Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Back on the Vent

Once Eric was intubated last night, we discovered he needed the vent for more than a low pH and high PCO2. They started suctioning Eric and got tons of secretions out of his lungs. "Neverending" the nurse said. He was drowning in copious amounts of thick purulent sputum. We won't get the cultures back for a couple days, but they're calling it pneumonia and have already started across the board antibiotics. Eric responded to conventional ventilation well. Prior to knowing that, the doctors said they would "try" a regular ventilator, and at the same time were talking about the "oscillator" (we called it a "jet" ventilator in Pgh) and if that didn't work, ECMO (don't ask if you're not in the medical field). But he surprised them all and his pH quickly went from 7.13 to 7.39. And we've been able to ventilate Eric with low pressures, which is key in his case to not do furthur damage to his lungs. And once they got the vast majority of sputum out of his lungs, and they continue to do so, his oxygen level has also greatly improved.

Speaking of Eric's damaged lungs, the surgeon stopped by tonight. He's a "straight-shooter" and told us if he doesn't do surgery soon and fixes those leaks, Eric is "going to die." We dread the thought of Eric going to surgery again; he hasn't recovered from the last surgery almost two weeks ago. But it doesn't sound like we have a choice. Eric's going to CAT scan again today. Not real sure when this surgery might happen, possibly Monday or Tuesday, unless this pneumonia holds things up. They tell us his lungs are so devastated, and indeed they are, but it occured to me . . . the fact that, at one point yesterday, when on a simple face mask, Eric had a PaO2 of 225 (which was too much and caused his PCO2 to rise, called CO2 narcosis), and then his PCO2 responded so well to mechanical ventilation, tells me that surely there's some very viable lung tissue in there. If the lungs weren't working, we could ventilate him all we want and nothing would happen. So if the primary problems are mechanical, if the surgeons can close the leaks and get the lungs re-expanded . . . maybe it will work. I'm ever hopeful.

As of this AM, Eric is stable. He and Bob even watched Steve Martin's movie The Jerk earlier. Current vent settings; Pressure-limited 18, SIMV 18, FiO2 .60, PEEP 5.


Anonymous said...

Praise God He is so good. Just keep believing, look to the Word that says "By the stripes that Jesus bore Eric is healed'. Be joyful because the joy of the Lord is your strength. Your family is so special to God. He loves you very much. Many, many people are praying for Eric. He will recover and be better than he was before. Blessings on your family

Anonymous said...

Just got back from church at Hiland. Very moving prayers for all of you, from all around the congregation, during joys and concerns. God's loving care and guidance is at work....Eric has TPN onboard, antibiotics to battle the pneumonia, great medical and nursing teams,surgeons to get those lung leaks fixed, and loving cheerleaders in you and Bob.
God Bless you all.
Anne P.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Hey Angie,

Prayers are with you ALL!

Remember - By Jesus' stripes Eric is healed and by His blood Eric is whole - from the top of his head to the soles of his feet - from fingertip to fingertip ~ Divine Love is healing Eric NOW!

Respect the doctors and surgeons, but listen to what the Lord says.

I know, easier said than done sometimes...but STAND on what you BELIEVE - this is what I've been learning in these weeks with Terry.

God Bless you.

Vicki Loucks said...

Here in New Stanton we continue to stand with you in prayer for Eric's full recovery. I so appreciate your daily blog. Every morning the first thing I do is check to see what's new with Eric and I find myself turning to it throughout the day as I pray.
Stay strong and keep faith that God is healing Eric. We're praying wisdom for the doctors, nurses and surgeons - anyone who touches Eric. We're also praying that the lung leaks heal.