It's been a hodgepodge day, a little of this, a little of that. A group from the stepdown unit, where Eric will go once out of ICU (in a couple weeks?), came by, told us a bit of what life would be like there. There will be lots of learning, especially for Bob and I, on how to care for Eric and his tracheostomy, ventilator, etc. Of course, that will only be a review for me. Eric will learn how to talk and eat with his trach. There'll be lots of rehab. We're told the rooms are nice there, big, with a pullout bed large enough for both Bob and I to sleep on. They gave us a notebook with info on tracheostomies. They showed Eric an actual trach tube, so he knows what they look like. They also informed us that, once the trach is put in, Eric will be on "fresh trach" precautions, which includes 5-7 days of not just sedation but paralyzation so the trach has time to heal. This sounds extreme to me. A question for my medical community readers . . . is this common practice? Or a pediatric thing? Or something specific to the ENT group here at TCH? Because Bob and I totally don't want to see him parayzed for even two days. The plan is to build Eric's strength. And we've seen how even a couple days on paralytics can sap a person's muscles and energy. If it is just a pediatric practice, we're hoping ENT will see Eric as adult in both size and maturity, and not insist on those 5-7 days just because "that's how they do things here."
The rehab doctors came by and evaluated and examined Eric. Not sure if they made a specific plan for their physical therapists. They asked if there were any rehab facilities for Eric in the Lake Charles area. I'm not sure, but that all seems so far in the future to me right now.
Eric received a "PIC" line today, which is some kind of fancy IV. Later today, they pulled out the arterial line and CVP line. They stopped the TPN and increased the tube feedings. We're in the process of cutting back on sedation, and this is difficult for Eric, even though he wants to be less sedated. He wants to start doing things like sending emails, playing cards, gameboy, reading, and the sedation is making this a challenge. But they've got a weaning protocol here that hopefully will make the process more comfortable for Eric.
We found out my two sisters, Sue and Lisa, are coming to visit Apr. 2-4 from Pa. We're pretty excited about that. Bob's sister and brother-in-law came by this afternoon.
And now Eric is sleeping.