Sunday, December 20, 2009

Update #112 on Kevin

When we last left you, we were faced with four hours of us being alone with Kevin. No nurses, no doctors, no therapists…just us, family, non-professional, barely trained, imperfect family members filled with trepidation. We made it. Kevin was coughing quite a bit, sounding gurgly (the technical term) and we decided to give him an impromptu breathing treatment. It seemed to help subside the coughing. That night the nurse got there around 11pm and we took the opportunity to get some sleep. That night Kevin threw up several times around 3:30 AM. Around 6:45 AM someone woke up for the shift change (another nurse took over for the night nurse).

That day, Saturday, we got Kevin up in his temporary chair with the nurse and Kevin seemed to be having a decent day, however, we decided to switch back to the familiar style of suctioning with a sleeved catheter because he was still coughing quite a bit. This style of suction is easier to do periodically throughout the day as he needs it, without going through setting up a sterol environment, it is covered in a see through plastic sleeve.

At 3 PM, the nurse’s shift was over, leaving us once again and the helm of Kevin’s care. This time it was twice as long for eight hours! That evening we continued turning Kevin, giving him his meds, using the hoyer lift to get him in his chair, caring for him, suctioning him and giving him breathing treatments. By 11PM Saturday night we had made it yet again. Another nurse came and took the night shift from 11PM to 7 AM.

This morning, Sunday, Angie and Taylor got up early to give Kevin his meds and a bath. Then while everyone else went to church, I stayed with Kevin, completely by myself. Wow, talk about someone’s life in your hands. It turned out fine. We watched a sermon together, then I played some worship songs. I did everything he needed me to do. I even found time to fold the laundry and have some breakfast. When the nurse left at 7 AM this morning, it launched a new challenge for the family. We wouldn’t have a nurse again until that night at 11PM. That’s sixteen hours!!!!! First four hours, then eight, now sixteen! The challenge was getting bigger and bigger. After a long day of care, we made it. A nurse came on at 11PM. That nurse leaves at 7AM and another one arrives and leaves at 3PM tomorrow afternoon.

The fear of doing everything for Kevin is lessening, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there and will go away anytime soon. We wonder how often we will getting ‘free time’ during this phase of Kevin’s recovery. And yet we will soldier on.

Tomorrow, December 21st, is the anniversary for myself and Angie. We have been married thirteen years. I know when we stood in front of all our friends and family that we had no idea what would be happening thirteen years later. Kevin and Greg were my bestmen, and they stood behind me as we made our vows. All the family is pitching in, but I know that God has given me something very special in my wife, Angie. She has been more than one could ever expect in a tragedy such as this. Tomorrow, Kohl will be here while the nurse is here, so that Angie and I can go and spend some time together during the day.

Throughout the week, the nursing hours will continue to dwindle until there will be no nurses on Christmas Eve or beyond. We would love to have nurses continue on, but insurance will not pay for it. I’m not sure how we will overcome being stretched and challenged in this phase of Kevin’s recovery, but by the grace of God we will.

Thanks for reading and praying,
Matt, Angie and family