We’re starting the New Year off with a first ever trach stoma infection! Thankfully we caught it early but it still looks uncomfortable. Two doctor visits yesterday and a couple of antibioic doses later and he’s doing fine but it has been a long weekend. The first couple of days, we watched the stoma closely but it was hard to determine if the area was red because Rudy kept messing with his trach or if he was messing with his trach because the area was irritated.
‘Just when his care starts to feel routine, something happens to humble us. A stoma infection involves much more suctioning than usual and multiple cleanings throughout the day to keep the area as clean and dry as possible…we were managing it great until Sunday night when Rudy had a rough night sleep. Because he was restless and had some irregular breathing patterns because of congestion, I had gotten up to check on him a few times and he was fine. At one point, though, we heard the familiar vibration of the stoma that happens when the trach is out! Rolf and I shot out of bed, sanitized our hands and pulled what we needed right away to reinsert the trach…trach in…tie secured…no problem. We’re back in bed and Rudy is settled and about an hour later I asked Rolf “Does Rudy’s breathing seem heavy to you?” to which Rolf sleepily replied “No different than the past few days”. At 6am I heard Max come into our room and check on Rudy and then he started to mess with him. Irritated, I told Max not to wake him up (“we’ve been up all night!!”). “But Mom, his oxygen mask isn’t on!” Oh, good grief, Rolf and I walked away from him without securing his oxygen…no wonder he was breathing heavy! Arrrrrrgh! Thankfully he was sat-ing within his normal range yesterday and he was fine but STILL!!!!
This week’s “episode”, thankfully, didn’t turn into a BIG deal but it was a reminder to us to stay alert…Rudy’s care isn’t hard work but it is constant…no room for slacking or sleep deprivation! Ha Ha We’re praying for Rudy’s quick recovery and renewed strength ’cause we have a very special wedding to go to this weekend! We’ll post more about that later! 🙂
As is our family tradition, we got up early to watch the 122nd Rose Parade this morning but 7:30am came extra early as the kids somehow talked us into staying up to ring in the new year with the rest of the West Coast. I’m glad we did because although Rudy was fast asleep when we celebrated at 9pm with all the easterners, he was wide awake at midnight…quite possibly awakened by the Wii Sing It competition going on as we waited for the ball to drop a second time. 🙂
And so, here we are at the start of another new year. It struck me last night that I don’t have any new year resolutions…’haven’t even thought about what I could be doing better or differently. I suppose it would be a good exercise to give some thought to but, to be honest, I kind of feel like I’ll be doing good just to keep getting out of bed each morning in 2011. “Baby steps” seem to remain our M.O. as the disappointments in Rudy’s journey this fall remain very heavy on our hearts. The holidays were a wierd mix of joy and anxiety for me personally…so, I rally this morning, renew my prayers for grace & peace for all of us and strength & growth for Rudy in 2011 and commit to continue to live & love one day at a time and, right now, that feels like enough.