Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cruddy Cold

Here we go again.  Aaron and I have both managed to come down with a nasty cold.  This time last year, we spent ten days in the PICU fighting for his life, and we probably should have stayed longer.  Yeah, because of a cold.  I rarely rant on here, but that one caused me to write this.   The next few days, the attending was shaking his head and saying things like, "I don't know what else we can do."  Not words a mother EVER wants to hear. 

I don't think we'll be going that round again.  At least, I hope not.  For now, I'm able to support him here at home.  He's junky, but we can clear his lungs after suctioning.  He's using more oxygen, sometimes a LOT more oxygen, but we can come back down to close to his baseline.  We're also giving him albuterol as needed.  It's still sometimes hard to tell if he needs it.  And if he doesn't need it, it will actually make breathing harder, not easier.  See, albuterol relaxes the airways and opens them up so breathing is easier.  But if the problem is that they are already too relaxed, floppy, then it makes them even floppier.  Yeah, see the fun?

I did finally call up to the hospital and spoke to C.  She is amazing.  I just wanted someone to double check my thinking.  I had already increased the PEEP on his ventilator back to where it was before we took the most recent step towards weaning him off.  When he's sick is certainly not the best time to be challenging his lungs.  She agreed that for now, we're probably just fine staying home.  If he ends up on 8-9 liters (yeah, I did say sometimes it's a lot more) for long periods of time, we'll obviously have to head in.  In reality, if I can't get him below 6 liters, we're probably on our way.  And I also really appreciated that one of the first things she asked was how I felt things were going.  She knows, but reminded me, that if I'm not happy with things, I know how to get help and get up there.

But on the positive side, he's still smiling.  I have to laugh (except it makes me cough), I'm the one with the drugs to help me feel better, but he's the one smiling.  There's something wrong here.  I guess it's that he fully appreciates being alive, and maybe I need to work on being more grateful for daily breath. 

Oh, and by the way, that trach stoma that we're watching, well, we're still watching it.  But it's bleeding a bit every day, so we'll probably have to do something about it soon.  

So I'll try to keep everyone posted.  Hopefully, it will be another few days and we'll both be feeling better.  I apologize for not having a picture.  I've discovered that I need to be watermarking them because some have been "borrowed" for other purposes that I have nothing to do with.  And frankly, I just don't have the energy to do that right now. 

Here's praying that Lone Peak EMS gets to sleep soundly all night, and have a boring day tomorrow.  I'm hoping that no one has an emergency, but I'll be honest, mostly I'm hoping that WE don't need to see them.  They're great, don't get me wrong.  But I'd rather just wave at them in our local parade.

A family is a unit composed not only of children 
but of men, women, an occasional animal, 
and the common cold.  
 – Ogden Nash

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