Where have you been? What’s going on?

That’s probably what you’ve been wondering.  I just now realized it’s been over a week since my last post. (OK, that brings me back to my Catholic childhood…)

Actually, a lot has been going on.

As mentioned in my last post, Duff has been doing great.  So great, in fact, that he made his quickest recovery ever and got discharged last Friday.  That’s right, he got discharged a total of 9 days after first going to the hospital, and was on the vent for all or part of 5 days of that.  That’s unheard of!  I guess we have to chalk it up to Duff being Duff, and never doing the same thing twice.

So, he’s been home since Friday, and has been doing pretty well since then.  We’ve been to several appointments already and have several more lined up.  PT and nurses come out to the house a couple times a week to help him get stronger, and it seems to be working so far.  We’ve been settling into a new “semi-normal” at home and just trying to keep him out of the hospital.

A Miraculous Recovery

So today, Duff’s up sitting in the chair, entertaining like he wasn’t intubated just yesterday.  He’s having some minor issues, but nothing that isn’t being managed fairly easily.

The doctors are trying him on a different steroid.  His pulmonologist had the idea last night that he might not be absorbing the oral form of prednisone correctly.  That would be why he improves every time he gets into the hospital and receives IV steroids, but gets worse at home.  So he got switched to Solu-Medrol today, and we’ll see how that works.

He needs to finish a course of IV antibiotics (which will be soon), get his blood pressure stabilized so he can get his A-line out, and make sure he can pee on his own while keeping up with the lasix.  He will be working with PT and his nurses to get moving again, and should be going to the PT gym in the next day or two.

At this rate, he will probably be going home by the end of the week if he doesn’t experience a sudden downturn.

Let’s see how this plays out…

Well, That Was Fast

So, I walked in to the BMT Unit today at the same time as Duff’s pulmonologist to have him tell me that they had him on a spontaneous breathing test this morning.  I confirmed just what that meant: that they were trying to extubate him today.

If you ready my last post, you can imagine how this threw me for a loop.  Yesterday the care team was talking about extubating sometime this week, and today I walk in to them trying.  Well, I come to find out that it was a surprise to other people even in his care team.

They extubated around 12:30pm, and as of 3:30pm when I write this he’s doing OK.  He’s really groggy from the sedation but starting to come around more.  He will answer questions and is starting to talk, and usually makes sense when he does.

Hopefully the progress will continue and we’ll have some (relatively) smooth sailing from here on out.

A Quick Update Because…

There’s no real changes to report.  Duff is still intubated.  He’s doing well on it, and his oxygen requirements continue to decrease.  Most of his numbers continue to get back to where they should be, or at least where they were before he was admitted.

The doctors still don’t know what caused this sudden downturn.  They don’t know if it was some kind of bug, retaining too much fluid, or something else entirely.  So they continue to treat him broadly, covering him for everything possible.

The only thing that hasn’t gotten back close to normal yet are his blood counts.  For some reason, he’s not maintaining his hemoglobin like he normally does, so he’s needed more blood transfusions than usual.  The doctors have some ideas about what may be causing this, and it is probably something as simple as that they’ve started giving him more meds by IV, but they’re still working on sorting that one out.

The docs have just started to talk about extubating, possibly sometime this week.  PLEASE don’t get overly anxious for this; I know it is always the goal to have Duff off the vent and back to his usual smartass self, but we want to make sure his body can handle it first, especially his lungs.  It would be worse to have to reintubate him than to leave him on for an extra day or two.

He’s been handling the vent fairly well this time.  He is pretty calm when sedated.  He does wake up occasionally and get agitated, but can be reorientated to his situation and calmed down relatively quickly.  He was a little more agitated today than he had been so they added another med, but they also removed one, so it evens out.

Hopefully, things will keep going this way for the near future until the docs decide to move toward extubation.  So, for the time being, no news is good news.  I will try my best to update here, but I may occasionally miss a day or two.  (While things are calm, I’m trying to catch up on the other jobs that need done, like laundry and bills.:) )

Until next time…

“Home”At Last

Don’t get excited, not that home. But home to the Jefferson BMT Unit. He’s even in the same room!

Unfortunately, to make the transfer, he needed to be put on the ventilator again. He just wasn’t stable enough any other way, and even on bipap he was on the maximum oxygen settings.

I met him down at Jeff quote he got a lift in a helicopter. (He was not pleased that he wasn’t going to be awake to remember the flight.) All his numbers have improved once he got settled in, and he even woke up enough to communicate a few times.

They’re still trying to figure out what triggered this episode, and have run a slew of tests so far. He needs to stabilize a little more before he can go for a CT Scan, which his pulmonologist thinks is crucial. Hopefully he’ll be able to go down for that in the morning.

Same shite, different day

So, we’re at the hospital again. Sats were low this morning after some anxiety. He was able to hold off a full-blown panic attack, but he just didn’t recover enough on his own.

But there are some different things this time. We wound up calling an ambulance due to his oxygen requirements and went to the nearest hospital, a new local non-teaching hospital.

At this point, he’s neither sick enough nor healthy enough to be transferred to Jefferson. Giving him diuretics seems to have helped his breathing some and had definitely reduced some swelling in his hands.

So now it’s just a waiting game. Hopefully we’ll know more tomorrow.

Stay tuned for more in the continuing saga that is Duff.

Home Sweet Home

If you’ve been checking Facebook, then you’ve probably seen by now that Duff’s been released from the hospital. He’s doing well and recovering at home, working with home PT and a visiting nurse. First outpatient doctor appointments are next week, so that will give more information about plans for the future.

Keep checking Facebook, because he’s been very active and I’m sure he will continue to be as long as he’s feeling ok.

Stay tuned for more.


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