Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ICU A.K.A. "The Crappiest Rollercoaster Ride EVER"

Jan. 27, 2010

Mark is approaching the cut-off time for having the throat-tube type of vent. Unfortunately, his lungs are taking a bit longer to heal, and he will need to remain on the vent. Now, Docs do not like to keep patients on this type of vent for much longer than two weeks because of the very high risk of infection. The next step will be a Tracheotomy, where they will be cutting a hole into his neck, and inserting the Trach tube there rather than having it down his throat, with his mouth open, giving greater incidence for infection. The sooner a trach is done the lower his chance of contracting ventilator-related pneumonia. Once off of the throat tube, he'll be able to exist without sedation, and he'll be able to interact, and speak (though the speaking part might take a little while after the procedure, so that his throat can heal. It is promised to be very raw and sore after they finally remove the throat tube). He will most likely have a feeding tube through his nose for nourishment purposes.

Other organs that are taking their sweet ass time healing are his kidneys. The Lasix he's been getting is helping, but not enough and definitely not fast enough so they will probably be giving him some dialysis treatments sooner rather than later. His body needs to be cleaned out in a big way; and this should help him.

I'm not sure when the trach will be happening, (I'll probably find out more later this evening), but my guess is that they're probably hoping to do it as soon as possible. The problem however, is that now Mark's been moved back up to a 12 peep, and an 80% oxygen assist on the vent. The Pulmonary team do not like moving from the throat tube vent to a trach vent with patients that have that high of an oxygen he STILL has to be moved down in order to get the trach. The last thing his doc told me was that he would be conferring with Pulmonary to see if they would, but at the time of the conversation, he didn't think so.

So, once again, we wait and we hope.

The brightest moment of my day yesterday was when I walked into the room, up to Mark's bed, leaned over, squeezed his hand and called his name. He opened his eyes, again extremely lucid, and around the breathing tube he puckered his lips and blew me a kiss. Two of them actually. I was SO excited, I'm sure I almost yelped but I was also in shock. I looked at Rob to see if he saw that too, to prove that it wasn't just "crazy hopeful girlfriend" syndrome, and he verified it for me. Clearly my reaction amused Mark because when we looked back, he was smiling. Then, as fast as that interaction happened, he was back to sleep. Talk about something to help you hold on. Your boyfriend whose body is riddled with an asshole of a disease, who can't breathe at all, or move at all, manages to blow you a kiss and smile at you, despite the fact that he's got a breathing tube shoved down his throat?? That's enough to keep on keeping on for a very very long time. Just thinking about it, I want to do a little happy dance. (Thanks baby, I'm sure you won't remember doing that when you wake up, but I promise you I'll never forget it).

He had a ton of visitors last night, and by the end of the evening, he was sort of trying his damnedest to stay awake and interact with people, and his heart rate was just spiking again, really high. (Also another fever, low-grade at around 101). It was time for him to rest so everyone trickled out, his nurse gave him even more sedation, and he was out again, resting peacefully. I watched his heart rate drop just a little bit before I left.

I'll try to post again this evening when I'm home from the hospital to give any sort of update I can.

Once again, (and I'm going to say this every time I post, because I honestly cannot say it enough): THANK YOU to everyone that's offered help, given help, come to visit, has come to my rescue (in more ways than 1), has checked in with calls, texts, emails, etc. All of you have been truly and wholeheartedly invaluable and appreciated through all of this...and you will continue to be.

Love to all of you.