Akilah was unable to see her "totem." Well, it was really because we weren't allowed to bring the callalillies into the ICU for risk of bacteria. But even if we had brought them in, she might not have seen them continuously. She was slipping in and out of consciousness -- deeply snoring one minute, then awakening the next, swearing up-and-down that she'd been awake the whole time without interruption.
The doctors said that she is not out of the woods yet. Dr. Weingart and Dr. Blanco have been in touch, trying to help manage her pain, and explaining to us -- along with nurse Hazel -- that they cannot give too much sedation or pain medication, despite the serious surgery. They have to make sure over the next two hours that she actually feels everything, that the surgery has not affected other areas of her body, and that her sleep is not due to some post-op malfunction.
So they are keeping her in a near-dream state, with as minimal medication as possible while still trying to make it manageable for her. It is hard, because she said initially that she was in extreme pain -- an 11 on a scale of 1-10 at one point, but then it was quickly brought down to "8" or "9." Still pretty daunting. With the next dosage, it is supposed to go down even more. Dr. Blanco tells us that this particular medicine takes about a half hour to take full effect. I hope they strike the right balance. I hope she will soon wake up in the next post-op room, outside of the ICU (or here NCCU - Neruosurgery Critical Care Unit), and see her totem without pain. We read some Qur'an and it was nice to see her deep frown slacken if just a bit.
Mom and David are here and feeling much relief that Step 1 is over. Sabrina has been helping keep vigil today, too, and just left. We'll all be even more relieved when we pass this next Step. Next update just as soon as the totem a) stops spinning and/or b) becomes visible (well, when we're allowed to bring them in)!