Thursday, November 10, 2011

Time Keeps on Ticking

After surviving the trauma of Wednesday, what more could come our way? It was really strange & surreal to say, "My husband's on a ventilator". But hey, sometimes the truth hurts. They put a fancy balloon up his nose to stop his nose bleeds, so there was a tube coming out his nose. They put in a feeding tube, so there was a tube coming out of his belly with brown goo being pumped in constantly. He had a catheter because they were worried his abdominal muscles were not strong enough anymore. Since we walked into the ER triage room, he had a blood pressure cuff on his arm. He also had an IV, heart monitor, and pulse ox on for constant monitoring. Tubes & wires were coming out of him from every direction. And now, he had a tube coming out of his neck that was breathing for him. They no longer sedate people that are on the vent if they can help it, so he was aware of what was going on. He kept telling me that he didn't know how to breathe, and I had to keep reminding him to stop trying because the machine was doing it now. 

He was very agitated Thursday morning. His trach was gurgling, and he DID NOT like it! Our favorite doctor, the pulmonologist, said we made the decision just in time because he was drowning in secretions. Also, he could talk, which we did not expect. The doc said that means it was not working properly, and air was escaping around the bulb. They made some adjustments, and it got a little better. But he couldn't talk anymore. They also put in a better IV, and none too soon as his whole arm was swelling up with fluid. Other than that, it was a pretty easy day after the events of the day before. But then came the night. He had to be "cleaned out" for a colonoscopy in the morning. We got NO sleep! The only benefit was that they could put the solution directly into his stomach through his tube, so he didn't have to drink it. 

Friday was a colonoscopy and EGD, so he got scoped from each end. They didn't find anything, but while they were in there, they fixed his trach by moving it up on his neck. That means they made a second hole in his throat, but apparently they seal up very quickly. The surgeon told us it would be closed in 24-48 hours. This meant he could not talk at all now.... and I became an expert at reading his lips. I think I get bonus points for getting "Mila Kunis" (on the FIRST try) & Kennedy assassination!! Who else could have gotten those? Friday also brought us Page, his RN, who according to him was "easy on the eyes". He asked her how she felt about older, married, paralyzed men who had no income. I felt a little offended, but he clarified that he would not leave his wife! That's good to know!! 

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