Dec 15, 2010 - 10:12 pm
Whew!! What a long day!
For the most part, Ken was dozing on and off during the treatment. but as the day wore on he started having problems with coughing again (he had been up all night doing it). The muscous in his stoma was getting thicker and thicker. I tried to wipe it away but it was like glue. I asked a nurse if she could possible get us some saline solution when she had time. She said she would have to call the respiratory dept to get some "bullets". Within about 5 minutes, things got much worse and my husband started motioning to me that he couldn't breathe. The mucous was clogging the entire opening. I ran back out to the nurses station and told them they had to do something immediately. They improvised with a similar saline solution that they had and a syringe. After a few squirts, Ken coughed out a lot and the nurse used some cotton swabs to get more cleaned out. They asked respiratory to come down with a moist air hookup but by the time they came he was done with the last bag of drugs. The RT did talk to us though and recommened that we get the air machine to use at home. We had that initially when a trach was done during a previous surgery but sent it back after the laryngectomy. It was thought that once he was up and moving around, he should have no problem keeping his airways moist and clear. But no one knew how things were going to go down hill. In addition, the air in our house is so much drier with the heat running all the time.
Other than that (and the weak wireless connection, and the 2 hour drive home), it was a good day. We decided to go back there for the 2nd treatment next week. The RT was going to recommend that they have equipment ready at his next appt to give him moist air while he is sitting there.