Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Slumber and Sedation

Eric has been sleeping most all day. In attempt to comfortably and without withdrawal wean him from the sedatives Fentanyl and Versed, he's on a protocol with Ativan and Methadone. Maybe because he's not as used to these, I don't know, but he's more sedated with the weaning meds than he ever was on the original sedatives. It's very peaceful and quiet (as quiet as a busy ICU can be) in Eric's room today and he's breathing comfortably. (Vent settings now SIMV 13, pressure controlled at 14, PSV 7, PEEP 5, FiO2 .40, and he's maintaining a SpO2 95-97%) We spoke with the ICU attending doctor regarding pavulon paralysis post-tracheostomy, and he said no, we would not be doing that with Eric. So we needn't have worried. The gals who spoke with us yesterday were obviously mistaken.

Lately, I find myself wondering what Eric is thinking. Even though Bob and I are with him 24/7, the lack of ability to communicate must be maddening. A mind full of thoughts, ideas, frustrations, fears, hopes, and unable to verbalize. One can only write so much on a small dry erase board. I can't even imagine the isolation behind the endotracheal tube.

Where does his mind wander? Is he mourning the loss of the entire second half of eighth grade. He was looking forward to so many events . . . the spring band trip to Orlando, the poetry competition at the state Beta convention, Quiz Bowl, Forensics tournament, soccer games, 8th grade graduation and awards ceremony. Eric was one of those kids who's involved in so many activities we can hardly keep his calendar straight, yet he manages to get his homework done and excel academically.

Has it occurred to Eric that it's unlikely he'll attend the Governor's Program for Gifted Children this summer? He had the time of his life there last year at McNeese State University and couldn't wait to go back. Does he know that, due to his extreme lung damage, he won't be able to play his trumpet again for a long time, if ever? Does he know that he won't be able to sing with that beautiful tenor bass voice for many months, or more? He's lost so much. Does he realize? It breaks my heart to think about it.

Does Eric also know that there will be other opportunities, other events, hobbies, and activities to take the place of previous ones, to fill in the spaces left empty by this illness? Right now, I can't imagine what these might be. But I know God has a plan.


Chad, Katie and Chloe said...

Thank you for taking the time to write an update or thoughts everyday. I wish we could be there for you more than we are up in Pittsburgh. Keep the faith and know that we are with you in prayer.
The Johnson's

Rick said...

Angie, I have been keeping up with your blog. We continue to pray for Eric and you, Bob and Andrew. Jennifer Ettenger

Ben and Sally said...

Angie and Bob, Thank you for keeping us updated. We check the blog often with fingers crossed and continual prayers to see what the next step will be. Thankfully your prayers have been answered and they are not going to paralyze Eric to put the trach in.

Lisa said...

Great news about the pavulon. Too bad you had to worry about that, with good reason, for 24 hours. Eric might not do the same things he did before this happened for some time, if ever?...I believe Eric will do it if anyone can. BUT, Eric will do incredible things. Things that he will enjoy just as much. As you said, God does have a plan. Love you!

Anonymous said...

I can only reiterate what others have said. Thanks for keeping us informed. So glad the trach procedure will not be so traumatic. We look forward to the day Eric is able to leave ICU and be in a regular room. Many prayers still coming your way.

Love, bev

Angela Kiser said...

Angie, We think about Eric almost every moment of the day. I know Michael missing him a great deal. Thank you so much for keeping us "in the know". It gives us something to pray specifically about everyday.

Trust in Him! God has done amazing things with Eric thus far. I can not wait to see the future He has in store for Eric. What a blessing your son and his testimony will be!

Angela Kiser

Karen Vrtis said...

Hey, Angie. It's Karen from the gym. I am so grateful for your continual updates. So many people care so much about you all, and we are so happy to be kept up to date. WHEN God heals Eric, can you imagine all he will be able to reach with his story??!! Hmmmmm...I wonder what God has up His sleeve! The following is a prayer from my 8 year old daughter, Rachel. "Dear God, Please heal Eric, and make him breathe easy. Make it so that he can run around and have fun soon." God Bless! We love you Eric.

leafmonster said...

What a sweet prayer from 8-year-old Rachel. It is essentially the same prayer I have been saying, too.
- Carolyn

Anonymous said...

Moss bluff middle school just collected about $5,000 for Eric.

Lisa said...


Hi. My name is Lisa Hope. I used to work at PPG when Bob was there. I wanted to let you know that we've been praying for you all and everyone I talk to who knows Bob is too. What brought me off the sidelines (reading your posts regularly) was your concern over the paralysis after trach. I have a cousin who is in Children's Hospital in PGH right now. He's 19and had a run in with a lung disorder called HLH. He had to have a trach put in last week. Similar to your experience, he was put under restraint for several days, not using paralytic medication, but actual physical restrains.
Wishing you all the best... Lisa Hope