Ansel had a good, solid night. A little arm and leg thrashing due to some indigestion, but as soon as he ‘expels’, he’s quite calm. The movement is good, because it demonstrates muscle control — now that the sensors are gone, this muscle control and ability to respond to questioning is one way to inform us of his progress.
So there are three exciting things to report today:
1) Ansel’s off the Versed drip.
This is the sedative that was used initially to keep him in the medical coma, then to keep him calm as his brain starts the beginning stages of ‘waking up’. He may still receive an injection or so depending on whether he cooperates with the CT scans.
2) Today marks the beginning of the process of removing the ventilator from the equation.
There are essentially three modes of this ventilator: I’ll call them ‘mode 0’ (the vent does all the breathing), ‘mode 1’ (the vent pushes a constant amount of oxygen over time, but allows Ansel to breath over it) and ‘mode 2’ (no constant, Ansel does his own breathing, but the vent will kick in if he’s not taking full breaths).
As of approximately 11am this morning, Ansel was switched to mode 1. Today’s awesome nurse, Heidie, would like to be aggressive with this process, because Ansel is young and still has great respiratory system. About 20 minutes ago, Ansel was switched to mode 2!
It’s too early still to speculate anything beyond this, but it’s interesting to note that once he’s done with the vent, he’ll get a trachea collar, which is essentially a tube with humidified enhanced oxygen — but he’ll be breathing on his own. With positive results, this gets swapped with a smaller tube, and eventually no enhanced oxygen. Once we’re there, Ansel will get a temporary voice-box. With some time and training, this will enable Ansel to communicate with us! And with even more time, the trach-tube and voice box can be completely removed.
3) Ansel met his physical therapists for the first time today.
Today’s session was just about identifying a baseline. Not much to report at this point, but the physical progression will be a very interesting measure of his overall progress in the future.