As I mentioned in my previous post, the nurses told us yesterday that since Alicia needed to have her tubes changed today, they would try switching her over to a nasal cannula and see how well she does breathing on her own. And well, at 1:30 this afternoon her endotracheal tube or as the nurses call it, her "endo" was taken out and she was switched to the nasal cannula and she did really well! =)
Both Linda and I are relieved and elated and I'm sure Alicia is much much happier. Over the past few weeks she's grown steadily more and more fed up with having the tube down her throat and I think last night she about had it.
The nurses told Linda this morning that apparently Alicia didn't sleep at all last night. The night nurse said that Alicia pretty much writhed and squirmed about all night like a kid in a straight-jacket. Which would probably explain why she lost 12 grams today.
The funny thing is Linda reminded me that our friend Fanny's son, the one who arrived on the same night as Alicia, was also writhing about a lot right before he got his tubes switched. I wonder if at some point, these kids' brains just kick in and they just realize that they really don't want this thing down their throat and that they really can breathe on their own. And they just want the darn thing out.
I mean seriously, I know I talked about it a bit yesterday, but I'd never seen Alicia like that. By the pain and frustration she was showing in her face, if she was capable of vocalizing any sounds yesterday, I'm sure we would have heard some ear piercing screaming and wailing. She was that uncomfortable. And that's saying something because up until yesterday, Alicia has been the epitome of calm. Well, I mean she's had a few moments, but never like yesterday.
Anyway, that's all over and done and behind us. Thank, God. So to hear the nurses tell it, Alicia was quite still and statuesque as they were removing the tube as if she didn't want to do anything that would jeopardize the procedure and land her back on the tube. She's one smart girl. We told her before we left last night that they would be performing the procedure today. We told her to be brave and that she was going to do great. We encouraged her to just do her best and breathe on her own. If it was still too hard for her, we told her, it would be OK. We could just try again in a few days. But that she should do her best and Daddy God would help her. Well, our sweet girl did it. The nurses told us that when they switched Alicia over, they could tell she was trying really hard to breathe and to show that she could do it. And now she's doing really well! Praise Daddy God.
With the nasal cannula, Alicia will have to breathe on her own. The cannula is still connected to the vent so she's still getting some assistance, but the machine is no longer doing the breathing for her. If she can keep going the way that she's been going, we'll be upstairs in the step-down unit before we know it. And then next step will be home! Hallelujah.
One thing to pray about is that Alicia's lungs will stay inflated. That's one of the challenges of having a nasal cannula versus an endo. The endo's air was delivered right into her lungs so that it helped to keep her lungs from collapsing. In a kid her size an age, a collapsed lung can be fatal. Nurses say they will need to monitor her mucus more discreetly and will need to do suctioning more regularly to keep her airways clear. Pray and thank God for the work that he has done and is doing in this area.
Thanks for praying friends. I know we have an army of you behind us, which is why Alicia has been doing so well, and Linda and I have been doing relatively well emotionally! Your prayers, love and support have meant the world to us. We are so thankful that God has rallied all of you together to fight for us and with us.
Alicia's Homecoming Celebration is imminent!