Big day today!

At 11:15 a.m. today Parker will go back to the OR. They are still hopeful that they can take his ventilator out today, wake him up and get him breathing on his own. If they have any concerns about the graft site they might choose to keep him intubated for a few more days. Overnight they switched his meds to a cocktail that will allow him to wake up quickly as soon as they turn them off . . . as usual, they had to give him a double initial dose and some more bolus doses than would normally be expected. They did get him settled and comfortable and he and his numbers look great right now.

I am much more nervous about today than I was about the surgery. Things seem to have gone really, really well, but things aren’t always as they seem and there is, of course, a risk that Parker will have to be re-trached.

Speaking of the trach. I will clarify a few things because I know some people are confused:

When they did the surgery, they did remove the trach and also removed the stoma. (The hole that his trach went into.) Parker’s stoma had a lot of bumpy scar tissue, all of that is removed and all that remains is a nice, tidy, three inch incision along the fold of his neck. Right now, Parker is being ventilated via an endotracheal tube that goes through his nose and down into his lungs. His ventilator regulates his breaths entirely, meaning they have set how many breaths, how often, how big, and how much oxygen he gets. When he starts to rouse, he does breathe over or around his ventilator which just means that he might take extra breaths or he might take more shallow breaths.

If they do take him off of the ventilator today we will be monitoring him closely for any stuggles to breathe: some could be associated with the sedation and his overall strength. He is also going to be breathing a completely different way than he ever has before. Not only is it different but he has to draw a breathe a lot further to get it to his lungs. It doesn’t seem at first glance that it would actually be harder or any different to breathe out of your nose or mouth than out of your neck, but consider for a moment the extra distance the air has to travel to go from your nose to your lungs. It is almost double. There is also a risk that the ventilator tube itself will have caused some swelling that will make it harder to breathe. And of course, the integrity of the graft site will still be in question for a few more weeks. The graft should integrate into the trachea, form a mucosa covering and just act like it has always been there, but that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the body attacks the graft, among other issues. We do not anticipate any of these things being an issue for Parker . . . but we did not anticipate life with a tracheostomy the morning of November 2nd, 2006 when Parker joined us.

Fingers crossed for us!

8 Responses to “Big day today!”

  1. 1 Happy April 15, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Our fingers are crossed and we’re saying lots of prayers. I can imagine that you’re more nervous about today, it’s a big one! My heart is racing and my stomach’s in a knot for you. Praying that he breathes well and deeply and it all goes smoothly!

  2. 2 Lara April 15, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    My fingers are crossed, but I am confident all will go smoothly and he will sail through this as he has already sailed through so much in his life.


  3. 3 Ang B April 15, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Sending out positive thoughts for Parker this morning, sounds like he’s doing great!!

  4. 4 Kristy (LKN) April 15, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    We sure are crossing fingers and toes here in St. Louis today for sweet Parker. What an exciting day!!

  5. 5 Sheryl April 15, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    I can only imagine how nervous you are. No one gets it but us “trachies……”…….

    I truly hope all goes well. What a sweet little boy.


  6. 6 Amber Schmidt April 15, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Anxiously awaiting the results and sending lots of hugs and prayers!! Go Parker man go!!!

    Huge hugs!

  7. 7 Sarah April 15, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    it is time now, assuming no delays he should be in the bronch now, I am sending good thoughts his way, anxiously waiting to hear. Sorry ian isn’t there yet, I understood he wasn’t going to get there until tonight.

  8. 8 Jennie April 15, 2008 at 5:06 pm


    Hoping things went well today! (Also hoping he went into the OR on time…what a day to have a delay!). Can’t wait to see an update. Many hugs to all.

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