It’s was a couple of rough days for Ryan. Hopefully, it has ended. From overnight Sunday until later in the afternoon yesterday I was struggling to keep his oxygen saturation up. Oxygen saturation, in layman terms, is really nothing more than a measurement of how much oxygen is reaching the body’s cells. Anything above 92% is acceptable. Below 88% is immediately concerning.
Ryan was hovering mostly between 88% and 92%. Those thirty-six hours were crammed with around-the-clock nebulizer treatments, deep suctioning, oral suctioning, chest percussions, and supplemental oxygen. At one point, he momentarily dipped to 86%, giving me reason to quickly grab his “go bag” and pull my personal provisions together for a trip to the emergency room if it didn’t recover. Thank goodness, it did. It repeated all his treatments and it bounced back.
My concern was the cold he had last week had settled in his respiratory system. I kept envisioning his lungs filled with fluid. In my mind, this vision was a mental x-Ray. Still, there were no other indicators that this was the case. His body temperature was normal. His lungs sounded clear. The best course of action was to stay the course, continuing aggressive treatment.
By early afternoon yesterday Ryan was improving. He was sustaining 93% with productive coughs. I pulled him from supplemental oxygen, after slowly weaning him down from eight-plus liters (this is 100%) per hour. It wasn’t until early evening when he was holding up well on his own. I crossed my fingers and wished for a good night.
Turns out, it was a good night for him. Not once did he go below 96% oxygen saturation. He rested well.
I’d like to say I rested well too, but I was still worried. Sue is out-of-town for the entire week on business and I didn’t want her worrying until it was necessary. That happened yesterday morning, but last night was not so. Most people text about what to pick-up for dinner… ours is a bit different. What the hell, here it is:
Sue: How was the night?
Me: Oxygen was low. Had to give some supplemental oxygen. Touch-and-go since I got him out of bed at 4am. Doing extra percussion, nebulizer, deep suctioning, etc. Pulse up (high 80’s). Lungs sound like they typically do… at least so far.
Sue: Do I need to come home?
Me: No. I’m watching him closely.
Sue: Is he on oxygen now?
Me: No. Also, temperature is fine. Currently 97.1 axillary.
Sue: That’s good.
I did get more sleep than the previous two nights though. Albeit, in fits. I’m exhausted… but not totally exhausted. I still have some fuel in the tank. Coffee helps.