Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tiny Bubbles

Eric's left chest tube continues to give us fits. But we're so adept at recognizing the signs now, we work to get the tube functioning again before there's much of a problem. Even Eric can tell us when it stops bubbling, before his O2 saturation starts to fall. He just knows what it feels like. As I write this, I'm sitting beside the chest tube with a flashlight, periodically checking for those tiny bubbles that indicate the chest tube is working, and keeping my eyes on the monitor to watch Eric's sats while he sleeps. What we really need is a doctor to come unsuture it and truly manipulate it into a different position that isn't so . . . positional.

I didn't sleep well. I'm not at all worried about the tracheostomy. Not that I ever dreamed I'd be happy that my child is getting one, but I know it's what Eric needs right now to move forward in his recovery. I'm very concerned about all the other aspects of the procedure. I worry that anesthesia will over-ventilate him with pressures too high for his fragile lungs, causing more blebs to burst, more pneumothoraxes. I worry they'll over-sedate him and drop his blood pressure, like they did the other day when they reintubated him. Or that they'll under-sedate him and he'll feel pain. I worry that they won't keep a close eye on these chest tubes.

The nurse weighed Eric tonight. After several days of nutrition, both TPN and NG, my boy actually lost a pound. He tells us several times a day that he's hungry. He'll continue to get TPN throughout the procedure and recovery, and hopefully they'll restart the NG feeds soon after. I think they need to increase the amount. For those of you who know Eric, you wouldn't even recognize him, he's so gaunt. He looks skeletal to me, his eyes sunken back into his face. I want to feed him!

Eric was visibly more depressed yesterday. Sullen and indifferent. Usually he tells us exactly what he wants, but yesterday, he answered every question with a shoulder shrug. He said it wasn't because of the trach, but rather everything in general. And who can blame him? He's been in ICU for seven weeks today, all but a week of that on a ventilator. But still, I worry. We've come so far. He can't give up now.

Anyway, we still need loads of prayers. Prayers that Eric's tracheostomy goes well today and that it heals well. That Eric will adjust to it well. That he'll be out of ICU within a week. That he'll get his motivation back. That his lungs will continue to heal and the holes will close. And that Bob and I can stop worrying.


jess said...

Oh Angie, we're still praying. I wish I could do or say something that would fill Eric with motivation. He can't give up now. He can't get discouraged now--after working so hard and coming so far.

Father God, let Eric FEEL your presence. Allow him to experience your touch. Fill him with 'want to' Lord, pour motivation into his mind and heart so he can help himself. Father, put a smile on his face so Angie and Bob can feel a little motivation too.
Lord Jesus, you're the key to his salvation in ALL ways. We trust You Father to heal Eric. We're waiting for Your miracle. We praise you, Lord, for giving us all the priviledge of knowing, loving and praying for the Dilmore family. Amen

Anonymous said...

When I go to my church meeting this morning we will lift Eric up in prayer as he undergoes the trach procedure. I wish I could share some of your pain and give you and Bob a rest. Know that we care and pray every day for all of you. I look forward to your updates every day. Thanks for writing and being a writer. Your the best.

Love you, bev

Lee Ann Grimes said...

Hi Angie. My name is Lee Ann Grimes, and I found you through Lacy Sellars yesterday. I would truly love to be of help to you. We were in the TCH PICU ten times, eight of which were on a vent, with our number one child Corinne. I read with poignancy the progression of your Eric, my imagination flying back to our months in that very place going through many of the very same things. We have since served on the TCH parent advisory board, and I am currently a parent teacher for Baylor and UT through Project DOCC--a program that teaches residents the unseen side of caring for a chronically ill child. In my past life I taught HS English.

If it sounds like I am detailing a resume, well, I might be! I was wary of help, and thought you might be as well, but I offer this. I am sure that I would not have emerged on this side of the ICU half as sane as I did without the help of so many.

I live 5 minutes from the hospital, will happily run to Target--or pick you up so that you may join me--pick up a Caesar salad from La Madeline, stock the ICU fridge with snacks, take your laundry home (although I am reticent to offer that as you seemed to enjoy it last time!). And I will gladly sit with your Eric. I tell good stories, and even my 13 year old boy seems to enjoy my company--albeit in small doses...

Hope today is a good day. Blue Skies.
Lee Ann (

Kimberly said...

Praying for your worries today, Angie. With tears in my eyes, I completely understand the need to turn off the worries, but He can handle them...especially when we cannot.

Hoping to hear great news on the other side of this procedure.

Anonymous said...

We do not know each other, but I have been closely following your blog. My daughter's 8th grade girls Sunday School class in Moss Bluff has been praying for you. Her concern for your son, whom she does not know, has trickled into our home. Our family has been keeping you in our prayers. As a mother, my heart goes out to you. I think of you and your family often throughout each day and each time, offer up a prayer. For whatever reason, God has kept you close to my heart.

My prayer today is for our merciful Father to fill Eric (and you) with a joy that transcends all understanding, a hope for the future and peace in the moment. I am praying for a smooth procedure without complications and for those lungs to heal! God is good!!

I am passing along a quote from our SS prayer list.

"When you have left or leaving your Egypt and headed to your promise land, that is when the enemy will make you Doubt God's Will for your life. That is when he will fight you the most when you are weary and worn smooth out!! Just when you think you can take a breath..Remember-
When this happens.. STAND STILL AND SEE THE SALVATION OF THE LORD! The Battle is THE LORD'S His promises never fail and he truly is with us no matter what we are going through. Keep seeking his face like Peter did on the water. Sometimes we may look at our circumstances and fall but God will help us back up and make us even stronger. This is truly character building."

May you find joy, peace and rest today. You are being covered in prayer my sister in Christ!

Anonymous said...

Father in the name of Jesus, I too pray that that Your Presence fills and surrounds Eric. Lord fill him with so much motivation and determination that it spills out of him and touches every person that comes into his presence. Thank You for the joy of the Lord that is Eric's strength flooding out of his inner being and changing the atmosphere around him. Thank You that all goes well and that Eric recovers from this so quickly that the doctors will be amazed. Thank You for healing his lungs completely. Give his parents strength and peace. Cause their faith to increase so that worry and fear will have no place in their minds. I pray that You bless their family in every way - meet every need they have as only You can do. Father minister to Andrew. Surround him with Your love Lord. Let him know how special he is to his family. Thank You Father for a good report. Amen

Anonymous said...

Angie (and Bob)
I pray that as I write this, you are all having a restful moment.
Eric is bound to have ups and downs in his mood and motivation, but I am sure that his motivation to get well will prevail. Prayers for Eric to feel God's peace and strength.
The tube is out of his mouth - Yay! Another step on the road to recovering.
Tom and I were wondering how often you get a room at the Ronald McD. House. You had mentioned that the demand is greater than the availability.
Thank you for sharing this experience with all of us who care so much for you.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

As I read your updates I can't help but count my blessings - how selfish is that?

How confusing.

Wish there was something I could do but since there isn't much I WILL continue to pray...for Eric's recovery, strength for you & Bob, peach and healing for all.

Not sure if this will make him/you all smile or not, but I posted pictures of my granddaughter's birthday party on my blog - when Princess Aurora visited her!

Love You.