Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday, December 8

Today was awesome, I won't lie to you.  Bill started the morning off with the endoscopic swallow test.  This is the procedure where the speech and swallow therapist threads a camera up through his nose and down the back of his throat so that she can watch his swallow reflex from inside.  They tried this last week and he had a bradycardic event that brought everything to a screeching halt and may or may not have ended in chest compressions (I just can't remember.  The doctors don't always tell you when they use chest compressions on your loved ones.)  This time Billy wanted me to stay in the room with him and I am pleased to say that I was able to tolerate the whole procedure.  "Tolerate" is a code word for "nothing terrible happened," which in my case means that I was able to ignore the fact that there was something stuffed up my brother's nose and wet, mucus-y, live footage of it all.  Anyway, it went very well for him, too, and I suspect that's probably more important.  He successfully swallowed thickened apple juice, chocolate pudding, and applesauce.  He was given a small bite of peaches and those got stuck.  A respiratory therapist used a suction tube to retrieve it (this is the part where I am especially proud of myself for not keeling over) and I think that was frightening for Bill.  He is now cleared to eat soft foods although he was probably still shaken up from the peach incident.  I was able to shove about four bites of lunch down his throat and I didn't even bother trying to get him to eat any dinner.  He's still on tube feeds and IV nutrition and his doctor said not to count any calories in the real food yet.  He could use some additional calories and I hope that tomorrow he will be willing to eat a little more.  I tried the pureed turkey and although it was a weird texture, it was definitely turkey.

He made great progress on the ventilator today and tomorrow we may try to go off of it for short periods of time and see how that goes.  This is great news but I won't be too disappointed if it doesn't work the first time we try it.  Three days ago no one was talking about coming of the ventilator for any period of time and we have seen that things change rather quickly.  If it works out, great, if not then we try again another day.  The speech therapist paid him another visit this afternoon and brought a speaking valve to work with.  I was out of the room while that was going on, but when I came back in they had deflated the air cuff that holds his trach in place.  This allows him to exhale through his mouth and engage his vocal cords.  I walked into the room and was greeted with "Hi Loser."  Between that term of endearment and the fact that he asked me to leave when I was trying to get him to eat lunch, I can say that Bill is back!

The past couple days he has had increased sensation in his trunk and today he spent most of the day complaining that his foot itched.  I don't know what this means aside from the fact that some sensory messages are getting through.  That's great and it's certainly more than was happening a few days ago, but I don't know what it means in terms of his final recovery.

All in all, it was a great day.  Early this afternoon Bill told me he was having a rough day and I guess from his perspective it was.  Recovering is hard work!  But from my side of the ICU, today was awesome!

1 comment:

  1. I love the "Hi Loser"! I cant wait to hear a "Hey Ugly"!! We hope to come up this weekend. Call me if you need anything.