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trach what to expect

debbie 1950
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

i m haveing surgery 5-25-10 and i will be on a trach for 2 to 3 weeks i already had 3 laser surgery he said it s down deep and cant get laser down that far and already had vocal cord on left side remove now its down deeper and tumor on left side i been dealing with this for a year i was wonder what to expect when i wake up with a trach any info will help thanks

MarineE5
Posts: 744
Joined: Dec 2005

Debbie,

The Trach is as you already know, is for you so you don't have trouble breathing. I had a trach also and my Surgeon explained it best this way. He didn't wnat to take the chance that my throat would close up one night after my surgery and he would have to do an emergency trach.

So, you will be your own advacate once it is done. You will need to clean it out several times a day. You can do this. You will also need to sleep in a incline position during this time.I slept in a recliner during this time. Sleeping flat is out of the question until the trach is removed and healed up. I had mine for roughly 6-7 weeks. After I healed up, I returned to the bed, but with a foam wedge and pillows. I slowly lowered the number of pillows over a period of time to see how I would react to sleeping flat again. Having the neck surgery may cause some mucus as well, so be prepared for that also.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

I had my trach in 3 weeks ago, and have stepped down a size from the start..they range from 6.5 and go down i think? Mine was from a l/s Larynx dying from a tumor, they installed it so I could breath easier, My air wave has improved, threw meds, and hoping to to get wienned from this, I have to suction at least 3-5 times a day, I was sent home with a machine, I never was told about the recliner, I slept the first week about an hour, and was given alot of pain pills, the phlem was there before, and had it almost licked till they installed the trach now it's spitting every 5 -10 minutes, i sleep ok as long as the meds are in place, make sure you get your meds from the doctor, i was at the hopsital for 3 days, woke up and found mine place, they told me this might happened, I begged them not too, they stitched it in a few places, those came out after 3 days and they installed my permanet Shiley unit, It's a pain, I hate it, and I pray i can sleep all night without it soon. I hope the best, I know all people are different and can deal with it differently, If anyone else has some imput on there trachs let me know, Also, get yourself a humidifier, i have a small one on a table next to my bed, it keeps your throat moist and the coughing down i think, also. i have no inhome health care person coming in so make sure they show you how to install your trach if it should fly out one day when you cough, it's tricky,you will want to take out the inner tube to scrub it clean..clears the airwave and you don't gurggle. Please don't panic trying to put it back in..I hope I shed some light on the subject. keep in touch..Dennis from Tennessee

MarineE5
Posts: 744
Joined: Dec 2005

Dennis,

My Best to you. Yes, sometimes the Doctors are so fixed on healing us, that they forget to give us the information that we need to know when we get home. Fast instructions on how the machine works, but not the little things to get us thru all the info thrown at us.

Sleeping in a recliner wasn't a walk in the park either, as I would wake up anywhere from 45 minutes to a hour and a half. Sometimes my head would bob and weave and block the airflow to the trach. Woke me up in a hurry. Lack of sleep was my biggest enemy. You are so correct about coughing to hard and having the trach shoot out. No one showed me how to replace it in the case it did happen, so, I made absolutely sure that my trach wasn't going anywhere.

I also had the suction machine and hated it. I finally decided that I would shoot the saline solution in the trach and cough hard to get what ever was in my lungs up and out. I held a wash cloth over the trach when doing this. I would give myself at least two shots of the saline solution to make sure my lungs were clear.

My results with a humidifier were not too good. Seemed that the mucus increased when I ran it, so I stopped using it. But, that is me. As mentioned many times, each of us reacts to treatments differently. It is a balancing act to say the least, we just have to find our own center of gravity on this tight rope.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

Marine,
I got my trach out yesterday, wierd sensation, my l/s larnyx still doesn't work, but my right does produce sound, i feel a small sore throat, i thik this is either from the tube down my throat, the hole was so sore from it bobbng back and forth,, Doctor said the whole was on a 4 trach, and wanted to heal bad, so in a few weeks my hole in my throat will be healed, the throat feels tight and like i said sore, i know this is normal. Breathing is good, the airwave was large enough he felt it could come out and i could go solo, eating is ok, i still have some slight choking, so this is an experimental, when i really exert, i ned to rest for a few, i think this is normal as well? I got the rest of my SSI disability papers from the hospital yesterday as well, this took 3 weeks, i can go apply now with everything in hand, did you file for SSI, please advise on your recooping from your trach, or anyone who would like to give there 2 cents worth, asd of yesterday, the doc says I'm cancer free, no trach and on the mends, i am still taking the hyberberic, he feels thisis a big plus.....I still get depressed, but am trying had to realize what i got, and hopefully it will get better. best to all. Dennis

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Dennis, I just wanted to congratulate you on getting your trach removed, I know how much it was bothering you, physically and emotionally. It's great to hear that everything else seems to be getting better and that you are now cancer free. Great words - CANCER FREE!!!

Take care and give yourself time to heal. I'm sure that your depression will ease up now that you have the trach out.

My best to everyone, Glenna

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2233
Joined: Jan 2010

wow, dennis, you had lots of good news! Congrats! You're on your way now. I was still tired after my treatments for some time. I'd say at least 2 months, so yes, I would think that is normal. I'm 8 months post trmnt and I still get choked quite often on food. I'm not sure how long that will last. I wish you all the best, Dennis, hang in there.
God Bless you friend,
debbie

debbie 1950
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

i was wondering what the frist thing i will think when i wake up, will i be gasping for air will i be able to move can i swollow will i get feeding tube ,i go to pre opt tommorrow i m sure they will explain lot to me, but i think talking to people thats been thru it i get more info and thanks to everbody and i pray for all of yous, i normaly dont talk i just read what everybody has to say and it really helps just reading but i dont know what to expect and freaking a little and my name is Bo i didnt know your password is your name, again thanks and i will be here with everyone for awhile looks like i m just starting

Silver_Foxette's picture
Silver_Foxette
Posts: 137
Joined: May 2010

June 9th will be my 1yr with a permanant trach .I am called a laryngectomy patient.I had vocalcord cancer and had my voicebox,all vocalcords and 1/2 thyroid removed. I strted off with the metal 2 peice trach..had to go in for more surgery within the week ..my airway was closing off so I had to gave a stoma ...fancy word for a trach opening. I have a Blom Singer button.It does help in speech ...but it has had to be chaged (the prostisis} to stop leaking into lungs .I am 55 and I have gone through alot of anxiety in public where I have to speak ...I then panic and must go suction ASAP...no fun indeed.Its ok because I am alive and am given a chance to watch my grandchild grow . They are 16,13,11,7 . So this Nana has alot to live for .I had a feed tube for 8 weeks .Nothing !!! else by mouth ...that was odd.But like anything you get used to it and adapt.I did not lose weight ...could have lost some and not missed it :).The TEP feed was high in calories !I did stay with my daughter for a month untill I felt comfortable going back to my apartment .I live alone so I had a fear with no voice .Over that ...I use txt messaging and I have a beeping system for listening to family phone calls .But I also have a landline which is TTP phone ...used for mute and deaf people.What ever God has in store formyou is for a reason.Cancer sucks and you will never be the same you ..but be blessed for every breath you take .I will never question my Lord as to why me ...why Not me ? God bless you all who read this and feel free to email me here on CSN. Name is Roxanne ~*~ are always near ~*~ Ps.91:11 .....my prayers are with all !

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

I wanna thank everyone with a trach that came forward, I know everyone has there own trach, I am having a hard time coping mentally with this, a year ago, i was a
walking trails, breathing fine, voice a little raspy, down 60lbs, doctor appointments every week, radiation and chemo down, now trying to repair the damage, the trach for a item due to my breathing was tight, and they where afraid it wasn't going to open back up, we are working with antiobiodics, I was downsized last week, with a smaller tube, but need to use a cap on it...i find this smothering, but they say the airwave is larger than weeks before, I pray for everyone out there with this device, either I am not tough enough, or can't handle this hole thing, mentally i have a roller coaster of days, is it the pain medication, am I human, so tired of the cancer and wait for improvements. Good luck to everyone. I had a dead L/S Larnyx, and they found a tumor on the front of my throat, the right side does vibrate some, P.S...there will attempting a new procdecure dealing with Hydrogen in healing and producing new cells. as anyone heard of this....I'm Located Near Nashville, And Baptist Hospital is the place that offers this. Thanks Dennis

Carolinagal's picture
Carolinagal
Posts: 88
Joined: May 2010

My dad had his surgery Dec.17 09. They put a trach in to be on the safe side. When he woke up in ICU he was so medicated he didn't really know. He had a feeding tube in his nose as well. There was a blue "hose" connected to oxygen that we had to tape to his chest to help him get enough air. At first he couldn't speak although he tried. Thankfully, the nurses provided paper and pen for him. The main part was stitched in , the part that went into his neck could be changed. During the second week of his stay they did a swallow test- the last thing he had to swallow was pudding. They also blocked the hole to see if he could breathe, he did so he graduated to a speaking cap-they wanted him to use it as much as possible. It was so nice to be able to understand him again! When he had a big cough it would fly across the room. He got frustrated with that and wanted it off. The hardest part for us to watch was when he needed to be suctioned. But, it brought relief to him and helped keep his oxygen level up. I asked him if it hurt, he said no. One night he was struggling a lot- we finally realized the water bottle connected to the oxygen was empty. The lady who brought the suction machine for us to take home was shocked to hear we hadn't been taught by the nurse to use it. Her exact words were " you can catch the ball here or you can catch it at home, I suggest you catch it here". She went over the instructions and gave us a booklet on how to do it. On Dec. 27 they took it out. They said it would take just a few days to close up on the inside. We left the hospital the next day so thankful we were leaving that machine.But, if we had needed to do it we would have. Ask questions now in case you can't afterward. If you will have to leave the hospital with the trach be sure you and anyone who may be helping you are comfortable and as informed as possible about it. Hang in there, you can do this! Blessings to you!

junklady's picture
junklady
Posts: 88
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband had a trach put in September because he had trouble breathing. He has end stage laryngeal cancer. He was in ICU for one day, then regular hospital room for 4 days before going home. You should have all the equipment you need for your home before you leave the hospital, and it should be explained to you. Caring for the trach etc. You can use disposable inner cannulas or to save money you can clean them in hydrogen peroxide. We used to use the suction machine, but gave it up for the saline, works better. Yes, the mucus is the biggest issue and a constant one. Definitely a pain in the behind, very frustrating. My husband constantly expels mucus into a washcloth. He uses the nebulizer at night and sleeps either on his side or stomach, no problems. The nebulizer is very annoying, noisy. I personally can only sleep with him a couple of hours before I have to go to another room. Make sure you clean the trach, area around it, and the ties everyday. If you have it for an extended time, you have some type of medicated drops to put around the area to prevent granulation. He was able to eat and drink after the trach placement no problem. Let me know if you have more questions.

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

Can you tell me how long yor husband kept the trach...before getting rid of it, or does he still have it, the problem I am having is trying to get rid of the phlem so i can ditch the trach, my body knows there is a foreign object and produces phlem to fight back, i went to the doctors this week and my airwave has made progress of opening he tells me, so he downsized me, but i can't cap the sucker off yet, it feel like someone has stuck a pillow over my face, we are doing 3 more weeks of antibiodics, wish me luck, and I will hold you guys in my prayers....The next venture is a Hydrogen infusion, I'm put in a body tube and fed pure oxygen to produce and speed up recovery, ever hear of it???? I'm going for it. anything to get past this trach, I've had enough of Cancer. Take Care. Dennis

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2233
Joined: Jan 2010

Dennis, it just breaks my heart when I hear of your troubles. I can't begin to know what you're going thru as I've never had a trach. I truly feel for you tho and want you to know I'm praying for you. I also wish you the very best with the procedure you're about to try. Please keep us posted as we worry about you.
God Bless,
Debbie

debbie 1950
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

how long have u had yours. i did my pre opt today and the way there talking i might have to have one for life how ever long that may be i m 51never thought i ll have to deal with this, this early in life they wont know till they get in there whitch i thnk they know and dont want to tell me cause i told them i didnt want to have one the rest of my life i go to Moffit cancer center in tampa fl everybody said i have the best surgon this is the best place but who knows i feel alot better they show me a videoof one person had it for 19 yrs another lady 14 they seem to be doing good with it sure made me fell better but i still dont wont one but i like to stay around longer see my grand kids and be a pain for my kids lol so i have to do what ever to stay alive how long have you been going thru this battle they found mine last 1 year ago did they take all your vocal cords out, hope thing get better for u but it nice to have people to talk to thanks god bless you all Bo

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

Well I go to The other major Hospital the 26th of this month, we are going to try for the hydrogen infusion, they put your body in a tube and push hydrogen to speed heal your body, build new cells, I'm hoping by the time i get there with the antiobiodocs i am on i will get more improvement to get my passagae way open, he said the last time it did open up some, I know I am a fighter Debbie,I gonna beat this. I have a question for anyone ou there....my face is so swollen, i ask the doctors and they tell me its aftermath of radiation????, I had radiation on the fron of my next and ended January 26th, and I thought I had a bad tooth, had that checked...NOPE...Does anyone else have swelling of the lower jaw, how bad do medications hsve to do with your attitude, I have ups and downs, but happen so fast with bad depression? Thanks Dennis. P.S I still have my vocal chords, and thanks to every.

junklady's picture
junklady
Posts: 88
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband has had the trach since September and it is permanent. Yes, the mucus is the never ending, big issue. The saline helps you cough it out. He is extremely frustrated living like this, but it is the only answer. 3 years ago he had 7 weeks radiation, but when the cancer came back, radiation again could not be done. The Dr wanted to Laryngectomy, my husband said no way. He would rather have quality of life. So this is where we are now, living each day as it comes. When he got the trach in September, the Dr. said this would give him about 6 months more, well here we are now at 8 months. He takes pain meds and the airway feels like it is closing. I just don't know what to expect and when. He does eat and drink normally, that has not been affected. I as the caregiver am constantly worrying about everything. In order for me to vent, I have a daily journal that I write in to get out all my frustrations, emotions, anger and everything else. I hope for you that the new venture of Hydrogen infusion works for you, and you will be on the road to recovery. Take care.

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

It's going on 4 weeks since tehy installled my trach, i go for my consultaion next wednesday on the hydrogen technique, I know they cut into some major muscles in front, i
m expereincing pain in the back of my head and and my lower, face is swollen, Doctors tell me its radiation popping back up on the swelling of my jaw, anyone else experience this??? I come to the dicussion board to ask questions, i find out that people who have gone threw this is somtimes better then the professionals, Junklady, I know your ahaving a rough time , my heart goes to both of you, I'm frustrated, angry. and just hope the healing continues in a postive fashion, blowing phlem threw a hole is not a way for anyone, my prayers to you and your husband and everyone that has to deal with this...Dennis

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

Please let me know when you get home from the hospital how everything went, This is a big adjustment, mentally and physically ,I hope you have some one there to lean on, I didn't, and I am sorry to say, fighting this thing, I go to another Doctor this Wednesday. Looking for hope, and reassurance the good lord is going to watch over me and mend me, I am growing tired, and they say i am showing signs of wellness, Having patience when you have cancer is not one I have, as you can tell. Good Luck Deb, I am hoping the best for you tomorrow....Dennis in Tennessee

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

Thanks for coming forward and answering my message, I'm scheduled to see the. new Doctor Wednesday, and how many weeks did he do this Gracie, I know it's a Monday threw Friday for 2 hours. what kind of improvement did he see in the procedure, please keep in contact with me if you would...Thanks Graci, i need to know how i get my address to you, what had happened at teh beginning was a l/s dead larnyx, and after a few doctors, that didn't know what they where doing, they founf out i had a tumor on my l/s vocal, i still have r/s movement and are using antibiotics to see how much more they can clear up, i was in about 4 weeks ago and they went into to scrap dead radiation out...when i woke I was installed with a trach, they thought my wind pipe might collaplse, and didn't want to take the chance, Yeah Well thanks alot. Thanks again...A Big Thank You!!!

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

please send me a pm,appreciate it. dennis

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

My Cancer Doctor appoinment is today, I hope and pray i get the ok to have the trach pulled, or will i have another obstacle of another excuse of why it can't come out, i have had it plugged for 2weeks, first week during the day, and the 2nd week at nights and days, only taking oit out to clean, My mental state would imporvie 100%, seeing a positive improvement, please pray for me in this simple request today, i need every hope, to feel i am getting better and i am going to win this and not die like my brother did. thanks for everyone support, let you know tonight..Dennis

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2233
Joined: Jan 2010

Dennis, my prayers and best wishes are with you. Please let us know.
God Bless you friend,
debbie

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

I am happy to report, i came home with one less piece of plastic, they felt i was far enough along, scoped my throat and chords, no tumor, clean, they removed my trach, i came home with a bandaide and very happy wearing a large bandaid for 2 weeks till my trach hole heals, I thank god and everyone here for there support,i feel i made a huge jump today mentally, they want me to continue the hyperberic treaments, they feel this is helping my over radiated throat and might even help in restoring a more of a whisper, i am going to have a good sleep without have plastic wearing and rubbing my skin, and having a piece of plastic scraping my throat, i pray for anyone out there with a trach, and how you can deal with it, I didn't do well, and also being depressed at the same time, i'm not out of the woods yet, but i'm cutting a path and heading out of my darkness...thanks to the big guy above and marine,debbie, junklady and ratface, and whoever wished me well...i pray for everyone fighting the big "C", God Bless. Dennis

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2233
Joined: Jan 2010

Dennis, I'm currently dancing the jigg in Honor of your BIG STEP!!! I am absolutely so happy for you!! I pray this will help you to start healing now and become less depressed. I am truly very happy for you! Keep up the great work and hang in there. You've overcome a HUGE hurddle and hopefully you are now on your way to some type of normal life again :0)
God Bless you friend,
debbie

junklady's picture
junklady
Posts: 88
Joined: Aug 2009

Graci -
How much liquid mucinex do you put in the nebulizer? I didn't know they sell a liquid form. Does it screw up the operation of the nebulizer? The nebulizer uses only sterile water for humidity. Just curious. The mucus seems to be clogging the trach, causing breathing problems. We use a lot of saline. The suction machine wasn't doing much, so gave it up. I'll wait for an answer.

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