Bad Case of the Mondays

Benjamin’s follow-up appointment at the ENT resulted in a dose of amoxicillin for bilateral ear infections. Poor Benjamin had a weekend of relaxing, suctioning, and CPT. I am sure he wasn’t too disappointed he missed his sister’s dance recital. 🙂

Sunday he was finally starting to look like he felt better, but by Monday morning, it was evident that the left lung had collapsed. This is usually managed at home, and by later on that afternoon he looked fine. That night around 10:30, I started Benjamin’s nighttime ritual. When I thought he was resting comfortably, I sat at the computer to do some work. After a few minutes, I noticed that his breathing was very loud and the vent sounded even louder. When I rolled Benjamin over, I noticed that his chest wall was not moving. The only movement I could see was at his stomach. I began suctioning and after no change, I decided to change the trach. When that didn’t help, I start to get a little panicky and began bagging. There was still no chest rise with the bagging. His sats were dropping but nothing lower than the high 80s, and his color never changed, but it was obvious he wasn’t getting enough oxygen. I called over my next door neighbor to help me listen to his lungs. I couldn’t tell if the trach was placed wrong, if there was a plug… I had no idea what was going on. After about five minutes I took the CPT cup and started working on his back and chest. After about five minutes, his sats began to rise and the chest wall began to move.

At that point, I could not go to sleep. I avoided another close call, but I couldn’t help but sit and think what all I could’ve done better. I finally went to sleep but woke up around 1 AM to turn and suction Benjamin when it all happened again. This time I knew what to do and started CPT and suctioning. A few long minutes later the chest wall began to move…AGAIN. Benjamin, of course, handles these moments much better than I do. Afterwards, Benjamin was clapping and blowing kisses as if to say, “thanks mom!”

The next day I went ahead and took Benjamin into the doctor. His breathing was still a little faster than normal and the ventilator didn’t sound right. The physician decided that something was not reading correctly with the vent so I called the company. They came to the office and switched out ventilators. Benjamin’s breathing rate immediately dropped from 58 to 35.

Benjamin quickly fell asleep on the new vent, and he slept the rest of the afternoon and all night. We are pretty sure that Benjamin had mucous plugs that blocked some of the already floppy airways to the lungs, but we are not sure what exactly was going on with the ventilator.

He continues to be on oxygen, but Benjamin is starting to look much happier. We were able to get out today and have lunch under the trees at the planned location for the new playground. Benjamin will not be sitting on the side too much longer.

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