On Friday the 13th, Mom had a tracheotomy after a failed attempt at taking out the breathing tube again on the 11th. Mom was not happy about it but after it was said and done she has been a lot more comfortable. The trach is hooked up to the ventilator and in order for her to get out of the ICU she has to be off of the ventilator. They have been trying her off the
ventilator with just trach collar. It is sort of like a mask that sits over the trach and puts out moist air so when she breathes in, it isn't super dry air.
"The nose and mouth provide warmth, moisture and filtration for the air we breathe. Having a tracheotomy tube, however, by-passes these mechanisms so humidification must be provided to keep secretions thin and to avoid mucus plugs." (Johns Hopkins Medicine)
On the 13th, only a few hours after her surgery she was off ventilation for two hours. On the 14th she was off ventilation for 12 hours, and yesterday she was off ventilation for almost the whole day. She's been doing great with her breathing! The site of the surgery (she had the trach put in, in the OR) is doing great.
Yesterday we were able to bring up Haleigh to visit her. I explained to Haleigh that Grandma has a robot attached to her, helping her breath and making her feel better. At first Haleigh wasn't so sure about holding Grandma's hand, she just wanted to wave but she saw I was holding her hand so she did. It took her about ten minutes to be up in the bed laying with mom, kissing her, holding her hand, and talking a mile a minute. It was great to see the smile it put on both Haleigh and Mom's faces.
Last night Mom had an anxiety attack (she had one the night before as well) and they had to up her sedation levels and put her back on the ventilator. It's frustrating because we have to back track every time we put her back on the ventilator. Plus it's taking most of the day to wake her up from the sedation that she's on at night to keep her calm. They've asked us for the last few nights not to spend the night, so she can sleep better. I don't know if the two or correlated or not yet. This morning in rounds we talked about her anxiety (obviously it sucks being in the ICU for 2.5 weeks), her being on the sedation medication is making it hard to communicate with her because it completely knocks her out and obviously she can't be off the ventilator while on sedation medication, and there looks to be some fluid in her lungs that they are going to try to get out today. Also, her RT (respiratory therapist) noticed that she's not breathing as smoothly as she was so we are keeping her on the ventilator for a while today. They may do the trach collar later but for now she'll stay the way she is. I noticed her breathing seemed off and pointed it out to our nurse this morning as well so I'm glad the RT noticed it as well.
The plan for today is just to hang out, try to get any fluid that's in her lungs out via expanding lungs with oxygen and medicine to make her urinate it out. They were talking about having a psychiatric come up and talk to her about the anxiety but that can't happen until she's actually awake. This damn medicine they use to sedate her is obviously needed but it knocks her on her butt for the night (which is good) and half the day (which is bad). There are talks of taking her off it completely and just using extra anxiety meds when needed. We'll see what happens.
I don't like when mom has been sedated because she's not as mentally present as she has been and it's nerve wracking. Yesterday I was worried she was having a seizure because she stared off and didn't respond right away but two seconds after I had that thought she responded. It was just her medicine that was making her daze out. Obviously, I'd prefer her to just be up and being a pain in the butt asking for mouth swabs, back rubs, and foot rubs. I know she has to have her medicine to help her it is just trying at times.
Continued well wishes and prayers are appreciated!