Saturday, January 26, 2013

Whats going on? January 26/13

ICU  - Day 9

Busy week here.  For some reason (gee, I cannot imagine why) my creative juices just don't seem to be flowing the same way they usually do.  I am trying to work past it to get this information out to everyone as clearly as possible.  

Yesterday, Keith's mouth tube for the ventilator was moved and a tracheostomy was performed to give him some relief from the tube at the top of his throat.  Essentially, now he breathes through the stoma in his neck, and he is still on the ventilator moving between pressure control and support.  The difference between these is that on pressure control, the ventilator is doing all the work of him breathing, when he is able - a good portion of the time - pressure support just gives him a little "boost" to ensure that each breath in and out goes smoothly.  

The upside of this is that I can now see (and this morning, KISS) his beautiful clean shaven face, and his throat can heal so he is a little more comfortable.  He can mouth words to me, and when the incision heals better, (it is a little tight now, due to the area healing) he should be more comfortable.  

After his tracheostomy, the nurse inserted what is known as a PICC line.  Coolest part of this, apart from the fact that it reduces the number of IV points that he has to have on his hands and arms, and doesn't need to be changed for months, the nurse doing the procedure, asked me and my daughter (who had surprised me with a visit home from university) if we wanted to watch the procedure.  VERY COOL.  

Grey's got nothing on these two
So we "suited up" and gave the camera our best double selfie pose and prepared to be amazed.  

Remember when they told us in the early 90's that all these kids playing with video games were going to be doctors and doing surgery with this technology?  They were right.  

I'll probably botch this, and please do not attempt this procedure at home.  

They took an ultrasound of Keiths upper arm and located the veins (NOT arteries, cause they are going the wrong way) The veins are wide open, the arteries pulse.  Very cool to watch.  They carefully marked the area where they needed to insert the initial canula (I think thats what this needle is called).  They measured the length of line they would need to get to the big momma vein. Then they draped Keith's body entirely with a small area exposed where the insertion was going to take place.  

Using the ultrasound as a guide, the canula was inserted, and then the PICC line was cut to size and inserted.  There was a sensor on the end of the line that showed up on a computer screen and it was literally like a video game where she gently pushed the line in, and you saw it moving along where it needed to go on the screen.  A couple of twists and turns and TAA DAA!  It was in place.  

There's a Keith under all that :)
The nurse who was doing the job was amazing, allowing us to watch the process from beginning to end.  Only trick was we werent allowed to faint.  We passed!

After this, Keith was still pretty sedated from his trach, and the snow was coming down like crazy.  I said my goodbyes and we drove home in the crazy snow!  (Friday night)


Best part of today - bar none - was coming in this morning and kissing my baby on the lips.    It cannot be described but not being able to kiss him for 9 days, this made my day.  

Tomorrow is another day.  The waiting continues.  The faith, hope and Love continue.  


  1. You both (and Keith) are amazing! Thanks for educating us. I have my fingers crossed for everything, and my donor card signed, and fully in the bone marrow transplant registry, and would give blood if they would let me (not, because of my job, but keep checking and bugging my 0- stepson to donate as often as possible).
    God Bless!

  2. I just came across your blog yesterday. I was interested because I have a cousin in need of a lung transplant. This evening I caught your updates on Twitter and I was SO excited for you when I saw that the surgery has now taken place and it would appear that it has gone well. Such awesome news! My thoughts and prayers are with you, your husband and your families. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery.
    All the best,

  3. My brother Bill forwarded your link to me. Truly appreciative of its content and appeal. I'm signing up on the donor website. May the strength to persevere and to hope be your daily portion.

  4. Sarah,I have just seen your blog this week for the first and i love reading about Keith's and your journey. I have IPF and at the moment I am not sick enough for a transplant. My Dr. has told me if my numbers go the way they are going we will be talking about our move in late summer to Toronto.I have also been following two other people Jessica who just got her miracle and James who is so very sick and is still waiting. I find reading these very calming for me. It makes me know that it to will happen for me when the time is right .God bless all of you for putting this out there for people to see. For all that you go through it just makes me feel so gratiful for what I do have.My thoughts and prayers go out to both Keith and you xoxoxo Donna