Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I am most thankful that Dear Son made it through his surgery. This photo was from the hospital. He's doing pretty good...we're home and he's happy. I am still a little afraid to turn him on his left side since that is where the incision is but I am able to sit him up in the Lazy Boy swivel chair by using the hoyer lift. He enjoyed sitting there and listening to his music with his headphones.
Also, it's been 11 months since I started him on his blenderized diet made from real food.  That means that for the first time in 8 years, he was able to have a full Thanksgiving meal. It was blended up in the Blendtec of course and given through his feeding tube but it was still nice that he could smell the food and have some turkey.
In looking back on the surgery, I think they did a few things that made it successful for Dear Son this time. I think have an anesthesiologist that was board certified in anesthesia and critical care helped. They were able to use a shorter acting sedation which lessened the respiratory depression. Second, because they were aware of his risks of respiratory depression, they were able to put the breathing tube in differently this time (last time they didn't use it at all). Also, there were two other things that helped. We used the scopolamine patch, a patch that dries up his saliva.  I think this helped a lot because it took about 12 hours after he got out of surgery before his respirations increased to a more normal range.  I doubt he could have coughed very well to clear up the saliva prior to that and if he couldn't cough, he would have been at higher risk for aspirating the secretions into his lungs. And finally, anesthesia recommended that he have a nebulizer treatment with albuteral the morning of the surgery and prior to his surgery to open his bronchial airways. I gave him a treatment at 8:30 a.m. the morning of the surgery. His surgery was scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and it was started around 2:45 p.m.and they finished in a little over 2 hours or so if I recall. I think all of these things helped.
This picture was taken on Wednesday, the day after the surgery. You can see he's pretty happy. He is still having some breakthrough seizures however. When they turn the device on, they start him on a lower setting and work up to his previous setting. Currently, the device cycles on every 3 minutes and the last one cycled every 20 seconds. We'll see if he can make it to his follow up visit.
He looks pretty good now. All in all, a lot to be thankful for!

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