Ryan got an early jump on the day and was in the HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Treatment) well before 5:30 am. Hey, I was
already up never asleep, so Ryan needed to be a good sport and get moving early. Unfortunately, our nurse called out (car troubles). This comes on the heels of not being schedule a nurse on New Years day. Worse yet, this Saturday is not staffed yet (and likely won’t). The good news is I’m on the final-third of what amounts to a 36 hour shift.
I’m so tired it hurts.
Enough about my woes, since it won’t change a damned thing anyhow.
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary since Ryan was in the ICU. I’m stunned that he stayed (generally) healthy for that length of time. Most people with a TBI (traumatic brain injury) will make at least two trips a year into intensive care. Normally this is related to “complications” (oh, how I hate that word) from the injury. The two heavy-hitters are pneumonia and severe urinary tract infections.
I cannot help but believe we played a large part in keeping him healthy. For one, we did urine tests every day to stop any UTIs that developed before they got out-of-control. We often diagnosed that Ryan had one before he showed any clinical symptoms. I also believe that our attention to keeping him mobile staved-off respiratory infections. Even when they started brewing, we were able to get ahead of it with aggressive measures (most notably, deep suctioning). Along the way, we had some luck on our side. All it would have taken was for him to throw-up (or even just reflux slightly) and suck it back into his lungs.
Now that I think about it, we definitely deserve some credit. Yes we do, by George.
We always kept Ryan’s head at least 30 degrees inclined when he was on his back, reducing — but not eliminating — the risk of aspiration. We also kept his mouth healthy (dare I say, pristine?), brushing every two hours. On those occasions when he did bring something up (at least the ones we knew about), I always assumed the worst, that he aspirated, and went straight to deep suctioning and chest percussion therapy. I forced him to cough violently, thus (hopefully) clearing his lungs.
Come to think of it, I should also add how I was adamant about not putting too much into his stomach at any time. He never had more than 350ml at any time (i.e., the average adult male’s maximum volume is 1,000ml). Since Ryan has a g-tube, I would always withdraw what was in his stomach, measure it, put it back in, and only add to the 350 ml threshold.
You know, I guess I deserve to give myself more credit than I originally thought… this makes me feel good.
I hope you visit (or revisit), comment on, and share the article about the Chick Magnet. It’s in serious contention for a $50,000 grand prize. We only have a handful of days left to make an impact!