“If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same……..
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it…………….”
Okay, our life is BIZARRE and BEAUTIFUL at the same time……….I was just thinking the other day how nice it was to have a non-medical scenario………………..
But then let me tell you how our evening went a few weeks ago.
I had been downtown painting at the “community kitchen” I was working on. (It’s my way of paying forward the kindness we’ve been shown). When I looked down at my phone and saw that I had missed two calls from home.
(Here are photos of the community kitchen in case you're curious as to how the kitchen turned out!)
I called home and Chris told me, “Panic’s over. Winston’s okay. He was standing up at the ottoman, went to grab the silver bird candle, and he fell backwards. He made a weird noise for a moment or two from his trach but now he’s doing okay.”
We chatted for a bit, he tells me had problems getting the catheter down, but that he got some secretions out which seemed very thick. He also says that Winston’s trach ties were loose and he tightened them up.
Chris sounded very calm but there is always, always a secret storyline when we talk trachs and incidents.
Since July 5th 2009, anything evolving trachs makes Chris’ heart rate increase…….. a tightness in his chest reappears ………..and a hint of anxiety comes back as a reminder of that fateful day when Chris had to do CPR and resuscitate Winston as blood was literally streaming out of Winston’s stoma.
I am still always in awe of how amazing he handled that mad moment. I don’t think I would have been able to stay as calm as he did.
But since that moment, it’s almost as if Chris has a little bit of post traumatic stress (for a great reason) when it comes to anything involving Winston’s trach.
But don’t get me wrong, Chris wouldn’t hesitate to rise to the occasion yet again if he needed to, I know that without a doubt. He handles all other aspects of Winston’s medical needs and fatherhood beautifully and with ease. Now with all of that said, knowing that Chris has a “get out jail free” pass forever for saving Winston, let me continue my story…………………..
Okay, so Winston fell backwards, he made a weird noise, he did a cough, and Chris noticed Winston’s trach ties were super loose so he tightened them. He checked to be sure Winston was not in distress and so they continued on with their evening.
I arrived home not much later, and seeing Winston fine and thinking nothing of it, we continued on as usual. Winston and I headed to the dog park with Sophie and that night we stayed for two hours just to be sure Sophie’s puppy energy had an outlet.
When we got home, Winston and I did our usual evening routine of a bed bath, pajama time and medicines. Chris and I were even laughing because Winston was giggling out loud while playing in the sink water………..it was so cute we had to video it…………..little did we know………..
So thinking there were still no issues, during our bed time routine, I started to notice a weird sound from Winston. I go to suction his trach and the catheter wouldn’t go down……………..
“Uh, Chris……” I yelled up the stairs, “Did Winston’s catheter ever go down after the fall?”
“Hhhhhhhmm, no,” keep in mind he’s a fabulous dad who has a forever “get out of jail free” pass.
“He wasn’t in distress and was fine.”
So anyone who is around trachs ever, if you cannot get the catheter down, you stop whatever it is you’re are doing and you assess the situation. Do not stop until you figure out why the catheter is not going down!!
Quickly my face turns to a “poop face”……all scrunched up and serious. “We need to get ready for a trach change when the nurse arrives.”
The nurse arrives, we are all set up for worse case scenario…………remember we’ve been through a coding. So in our minds, it was prepare for the worse…..a spasm, anything………….oxygen ready, suction machine ready, land line phone ready………………….Winston was down on the floor, ready for the trach change when Chris spots something…………….
“What’s that? That’s his trach!!”, Chris says.
OMG……………………Winston’s trach was out for four and a half hours…………..that’s right kids, four and a half hours!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's a happy thing and a "OMG..........we're idiots....how did we not notice!" thing!!!! But it's a beautiful moment that's for sure!!!! Bottom line, Winston breathed on his own that whole time!!!! Basically his trach was too short and he needed increase the size to a pediatric size (which we have now done).
NOW the big question you want to ask is, "Will he lose his trach now?"
The answer is no.
Ultimately, the trach is a guaranteed, secure airway for any time Winston is having treatment or surgery. It's basically peace of mind. BUT we do know he will eventually lose his trach which is BRILLIANT!!! :)