As we head into this weekend I can only hope it is a better one for Ryan than last. He was not well at all.
Last Friday I noticed he seemed a bit “off”, but couldn’t put my finger on it. I’m sure no one, other than Sue and myself, would have noticed any difference. Being with him and tending to him all the time, we are in touch with him at the deepest level. Nothing gets past us. At least not yet. So, going into last Friday night, we were on high alert.
Turns out, we had reason. Just after midnight he began sounding congested. Within hours he was coughing repeatedly. Sue was up with him most of the night.
I got him out of bed early Saturday morning. His congestion and coughing increase in frequency and intensity. I was concerned that the force of his cough might pop the stitches in his eyes. By mid-morning he was sneezing, sometimes in fits. He was ill. There was no mistaking it now. I struggled all morning with keeping his oxygen saturation up and had to put him on 100% oxygen for several hours. Late in the morning it was unavoidable, he needed deep suctioned.
It helped… a little. But it was enough to remove him from supplemental oxygen.
We then began giving him nebulizer treatments every four hours to keep his airway open and break up the congestion. This continued over the next 48 hours.
Last Saturday night was the worst. Ryan was a mess. He developed a low-grade temperature to boot. The concern now was it might settled in his lungs and develop into pneumonia. We had to be aggressive in keeping his respiratory system free of mucous.
Unlike you or I, giving him cold medicine to treat his symptoms is not an option. It’s active chemicals have a potentially adverse effect on those with brain injury. The best we could do is give him a pain reliever and keep at it in keeping him clear. Every time he coughed we quickly suctioned the secretions from his mouth.
The diligence paid off. By late-Monday he seemed to bounce back.
This is the first time since the attack that he picked-up a cold. He has had pneumonia, but this developed secondarily from placing an airway tube in his throat. My concern now is “how” it happened. The incubation period makes the mostly likely day of transmission as the Tuesday before (give or take twelve hours). Did I bring it into our home when I came back from the parole hearing? It’s possible, even though I changed my clothes and washed up before coming in contact with him.
We are diligent in preventing illness to him. I suppose that Sue and I (and the nurses) never caught his cold confirms our efforts (but in reverse). Our golden rule is to never touch his face — especially his eyes, nose, and mouth –without gloves and/or a thorough scrubbing. This type of direct contact is just asking for trouble, even with proper cleansing. As much as I want to touch his lips with my fingers (or give him a quick peck), it would not be wise. It could, quite literally, be the kiss of death.
On a side note: It looks like a past post, Incidentally, It’s a Big Deal, might be heating up again in the comments section.
Good job with closely monitoring Ryan over the weekend to keep him healthy and avoiding pneumonia.
Hi Ken, I am so relieved Ryan is feeling better. You’re absolutely right about being viligent about “germ management” i.e. being careful that Ryan’s mouth, nose, eyes are not touched — heck, now that we’re heading into the fall and all the stuff it can bring, I think avoiding touching anywhere on his face is for the best. I’ve been seeing flu shots offered already at CVS, etc. Face masks might be the way to go this winter. And this is coming from a touchy feely kinda person but I know it is essential.
Every time Ryan has gotten something you have had this ability to recognize it even before it became fully observable to others. It is (yet another) ability that I am very grateful you have. The way you and Sue are always on top of things continues to inspire me. Ryan is in the best hands possible, this is a fact, and I thank God for it.
So much strength — I can practically feel it, a force of nature — this is the power of a parent’s love — I see it every single day in you and Sue, and beautiful Kari too.
Praying Ryan continues to heal and feel better, and I pray for you, Sue and Kari too — now and always.
Love & hugs,
Ryan has the best care in the world! A mom and dad who love and know him.
Always thinking of you.
I am so sorry that Ryan (as well as you and Sue) had to suffer through this illness but also very relieved that he was strong enough to overcome a nasty cold virus under your vigilant care at home. Wishing we could hug and kiss on Ryan too!
Will Nier says
I hate these crazy cold viruses and I too have to be careful. I have C.O.P.D. not very serious. Three years ago I developed a bad cold and it went right into pneumonia. The antibiotic I was given cleared it up very well. Last year another bad cold and along with it pneumonia. I was given another stronger antibiotic and I wasn’t completely responding to treatment. Another xray showed a lesion on the lower right lung. A Cat-Scan confirmed that. I have had two other xrays now in the past 8 months and the lesion is slowly healing. Everyone in a while I couph up a blood clot and sometimes a little red blood. In November I have another Cat-Scan coming up.I think I need another antibiotic but the Doctors are just monitoring me. At 66 yrs old I get very worried.
Keep Ryan warm and be attentive as you alwasy are. My prayers continue.
Gail Doyle says
Ken ,Sorry to hear this,but so glad Ryan feels better.Thank goodness for you and Sue knowing every little change in Ryan.Can’t wait for there to be a good one! Soon! Hope you and Sue get some rest and your weekend is CALM…Know we’re all here always
Your accute mindfulness has paid off once again. I think these colds, caused by viruses, are in the air we breathe. Sometimes there is just no explanation. They just seem to be afloat everywhere. Glad you were on this one right away quite likely saving Ryan from further complications. You’re our man all right! Best all-around for Ryan. 🙂