This photo shows the in re-breather (not sure of the spelling). This allows for a high concentration of oxygen to be delivered to the patient.
Another issue is that of platelets. His platelets are low and he has had issues with recurring fevers all week. Once the fever goes away, a few hours later, he has a low grade fever and then it rises. We repeat this exercise daily.
Friday night, Dear Son struggled all evening and throughout the night. I contacted the nurse in the middle of the night and asked him to call the doc because Dear Son was working so hard to breathe. His respirations were 40-44 breaths a minute. The doc took a look and said he was fine. I told the nurse that the doc was wrong and that Dear Son was in distress. I usually am not this bold however I do know when Dear Son is in distress and what is normal for him. I don't profess to know the meaning of all of the data however I do know what I see.
On Saturday, they increased the chest pt to every two hours along with changing his positioning. By this time, his eyes were swollen shut, he had been unconscious since Tuesday and unresponsive since his surgery on Monday. His left foot was swelling and they weren't certain why. They increased the Lasix to get rid of the fluid which was somewhat problematic since he wears a Scopolamine patch to dry up his secretions. The patch dries up all secretions and doesn't allow a person to sweat and Lasix does the opposite-it pulls the fluid from the body. I felt bad for Dear Son.
Today, the x-ray was a lot better. Both lungs showed improvement with some clarity on the top of each lung meaning some fluid had subsided. The problem though is that now they feel that he has chronic aspiration meaning he aspirates all the time on a daily basis and occurs when he is lying down. Dear Son can't sit up much anymore so this is a huge issue. In additon, they have recommended we see a pulmonary specialist after the hospitalization is complete to see what equipment I will need in the home to care for Dear Son.
But perhaps the best thing that happened today was when Dear Son said, "hi" to me three times. He was lying in bed and had not come to all week. Out of the blue, as I was sitting in the chair, I heard him softly say, "hi". Not once, but three times! That Dear Son may not know it's Mother's Day but he always delivers. It was the absolute best thing I would hear all day. Dear Son seemed to be breathing easier when I left today. I only hope it continues. In the meantime, I really want to bring him home.
Thank you so much for your continued support and prayers for my beautiful Dear Son. Please continue to pray that he gets well.
5/11/09 Update 8 a.m.- It appears our joy is short-lived. Today's x-ray was worse. I will try and post any updates today after work before I go back to the hospital; I won't have any internet access once I am there. Due to Dear Son's MRSA (once MRSA, always MRSA per Big Academic Medical Center), he is on "contact isolation" which means they won't allow me to use any hospital pcs or anything else down there, even though I don't have MRSA.
*The two photos with the black tubing are of Dear Son using the pressure vest. The pressure vest is hooked up to a machine and vibrates the vest. The vibration helps break up the fluid inside the lungs. That fluid, is then cleared from the lung when the patient coughs. They are using this machine on Dear Son every two hours and for thirty minutes each session.