|My Future's So Bright, I Have to Wear Shades
Well, this week's had it's share of speed bumps. If you remember, last week Aaron had lab work that showed he was doing well on his reduced vent settings, so it was time to try to decrease them again. Um, yeah, that one didn't go so well.
In the beginning, it looked pretty good. He wasn't breathing faster, no more than the usual oxygen. He was still needing Albuterol and Flovent for his asthma, but not that much. In fact, I had spent some time on the phone with the trach/vent coordinator on Tuesday going over plans for the next six weeks. We'll be taking some time to go to Bear Lake with family, and needed to make sure we had plans for everything. He was looking really good. Key word in that sentence: was.
It takes about 24 hours for the lungs and body to adjust to new situations. And then, if it's less support (altitude, oxygen, ability to process, whatever) the body works harder. And sometimes, it gets tired. Yep, about 8 o'clock on Tuesday night, Aaron's body decided that it was really hard to do this with less of the constant pressure (PEEP). But I didn't know that was what it was because we've also got the asthma component. Plus, he was working really hard on dirtying his diaper. Face it, that can be really hard work! The upshot of it all was, he wasn't able, even with the ventilator's help, to maintain his airway enough to sustain him.
So we got him taken care of and resting comfortably again, and back on the vent. He repeated it again, although not quite as severely, the next morning. That time he needed a ton of oxygen but was able to stay on the ventilator. That's when I turned his PEEP back up to let him rest. After 48 hours, I tried it again. This time it was only about three hours before he was struggling again. So, at least for the next several weeks, we're just going to let him rest and hang out. We'll let his lungs get good and used to it, and we may start pulling him off again for a little while here and there, just letting him do all the work but for much shorter periods of time. This marathon may just take a lot longer to train for.
Another bump, I'm hoping it's a nothing/minor one, is that his heart rate has been elevated the past few days. On Thursday, I took him in because I thought he might have a urinary tract infection. Nope, that looked good. It might be his ears, but we usually get drainage and there's none. He's a lot more restless than normal. So who knows what's happening. He's not telling. But I did keep him home from church, and we're watching, closely.
He's got his third birthday coming up. It's on the 13th, but Daddy and most of the kids are busy running a cub scout day camp that week, so we'll be celebrating on the 15th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. We'd love to have anyone who wants to come by join us for cake and a balloon release. Once again, as always, we are so grateful for all the faith and prayers that sustain us and Aaron.