Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Comes Up...

Alex is getting a little better every day, but this first week of being awake has been rough so far. Hopefully easier days are ahead, and I'll be able to leave him and come back to work.

Right now he's needing someone with him at all times; I didn't expect that at this point in the process. He's coughing up the fluid from his pneumonia, and is constantly choking on his tracheostomy tube. It's scary and exhausting for him. I've become a "suction expert," clearing his tube before he starts hyperventilating. I think I'll have an honorary nursing degree before we're done here!

I'm spending nights in his hospital room jumping up to suction his tube clear so he doesn't panic. We're both exhausted, but unfortunately this is an unavoidable part of the process.

While he passed the "bedside swallow test" yesterday by successfully swallowing some water, some applesauce, and a small piece of cracker, he failed today's "more scientific" swallow test. The speech pathologist gave him some applesauce with blue food dye in it so that we could see whether he's aspirating things... and 15 minutes later he coughed blue goo out of his trach tube. Shoot.

It could just be that he's REALLY exhausted today; he hasn't had much energy at all. Not much talking, too much coughing, and they didn't even put him in his chair today, he was that tired. His mom had night duty last night, and she said he didn't sleep at all. He just coughed and choked most of the night. I think he's managed to get a little sleep today, but it's hard to tell. He certainly has spent a lot of the day coughing.

This part of the process really sucks. I hope we're through with it soon, but there's no way to know how long it will take. I'm home for a little while to take care of the cats, who are not adjusting well to the new food I'm slowly introducing into their diet; now I have cats with diarrhea who are getting dehydrated! I'll go back to the hospital to my night shift soon. Hopefully the nurse will hear him coughing from out at her station; they don't get in there very quickly, I hate to say.

6 comments:

  1. Just came over from Sew Retro, where I read that the road to recovery has potholes. I just wanted to say "happy birthday" a bit late to your husband, also "get well soon", and "happy anniversary" to the both of you.
    Gail

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  2. Oh dear heart, I've come for a visit from Blondies place. I wanted to stop in and let you know my thoughts and prayers are with you. I pray gentle hands touch your hubby today and start the healing process.. be sure to take time for you as well.. many many hugs ~lynne~

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  3. I'm sure this sounds silly to ask but... they can't just suck some of that goop out? No, or they would. So that's just a silly question and I apologize.

    Sending all of you, good thoughts for strength. Seems you all need this, as much as anything, right now.

    But of course, sleep comes first. And that's not easily come by, right now.

    Gentle hugs,
    Aunt Amelia

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  4. My gracious, you have not had a quiet moment in a long time. You need to fit in a few moments of time for yourself so you can recharge your batteries. This healing process can take all you have for so take care of yourself and in turn, you shall be able to give great care to Alex and your daughter.
    Soon all shall be right as rain :)

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  5. I followed you over here from Blondie's Journal. I have walked this same path you are on - so offering a shoulder or an ear - depends on what you need.

    It sounds like your husband is doing spectacular - trust me its the right word.

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  6. Thank you, ladies, for all your words of encouragement. It really helps so much.

    I am guiltily taking the night off and getting a shower, catching up on correspondence, and sleeping in my own bed....I know in the long run that helps Alex, but in the short run he's confused as to why I'm not there.

    @Aunt Amelia - I wish they could suck the goop out, but they're afraid the procedure will be too invasive and that his airway is already too compromised.... it's like a house of cards.

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