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!
The Colangelis says
Great job. You are the reason Ryan has stayed out of ICU. Keep up the good work. Ryan could not be getting any better care anywhere……he might be able to get “similar level” of care at some specialty hospital served by experts…..but no way could it be “better” than what he’s been getting. Good job Dad!
deb okane says
You don’t deserve some of the credit but ALL.
Yes, yes job well done. I have said from the beginning that Ryan is healing in God’s time. You and your family are the instruments of this in your daily care of Ryan. I continue to pray for Ryan’s healing and for his family. Mother Maryanne Cope. OSF a blessed in heaven and one who will be proclaimed Saint this year intercede for us in Ryan’s healing.
My post today is called ” We Knew All Along”.
Ken we have knows since Ryans attack that YOU are da man! Without you and Sue, Ryan would never have a chance. In a hospital/long term care facility setting his caregivers would have several patients, at home you are on a 1:1 or a 2:1. His clear lungs, lack of bedsores, and no UTI’s that have put him in the hospital are a tribute to you and Sue. Your love for your son has guided you through. You are what a true hero is all about. Not a sports figure, not a slick talking politition, but a father who stands by his commitment to his children and family. Others have buckled or fled under lesser circumstances, but you have stood tall and shown the world what class and character is. Praying for you always.
For sure Ken, absolutely, unequivocally no doubt at all!!! Cheers, accolades, applause, a shower of rose petals and love from Loudoun County and beyond!!
Love always, Paula
KERI DEZELL says
I believe with all my heart that it is due to YOUR diligent and meticulous care of Ryan that he’s better off than the “average” TBI patient. SO yes indeedy… SHOUT IT from the rooftops!!! CLICK your heels!!!! EAT some bonbons for crying out loud!!!! You deserve every bit of kudos out there and then some !!!!!!
With love and in prayer,
Keri, My Frankie and Family
Family friend says
Well done! What a blessing you are! Keep pressing on Ken!
Congratulations Ken – your hard work and determination is definitely paying off!! It is always good to look at all the things you have been doing right to keep you on your path, regardless of any set backs. This is definitely a HUGE and very important milestone for the entire family!
Pam GrahamGeorge says
Definitely you deserve all the credit big guy.
Still keeping you in my daily thoughts and prayers.
Love and Hugs.
Ken, you are doing an awesome job! Ryan couldn’t receive better care anywhere else. You are on top of every aspect of his care and deserve so much credit. Get some rest….you need to stay well in order to continue keeping Ryan so well. Praying for more healing.
Ms. Blasé says
As I was going to bed last night I began to think about how Ryan has been steadily recovering from his injuries and about all of the progress he has made within the past year. I began smiling because it was truly a joy to consider. May God continue to provide you, Sue and Kari with the strength, wisdom, patience, finances, and a faithful circle of genuine supporters so that you can continue to nurse Ryan back to health. Honestly, your loving diligence is nothing short of a miracle. Keep up the amazing work.
Gail Doyle says
Ken, We have all told you what an amazing job you and Sue are doing, keeping Ryan so healthy ,He couldn’t get care like this ANYWHERE and you both deserve ALL the credit. Hoping you get some rest and we know Ryan is healing a little each day ..Strength,Courage, Perseverance and Health to you all Love Gail
I think you and your family deserve all the credit! You are his sole provider and care taker and the love you give him is what keeps him going! WAY TO DO IT!
Yes, please pat yourself on the back; we have been doing just that for all this time. You deserve a lot of credit, and if there is a Father of the Year award, you surely deserve this, too! You take such good care of Ryan, and we are grateful that he has a dad like you. We are thankful, too, that you keep us informed. Have a good Twelfth Night with your Sue, Ryan and Kari. Love and prayers.
Well done! You should take credit for helping to keep Ryan out of the ICU for a full year. That’s quite a step and a clear testimony to the incredibly inclusive care you give him everyday. Pat yourself on the back! Give yourself a ‘high five’. We know that Ryan wouldn’t be where he is in his recovery without your love and efforts. A combination of his own determination, your dedication and love, the prayers and out-pouring of our extended community, and the grace of God — these things have pulled Ryan though to this point and will continue to pull him through to a complete healing. Lots of hugs to Ryan. SHSP, NGA!
PS: Ryan should be so very proud of our Mountaineers! They had an incredible evening with Clemson at the Orange Bowl!!
You deserve all the credit for keeping Ryan healthy and out of the hospital. He’s much better off in your care for sure. I hope he is still doing well with the recent reduction and that you will continue to see improvements with Ryan.
Well done my friend. And also the fact you have him at home makes a huge difference in his health. Certainly not yours, but definitely his. Much love. Still here. Always.