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.