Sunday, 28 December 2014

A long post about a long night.

So it turns out that removing the trach isn't quite so magical all the time. Boxing Day night, I slept well for the first half only to wake up feeling as though I had to cough. Problem was, my muscles for coughing still haven't really come back yet. Plus I'm not entirely sure how to cough with these new lungs. I was still able to breathe fine, it more just felt as though there was an irritation in my lungs that I needed to clear.

I kept trying to clear it by coughing, enough to the point where the nurse came in and told me that my stats were fine, it wasn't something necessary to focus on, try to sleep, etc etc... It was a too little, too late speech. Because then, all I could think about was getting rid of the rattle in my lungs. Before this night, when I had the trach, I would "cough" ( more of a huff of sorts) everything as high in the lungs as I could and then it would be suctioned out (a event that literally involves a suction tubing that they stick in the trach and suck up whatever is in the lungs while I cough madly due to the irritation of a suctioning tubing being in my chest...what fun new experiences I've had in the last month).

However that night, my first night without a trach, I couldn't simply get suctioned to get rid of the crap. I was determined to cough it out myself. However, since I couldn't, and I couldn't seem to just ignore it and go back to sleep, I kept trying, which than totally exhausted me which than decreased my oxygen saturation's.

The respirologist was called in and initially she tried to suction me through my nose but that was a huge failure (mostly because I freaked out when she kept getting me to swallow the tubing. Do you people not understand what a gag reflex is?!)so then she moved to step 2: recanulate (aka put the trach back in). First she suctioned through the little opening that hadn't healed on my throat and then tried to shove the large size trach in the hole. Too small. She moved to the size I had when they decanulated (aka took trach out). Nope, still too small. As her last chance, she tried size 4, the smallest size. Still too small. That's when she decided to just crank up my oxygen and re-suctioned, and left a note for the drs to recommend that I get the trach back in during my broncscopy.

All of that happened in the span of about an hour. Needless to say, I did not get much sleep that night. In the morning, the drs came around to confirm that I had a bronc around 930-10 and that they might put the trach back in. As much as I didn't want it to happen, I've reached the point where if it's necessary, it should be done. It's not as though I can magically force my muscles to work immediately (Is this maturity or giving up?)

They did the broncscopy and put me into a wonderful sedated sleep mode. I woke up several times afterwards when they were cleaning everything and I'm sure I paranoidly ask the dr if they put the trach back in every single time. And no, they decided not to. Yay! One of the drs started to tell me during one of my awake periods how much and what they got out of the bronc but stopped when I fell asleep.

I awoke around 1pm to my nurse telling me it was time to get up for the day and once the initial grogginess passed, I felt a million times better. There was some combination between the bronc and the sleep that made everything click together.

Whatever they sucked out of my lungs during the bronc has totally changed the feeling of my lungs. They feel as though they are now one piece. The best description I have of how they felt before was that when someone asked me to breathe deeply, it took me several seconds because I felt as though I had to activate each lobe separately. It was especially true of the lower lobes.

Now everything is working together. It's as though they made all the pieces work as one. The best analogy I have is if you moved your arm as if to slap someone only you could only do it by moving first your shoulder and then the elbow and then the wrist and finally the hand. Then the doctors do a bronc and now you can move your arm in one solid motion. It's so much easier! Especially for deep breathing.

After waking up, Isaiah and his sisters were here for the day and we played my new Christmas game from Isaiah for the rest of the day. Before leaving, Sarah decided it was time for a my hair to be washed. Since I never refuse one of those, we piled up the towels and went to it. Despite our fears, it was actually the smoothest hairwashing I've had yet. Yay clean hair!

Felt. So. Good. 


Dave VanSlyke said...

I guess you're still doing the "two steps forward and one step backwards dance." The good news is that this dance is moving you slowly but surely in the right direction. I'm so happy to hear about your progress and I'm glad that your sense of humour seems to be helping to carry you through the rough patches.

Keep calm. Carry on!

Heather McGrath said...

Alley, if you are anxious over certain issues, you are not weak and they are not minimal. You have been through so much and continue with a wonderful attitude. You are truly amazing!