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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

DAY 5: Trach Scares!

KT must have a lot of thick junk in her lungs, because we keep having panicky incidents where she gets a trach plug and cant breathe. This hasn't been such a problem during previous surgeries, because she usually has her mouth to breathe through as a backup, but since it's wired shut, her trach is her only source of air.  I've handled 2 incidents on my own (I'm on the night shift), and Pam's handled 3 such emergencies during the days.  When it happened again this morning, I hadn't yet put my leg on, so I frantically tried to get my leg on while hopping over to grab the replacement trach to change it out, and KT really got hyper-panicked!   I yelled out the door, "EMERGENCY!" and I found out why they have a Quick Response Team!  Within SECONDS there were 6-8 people scrambling into the room, including an ENT Doctor, and they took over for me.  KT finally coughed up a big clog, and then everything started settling back down, but it spooked her badly.  She's had a pounding headache all day from that scare.
She has 2 of these battery-powered electrodes to
control pain on her rib harvest sight and one on each jaw.

Dr M believes the swelling has peaked and will decrease from here.  He is concerned about the firmness of the gland area under the left jaw area and started antibiotics today as a precaution.  Her blood pressure has been a bit low for 24 hours now (~90/60), so they've stopped the IV medication Dilaudid.  That also puts her a step closer to being able to come home to the Ronald McDonald House, which is only 3 blocks from the hospital.  She's light-headed when she walks, but her rib pain has significantly reduced, which is great news!  I think the little battery-powered stimulators that Dr. Matthews put on her ribs during surgery (see photo to the left) really helped accelerate that part of the recovery process.  Two days later, he put the same little gadgets on each of her lower jaws, but they haven't seemed to be as effective in that location, for some reason.

She's been quite loopy today, but Pam and she had a calm day since the trach incident this morning, which happened before Pam got here.  KT showered and walked today.

They just had a fire alarm on the 3rd floor of the hospital.  They told us to stay put and keep our door closed. We're on the 5th floor.  15 minutes later and I haven't even seen a fire engine!  Weird.  

1 comment:

  1. Just read all the updates and .....whew!!!! what a week to remember for all of you. It sounds like it takes time but she is going in the right direction. ;)