfortable with trache work and suction.

So where from here? Our goal and desire is to get her home. There will be much work needed for this to happen. We will need to do some remodeling for her to have a shower room. There are other considerations here at the house to make it possible to care for her.  We are getting equipment that she will need. Prior to coming home, she will be in a local health care rehab facility. We are not sure which one. We should know more on Tuesday.

Nancy is holding out well. Very well. We call it "in context of what is going on we are doing well" Yes there are bumps. There are terrible valley times and then there are the times that he speaks and lifts her up. Myself, I can't wait for the day that I can shed this skin and be with our Lord.  Until that time though, I too have the valleys, different ones than Nancy's. We discussed our feelings the other night. We are open about what we are feeling. We check on each other often.  For both of us we find solace in His word. We do serve a mighty, awesome and very personal God. I wish that all reading this could know, without the trial, of what an intimate relationship he offers when we let all go to Him.

We are sharing our faith with folks that we meet along the way. Nancy has been shyer in the past about sharing her faith with strangers but now responds to the leading of the Lord and has been sharing with several folks.  We will share our message with anyone that the Lord brings our way with Rachael.  We both know that without Jesus Christ, such times as these must be hopeless and lonely.  We wish no one to know that depravity of hope.

So to summarize:

Rachael is still in a Coma Ranchos level 3.
We are moving her to a health care rehab facility in the next few days.
Our plans are to have her home as soon as possible.

For Rachael's heart rate to lower.
For the proper health care facility
For protection against infections and virus
For myself and Nancy and our marriage
For Daniel and Hanna to remain steadfast in Christ.
For Rachael to be healed.
For the folks we speak to, that they will come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

We remain in the shadow of his wings,

Burt and Nancy

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