Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A little humidity is a good thing

It's only Tuesday, but I swear it feels like Thursday. How can I be so tired already and it's only Tuesday? Jack had a rough day today -- which doesn't surprise me. I had noticed over the weekend that Jack's secretions were really thick and, last night I figured out why. I remember changing the bag of water that fills his heater chamber (the chamber that heats the water that humidifies the air that he breathes) some time on Saturday. Last night I noticed that the heater chamber was completely dry and the bag of sterile water was completely full. I'm guessing that when I changed over the bag, I didn't make a complete "connection" and the water couldn't flow from the bag to the heater chamber. Bottom line ... Jack went over 2 days breathing dry air. NOT A GOOD THING! Those of us who breathe the way nature intended add moisture to the air we breathe when the air passes through our nose. Because Jack doesn't breathe through his nose, we have to create artificial moisture by running the air received from the ventilator through a heated water chamber. Anyway, after I noticed the problem last night, I spent several hours (well past midnight) giving Jack saline nebs and suctioning quite a bit to get what was essentially concrete out of his lungs. When our new nurse showed up today, I gave him a heads-up. Apparently, Jack's day was just as I predicted. I say "apparently" because Paul called Kristi when he became concerned about Jack's high heart rate and breathing. Of course . . . no call to me. Kristi then called me to give me a heads up. Long story ... long ... Jack looked completely wiped out when I got home from work. And those eyes he gave me . . . they spoke volumes about how his day went -- they are so tired. He's not sharing any smiles with me right now either.

I guess there's a reason they call kids like Jack "medically fragile". They can turn on a dime and when they do, it's not something you can fix with a kiss and a bandaide. It's this constantly being either in crisis mode or on the verge all the time that is so wearing. I'm worn out . . . but, this time it's my own fault ... I created the crisis!

Tomorrow will be a better day, I'm sure of it. Onward we trudge ...


kristy said...

Frustrating! I hope Jack's day is better today and the secretions thin out. We are having our own humidification crisis and fight with the dme. Never a dull moment with a medically fragile child. This lifestyle that none of us has chosen is EXHAUSTING! I hope you all catch a break soon!

julie worthington said...

Aaw, Ann, I so wish I could give you a break. Poor Jack, and after his happy Monday smile too. Don't beat yourself up about it, we all make mistakes. I hope Jack is smiling again soon.

Love Juliexxx

Anonymous said...

Oh that just sucks. Poor Jack, poor you. There is just so much to remember. I can barely program a number into my cell phone, but ask me what pressure and peep Abby is on and I can tell ya. I find that life with a fragile kid is so dramatic, there is always something. You are always on alert. Watching, waiting, observing, anticipating and not always enjoying. It is triky to find that balance.
Jack will be back to flashing you a wonderful smile in no time at all.