Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Rocky Road

Being home has been great but if I'm being honest it's not been easy, there have been challenges we've overcome and challenges we're still working on. When Jerry was released from UCSF he was not cleared for a regular diet because he has a weak swallow, he's not cleared to drink thin liquids like water, his liquids must be nectar thick. On Friday evening I was repositioning Jerry and he aspirated on his saliva, I tried for about 20 minutes to clear the secretions that were blocking his airway by deep suctioning through the nose and down the throat. Jerry's oxygen saturation level was holding between 88 and 93 as he continued to struggle with the secretions, then suddenly it dropped rapidly to 80%, I knew it was time to call for help. The Boulder Creek fire department was the first to arrive followed by the EMT's, I was hoping that they would have more advance skills or equipment to help clear Jerry's airway to avoid a trip to the ER. I soon learned that they are not allowed to deep suction but they could provide breathing treatment and oxygen. So the medics gave the treatment and I did the suctioning, we worked together for about 40 minutes to try and clear the secretions to no avail. Jerry's oxygen level was at 90% with oxygen when the oxygen was removed it would drop into the 80's. It became apparent we would spend the evening in the ER, the fear was that it would turn into days. Thank God the respiratory therapist was able to clear the secretions with a machine called cough assist, we were able to come home about 3 am. I've been working on getting the cough assist machine and oxygen for home, I think the trip to the hospital could have been avoided if I had those.

Since Jerry had surgery he has had fevers, a lot of anxiety and panic attacks. I feel like the panic attacks and anxiety is getting worse. He's taking a medication for it but it seems to be getting less effective. I think our biggest challenge now is pain management, fever, and anxiety and trouble sleeping, the secretions seem to be gone, for now his respiratory is stable. I look forward to the day when Jerry is pain free, anxiety free and fever free, until then we ride the rocky road and hope the bumps get fewer.



Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you and Jerry have to go through this painful ordeal. I hope that things improve for you both soon. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Ugh all too familiar! I'm so glad you didn't have to check him into the hospital though. I think you should be able to get a prescription for a Cough Assist? I do remember getting Al one was a battle. I ended up selling it to a young man, that was in dire need, for the cost of the shipping. If you can't get one through insurance/medical maybe check the Website I sold hers through? Let me know if I can be of any help.

Michael Stanislawczyk said...

Hi, Jerry and Katie. Pat, and I think about you every day, thankful for bringing us into your lives. We wish you a speedy recovery and know that I miss working with you on your project, hoping we can continue it soon.

With Warmest Regards,

-Mike and Pat Stan...