Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Update #130 on Kevin - ICU

Of course, we didn't know what to expect from the weather and we ended up getting 5.5 inches more snow. It seems to be more driveable than the sleet driven snow last week. Glad we weren't 40 minutes to the Northeast, they got 25 inches!!! So, Kevin and I have been fairly isolated today as far as external visitors go. There have been several staff that have stopped by.

The chaplain, a little elderly nun, came by and introduced herself. She told me that she has seen us the past few days and told us what great condition Kevin is in for Home Health Care. She then proceeded to pray for him silently.

Then the Family Care Specialist came by and introduced herself. She said she only started a couple days ago and was there anything that the family needed. I told her that most everything was great. The biggest hangup we have had is the visiting hours. Visiting hours are closed until 6-9AM; then 6-8 PM and finally 10-midnight. We've had a couple come up and not be able to see him during those hours.

Rene, the nurse manager came in and introduced herself too. While I was out (due to visiting hours being off), she brought by an approved power strip for all my electronics and laptop. Earlier I didn't know who brought it in, the current nurse just told me it was there to use.

Stephanie, Barbara and Norma came in after lunch. They are the physical therapists that will be working on Kevin's range of motion. As he improves, they will try more advanced things, such as he does at therapy twice weekly. Examples might include, sitting up on the side of the bed assisted, more strengh training for neck/legs, etc…

Dopamine/Blood Pressure - As far as getting him off dopamine, we slowed down. Part of the issue is that we got a new nurse today, not a bad one, just new to Kevin. During the night, the night nurse had got Kevin down to 2 mg of dopamine. The day nurse hadn't been on more than an hour or two when she saw his Blood Pressure levels hovering near the low side and she bumped up his dopamine from 2 to 5 mg again. It took me several hours to get her to try to reduce it again. She has now his Blood Pressure is doing well and he is getting 4 mg. Hopefully, we can keep taking ten steps forward and only two steps back.

Not sure where it is at, but Kevin has put on some extra weight. He weighs 205 lbs. Before this trip to the hospital he was around 194. So that means he has picked up ten or eleven pounds, although there is the possibility there is a difference in the bed scale and the therapy scale that we normally use.

Ventilator - Twice now they have switched the ventilator so that Kevin is breathing on his own and the vent is helping him. Twice they have stopped it very close to breathing treatments. This is normal at home and normal for Kevin to have increased breathing rates and coughing after a breathing treatment. The doctor said they will keep working on it and not have the knee jerk precautionary reactions. To do everything he can to at the very least get him on flowby (room air).

Today, Kevin has been awake for several hours. Probably 4 hours so far. I have talked with him and put different shows on TV on for him.

We also found out that they might be some sort of blockage in his urinary tract, but not bad, he is still urinating. The doctor is getting a Urologist on board to come see him tomorrow. His echo came back fairly good for his heart. He just had some pulmonary hypertension on his right side. But its not bad and nothing can really be done about it.

Just finished speaking with one of his critical care doctors. Both of them have been great so far, Dr. Taneja and Dr. Suku. We talked about thirty minutes. At the end he told me that he has done this for a long time and that he has seen many chronically trached patients like Kevin and that he has never seen a family more invested or educated about their family member's situation and what to do to help. Makes ya feel like you are doing things right. The doctor also said that Kevin is winning.

Recent posts -
Update #129 -
Update #128 -

Thanks for reading and praying!!!!
Matt, Angie and family
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