23- Guess who came? Continued>>>
Updated: Aug 23
During the week of Bill and Wendi's visit we had another hard issue to address, her trach. They had already replaced Brianne's tracheal tube with a smaller one because they felt that the original had been too big for her throat. However, in order to have it fully removed, they require that the patient be able to breath on their own. This required them to cap it (that means capping so no air gets in the front which forces them to breath on their own) for three or more hours straight. Brianne literally couldn't do it! We tried for weeks to cap her trach and she just couldn't go for too long. It was frustrating. We even talked to our good friend CharityTillemann-Dick about how she maneuvered through this experience and what ultimately was the magic key. We tried those ideas but still we couldn't get it to work for Brianne.
One day that week as I was discussing these challenging issues with the Respiratory Specialist, he got a thoughtful look on his face and told me about his experience in having a trach, and a metal one at that (oh so awful 🤮). He said he had a hunch that this tracheal tube was also too big for her throat and that she would likely be able to breath just fine and suggested taking it out even though she hadn't met the usual requirements. Hummmm... As I was discussing this in detail with the Respiratory Specialist in Brianne's room, the main doctor at the hospital appeared around the corner. He wanted me to know that they could do this procedure but there was a huge risk that she could go into cardiac arrest and then they would have to do an emergency tracheotomy and so much more.
He looked at me and asked, "What do you want to do?"
Yikes?????? After some pondering and asking a few more questions the Respiratory Specialist came up with an idea. They carefully threaded a small plastic tube down her existing tracheal tube, just in case she couldn't breathe once they pulled it out, this would create easier access to help open up her throat, if required.
They asked if I wanted to stay with her... of course!! I was able to stand by her, hold her hand and rub her leg to help reassure her.
I must say, it seems a bit barbaric how a tracheal tube is taken out, because they just yank it through the small incision that was created at the time it was put in. Keep in mind, that was weeks ago and that incision had healed around the tube much tighter. There was about 10 seconds where we were all holding our breath, waiting to hear her first breath, finally she gasped, and was able to breathe just as the Respiratory Specialist had suspected!! I was deliriously happy... thrilled that she could be done with the tracheal tube and even more so, that it worked! I had to hug the Respiratory Therapist!!!
After leaving Bill and Wendi's hotel that afternoon, I came back to hear un-ordinarily amazing news! Bill and Wendi had taken her out on the sun porch while the day was nice, they worked with her and asked her a few questions but you have to listen closely to hear what she says. Her FIRST words since surgery!
We were so excited and I couldn't wait to send this to Dale so he could share in this joy as well!!! What is the last question? Of course it was about *Alex, now we just needed a miracle to make this happen. Wait until you hear what happened next...