January 15, 2022

January 15, 2022

I posted this first little snippet when I posted about the 14th, but here it is again, just to keep everything together. And the rest of the day. Looking back on it now….? I don’t really remember a single thing about this day. I don’t remember if I was afraid, or overtired, or … anything. I remember that Jenn was going to bring me coffee (don’t remember if she did, or what we talked about if she did) and I remember Linda (who stayed home that day) telling me about the lovely friend who drove all the way from Jacksonville to give me some homemade buckeyes. That’s really all I have from that day.

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

7:30

Good morning and good news – their goal for Tim was that he not get any worse overnight, and he actually got a little better!!!

His O2 is down from 80% to 50% (it was at 100% most of the day yesterday). They’ve taken him off the blood pressure medicine, he’s keeping that at good levels on his own now. They’re talking about taking him off the paralytic over the next few hours if everything else continues to look good. They’re also thinking they might be able to wean him off either the ventilator or the NOxBox (“intelligent nitric oxide delivery system; Doctor Google says “Nitric oxide is a gas that is inhaled through the nose or mouth. It works by relaxing the smooth muscles to widen the blood vessels in the lungs.”).

And at about 4 this morning, a gaggle of nurses came in and changed his sheets, bathed him, and his temp was down enough they put a gown on him so he’s not just laying there with a strategically placed blanket.

And in news that’s good for everyone ELSE in the hospital, Jenn is on her way over with coffee for me, haha.

More later as the day progresses! xoxo

12:15

Tim had another heart ultrasound at 8:30 this morning; there was also one around 8:30 last night. Other than that (and no results yet), not too much has been happening. They turn him about every two hours, make minor adjustments to his fluids, check over his iv sites and see if anything needs to be cleaned, redone, or anything like that. So far they’re still planning on what they said this morning, weaning him off the paralytic, and weaning him off either the O2 or the NO machine (if I remember correctly, the thought is to try to get him off the breathing tube, but leave him on the NO, if he can breathe on his own. They keep lowering his O2 input, so that hints at good news for his lungs breathing OK on his own).

And that’s about it for now. I know that’s a weird update… “updating you to tell you nothing is happening!” but I didn’t want anyone to worry that things were going sideways and I just didn’t have time to reach out. On the contrary, I’m thinking about going down to the cafeteria and finding something somewhat healthy to eat.

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and the fire

12:50

Hahaha, having said nothing is happening, then the doctor came in and took him off the paralytic about five minutes ago. We had a long talk about it; they’re going to start with this, it’ll take about an hour before it starts leaving his system, and then at least another hour after that before he starts getting a little more aware of his surroundings… so for me not to look for any kind of results until at least close to about 3 PM or so. She apologized for taking this slowly, but they’re kind of letting Tim lead the decisions by what his body is doing and what his numbers look like. So when the sedation starts wearing off, and he starts getting more alert, if he doesn’t get agitated and start to try to rip things out, they’ll look at taking him off the ventilator. If he does get agitated and start to try to rip things out, they might have to put him back on the sedation just to keep him from hurting himself (I agree – safety is as important as the healing! We don’t want him ripping out his feeding tube again!).

I literally can not remember the count of how many times he ripped out that feeding tube. I think at least ten, or at least I stopped counting after ten.

3:10

Tim woke up for about three seconds, wiggled his toes, looked at us, heard the nurse say he’s got a breathing tube in, and promptly shut his eyes again. He’s got some gunk coming out of the bronchial tube things, so they’re going to scope him again and clear him out. They raised the sedative a little but did not restart the paralytic,for the procedure. When they’re done, they’ll lower the sedative again.

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We’ll rise above these earthly cares

4:05

Whoa, they let me stay in the room for a Bronchoscopy and it was so much cooler than I thought it would be! I thought I’d run barfing from the room, but it wasn’t that bad (they did tell me no pictures, first, though, haha). So! Tim had another Bronchoscopy because while he was on the paralytic, his lungs were still producing (a) regular lung goo and (b) infected lung goo from the aspirations yesterday. So they wanted to suck all that out. They couldn’t get it all, but they got a lot of it, and are happy with what they got. They’re hoping that now that he’s off the paralytic, and less forced air flow (so more breathing on his own), his diaphram will get back to working and tomorrow, he’ll be able to start coughing things out himself (they’re going to give him an albuterol breathing treatment to help that along) (I’ve had those for asthma so am familiar with the activity, even though they’ll be doubling up with some hospital medicine to help the albuterol along).

The doctors did warn me that his lungs will be irritated after the Bronchoscopy; the air from the vent was down to 40%, they had to up it to 60% right after the procedure, but it’s already going back down in small incriments. Overall the doctor is very happy with how Tim is progressing, even though it’s very, very tiny steps forward.

I asked her if I should stay overnight, said that I was fine staying overnight one more time (but that if I did, I’d have to take tomorrow during the day, off) if they thought they’d need me there to give permission for any emergency surgical procedures. It turns out that while the CT scan yesterday showed no new strokes in his brain, he did have two very, very small ones (so small that his body may already be compensating for them), one near one of his kidneys, and one near his spleen. They’re more worried about the spleen one only in that it was a little worse than the kidney one – both of his kidneys are working fine – and she said absolute worst case, in the next few days, they may need to take the spleen out if blood flow doesn’t come back. But that the chances of that needing to happen tonight, or the chances of him needing to go on VV ECMO tonight, are very, very slim, and that if she were me, she’d go ahead and go home, take the night off and rest. Obviously they will call me if anything happens, and at least now I’m a little more prepared for that kind of call.

So… I think that’s everything? I’ll stay here with my laptop open for another five or ten minutes, in case anyone has any urgent questions, but then I think I’ll pack up and go try to find my car! And come home! And fill my bathtub up with hot water and bath salts! And then actually get into the bathtub (if Newt will let me)!

Newt did, in fact, let me take a bath. At least, I guess she did? I had this picture of filling up the tub on my phone, but I don’t have any recollection of taking the bath – what I read, or watched, or listened to in it… nothing.

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Lyrics by Khachaturian / Shillitto
Dante’s Prayer

In addition to having a lovely mother-in-law there when I got home, I also had two delicious gifts. A cheese basket from one friend, and some homemade buckeyes from another friend. Considering how much I love chocolate with peanut butter, and how much I love cheese….? These were the perfect gifts.

I wish I remembered more about this day, so I could say more about it, but… looking at the look on my face in the featured image there, seeing how tired I looked… maybe it’s better I only have vague memories about that day.

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