Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, January 12

The last couple days have gone fairly quietly for Bill.  His right lung is either holding steady or perhaps getting a little worse, depending on which doctor you ask.  It sounds like there are plans to surgically correct this and I will describe that in more detail when I learn more.  Just to give you some idea though, I've copied in a diagram lifted from the National Library of Medicine's website that shows a pneumothorax.

Now, the surgical procedure diagrammed in the link above is NOT the procedure Bill will have.  I'm including this picture to show you that a pneumothorax (or collapsed lung) occurs when air escapes from a hole in the lung and gets trapped between the lung and a surrounding membrane.  The affected lung is unable to expand fully and therefore the body's ability to oxygenate blood is greatly reduced.  This diagram also shows a chest tube (Bill currently has two) that are hooked to a very gentle suction device.  This pulls the air from the pneumothorax and allows the lung to expand fully again.  I'm not sure if  Bill's pulmonary doc is concerned that the chest tubes aren't working that well or that this part of his lungs has already failed a couple times in the past or perhaps both.  Either way, I will describe the corrective surgery when I learn a little more about it.

Aside from that, I think he's doing pretty well this week.  Because of the lung issues he is not able to do much in the way of physical therapy, but he is having a good visit with Dad and Nancy.


  1. Just got through watching videos of the Shepherd Center and the fantastic people there. Also got excited by a video on youtube that showed a guy using an electric fishing rod. He can reel in with a head gear gadget that controls the reel and there's an air pressure device that can snap the rod to snag the fish!
    I'm glad you got a chance to go home for awhile, Sarah. Bill's in good hands.

  2. Hey Bill!! Hope your weather down there is a little sunnier than up here! Hopefully everything's a bit more comfy down there!! Can't wait to hear more good news on how you're doin! love ya!