Sunday, December 1, 2013

What day is it?

Something to Be Thankful For

After a night of sleeping at home, thanks to Tina manning our hospital post, I woke to my empty quiet house forgetting what day it was. I could only think of rushing back to the hospital to see Kyle. I hated leaving him but was glad to shower and sleep after 3 days spent in the hospital. Pulling into the empty hospital parking garage I couldn't help but think, what day is it? Everyday was starting to run together, days to night in a blink of an eye and others just dragged on. The waiting room was just as empty and then it hit me, it was Thanksgiving.

Every other year Kyle and I spent Thanksgiving with our families, engorged with food but not really taking time reflect on all the things we were thankful for. I believe we are all guilty of taking certain life pleasures for granted. I am the biggest offender. When you have your health, family and wonderful friends around you on the regular you get spoiled into thinking everyone has it this good. I can honestly say, I am luckiest girl in the world. I have an amazing family who has embraced me as I am, and encouraged me to be me from day one. Not to mention my best friend I like to call my husband, who with just one look, can make me feel like I am the center of his universe even in my most unflattering moments. I really wonder what I have done in my life to deserve such wonderful people. This Thanksgiving I couldn't be more happy to be spending it in the hospital in the company of Kyle's mom, Kyle, Kyle's nurses and doctors. Thanksgiving will never be overlooked as it once was. This year's gift will forever be reflected upon and will be appreciated everyday.

After sitting in the waiting room, patiently awaiting the arrival of the front desk woman to let me back to Kyle's room I couldn't help but notice a woman with a long island accent talking on the phone. Seeing as it was Thanksgiving and it was a ghostown I figured I would introduce myself as we waited. She introduced herself as Barbara. She told me she hadn't left the hospital in over a month due to her husbands bout with asbestos exposure in the Army. Because of her husbands exposure he had to have one of his lungs removed. He had experienced many ups in downs in the ICU. I couldn't help but feel a sigh of relief that she had understood some of what we had been going through. Not long after we were called to come back to our husbands rooms.

Kyle luckily had a decent night while I was gone despite having is trach leak blood after some trach collar trials he was doing in the morning. Dr. Gustavo Parrilla , who performed the tracheotomy originally mended it by stitching one stitch and it seemed to be fixed. After a long day of continued trach collar trials he was exhausted. It was about 9:00p.m. and he was happy to be put on the vent. He had been experiencing allot of anxiety being taken off the ventilator seeing as he was use to shallow breathing with his old lungs, and his brain still was not programed to work perfectly with the new lungs. He was told these anxious feelings would start to go away as his brain became more trained with the new lungs.

As Kyle and I sat chatting or as I lip read his trach collar started oozing a tremendous amount of blood. The nurse wasn't overly concerned at first as this can happen occasionally from the transition from on and off the vent. As he continued to ooze towels full of blood I started to get extremely worried, as that amount of blood loss seemed to be excessive. Eventually his blood pressure started to drop and the surgeon came back to inspect him. All of sudden there was a sense of urgency among the nurses and doctor as his blood pressure continued to drop, and the room started to fill with doctors and nurses. I just sat there and prayed as I knew this wasn't normal. Eventually the nurse escorted me out of the room so I could sit in the waiting room while the doctor performed a bronchoscope to check the source of the blood lose.

Kyle's first day sitting up in a recliner.
After an hour or so in the waiting room the doctor came out to say they had stabilized him and the bleeding had stopped. They had to give him a blood transfusion because of the blood lose. I felt so touched by the doctors concern for Kyle as he had performed the trach without any issues the day previous and said he was so frustrated because there was no real reason for the bleeding and he was upset it happened on his watch. His sincerity is just one reason why Duke has been an amazing life changing place for Kyle and I. We have always been treated with care, and everyone genuinely wants to see Kyle progress.

The following day was much better as he got all the tubes/caths removed from his neck, and they placed a pick line in his arm to make things easier for when he was able to start move around. The remainder of the day was dedicated to 6 hours off vent, rest on vent, then another 4 hours off vent. He got a decent night sleep that night as he had worked so hard to acclimate his lungs to working on their own.

Today started off pretty uneventful but as the day progressed he had his leg/groin cath removed as well as one of his chest tubes (used for drain fluids from his lungs). The only new issue was that his feet started developing large blisters that took up the entirety of his toes. They were concerned at first that this was a allergic reaction to some of the medications. They later determined it was most likely from the pressure meds they gave him earlier in the week because he was in such fair condition during his surgery. Sadly, the blisters may slow him from walking but as they start to wilt and dry up they should heal enough for him to get on his feet.

Once the doctor made the floor rounds he encouraged the nurses to get him in an upright position so he could really open his breathing. Eventually they decided to use the lift to get him into the recliner. It was so nice to see him in a more natural position :) They were hoping to get him cruising around the hospital in his recliner but as the night continued it got a bit late to make any recliner rounds.

I am so proud of Kyle as he tackles each new obstacle with such strength and pose. His fearlessness inspires me everyday, and I know we will work through each issue together. We continue to pray his lungs show progress, and that his kidney starts to wake up from it's dormant/stunned state.

Thank you again for your love! We are so very grateful for the support!


Charmin Riedesel said...

Oh wow. That is awesome awesome news!! I totally get a lot of what you guys are going through. My brother was in an accident a few years ago and was in Iowa City for roughly 6 weeks. Sounds so familiar when you talk about the lady at the desk who lets you back to see him. :) Just remember even tho he has a few set backs from time to time, his steps forward are HUGE!! Still praying for Kyle and the whole family and look forward to your posts!

Aunt Trudy said...

Stephanie....Thanks so much for sharing the story. I think about Kyle and you everyday (several times) and feel a bit connected to what is happening through your blog. You have an amazing way of expressing your emotions through writing. I feel like I'm there and I wish I could give you and Kyle a hug. But, the best I can do for now is tell you that I am praying for you each day and that I send my love your way! Aunt Trudy

Angie Price said...

You are one strong chicka, Steph! Please know that I am praying for your continued strength for the trials to come and stamina for Kyle's body as he recuperates! One day at a time!
Cousin Angie

Crystal said...

He looks so good! Amazing what you both have been through. Love that you are posting details here. Keep up all of the positive thinking - you are not only troopers but great fighters. xoxoxoxox

Debra Schultz said...

Stephanie: God is walking with you each step. He knew you would be a couple before each of you were born. He graced Kyle specifically with a dear mother in Tina. I know he is ever-present in your life, giving you His wisdom and His strength. You are a very dear couple that is loved by so many; and you are loved by God even more. Blessings to you all, Debi Schultz

Deb Heidgerken said...

Kyle you are looking so good, hang tough and know we are all praying and wishing you all the best. I can picture you and Steph making recliner runs around the hospital. We love you guys so much and you are such an inspiration to us all. Hugggggs

Allison Lewis said...

Kyle you look GREAT up in the chair! I am so so glad I get to see you both soon! I am so amazed by the two of you and the relationship you share. You are both an inspiration to Paul and I. Sending so much love! See you Thursday!