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.