Tricia arrived at Duke yesterday morning around 7am via ambulance. For the past 5-6 days, her breathing has steadily become more difficult. She has also had increasingly severe headaches and nausea. I suspected she was experiencing high CO2 levels. Shortly after arriving at the emergency room, she was placed on a BiPAP machine. Within an hour, her headache was gone, and within 5 hours her CO2 level had dropped from above 100 to 80. Normal CO2 levels are between 30-40.
Around 3pm Tricia was moved from the ER to the ICU. She'll stay on the BiPAP for as long as needed. If she continues to show signs of improvement, she could be moved out of the ICU to a step-down unit. The doctors believe she may have a virus which has weakened her lungs to the point that she can't exhale properly to discharge the necessary amount of CO2. She is being tested to determine if she does have a virus and has been placed on some antibiotics.
Landing in the ICU is never a good thing. It can be very difficult for somebody in Tricia's condition to recover, and although the ICU is the "best" place to receive the treatment she needs, it is nearly impossible to relax and sleep. We are praying that she'll be out of the ICU as soon as possible.
Thankfully, the transplant team is keeping her on the list, and they are hopeful she'll receive another call very soon.