Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alaska- Update 2

Back again...
Day 2- My mom, Ruthie, Elijah, Esther and Dan all came to the hospital around 9:30 in the morning. The night nurse had talked about lessening the sedation a little to see if he could handle it so the day nurse started to prep him for that. They had to also closely monitor his temperature and blood pressure because he was running a fever and his blood pressure had dropped during the night. They also had begun the warming process during the night so he was feeling pretty warm. By this point the ventilator was at 40%, meaning he was breathing on his own but the ventilator was supplementing each breath with additional oxygen. By afternoon he was completely out of sedation and cooperating with what they were telling him. He was leaving the tubes completely alone.
He kept moving his feet and his fingers to let us know that he was understanding everything that people were saying. He kept moving one finger purposefully. After a little while we realized that he was trying to ask us for a pen. We scrambled around and found a pen and an old folder and he started to write. Legibly!!!
The nurse said that in 11 years of nursing he had never seen anyone so together right after coming out of sedation much less after a trauma like he had. It was amazing!
He wrote "I am not asleep" followed by "should I be?" We were so happy. We reassured him that he didn't need to be sleeping unless he wanted to. He also let us know that his pain level was very high and that he was cold. I think it really helped his nurses know how to help him and make him more comfortable. Off and on the rest of the afternoon he was writing to us, letting us know what he wanted/needed, joking around, etc. If he hadn't still had the ventilator and feeding tubes in you wouldn't have known how sick he had been.
By afternoon he was doing so well that they decided he could have the ventilator removed. I think getting the tube out made him being better a reality. His throat was really painful so he didn't talk too much but did find the energy to ask for biscuits and gravy and for pie. By night they removed the feeding tube after determining that he was able to swallow.
His recovery has been amazing! We so appreciated all of the prayers and messages from everyone.


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