Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Accidental Decan.

I guess Harlie just doesn’t want me to relax. Today, the respiratory therapist (RT) came to do her monthly assessment of Harlie’s medical status and check the equipment. As I am talking with her, I hear normal Harlie sounds over the monitor (she was napping).

Brandy goes upstairs to check on her and then I hear Brandy say calmly, but seriously, “Christy, come up here.” So, I run upstairs and as soon as I get to the top, Brandy tells me that Harlie pulled her trach out and she can’t get it back in.

So, I try to get it in. No way. Not going. We tried repositioning her. Brandy put her head back to expose her stoma, and I tried again. No way. At this point, Harlie is definitely struggling and turning blue.

So, I go and get another trach, put the obturator in (a guide that’s firm to help the trach go in, because the trach tube itself is kinda floppy). I can’t remember if I tried again or not, but decided that she needed to be on the changing table where I normally do her trach changes. I thought maybe some normalcy would help. And that would certainly put me in a better position to know that I'm at the right angle, etc.

Well, Brandy starts to bring her over, but then we realize that she’s still connected to the feeding pump, which clearly, will not reach. So, the RT (who followed me upstairs) turns off the pump and we disconnect her, then Brandy puts her on the changing table and I try again. I literally had to force it, and thankfully, it FINALLY went in. Whew!

Then the RT held the trach in place while Brandy put new ties on. I suctioned her, and there was just a little bit of blood, which I was very surprised about. I really had to force it, so I expected more. We put her back on the trach collar with a lot of oxygen (the RT had gone straight to the concentrator as soon as she came upstairs which was really smart, I think) and she pinked back up. And then she smiled at us. That little stinker.

I think the whole episode lasted less than a minute. And let me tell you, A LOT can go through your mind in a minute. But, thank God, none of that happened and she is fine now. As the RT was leaving, she told me that I did everything right, which was really nice to hear. And I think Brandy and I worked very well together in this stressful situation, which is very comforting.

So, that was our excitement for the day. For the week, month, year, I hope!!! As luck would have it (hey, I’ll take what I can get), we see ENT one week from today (in Norfolk), so I will run it past him and have him check her out extra carefully to make sure she’s okay. Oh, I can see that little girl is going to keep me on my toes!

Take care,

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