In other news …. Ansel got at his feeding tube once again yesterday. Because the process of re-inserting the feeding tube is so abrasive, nurse Charlie decided it was necessary to install a ‘bridle’ to prevent removal temporarily. This is basically a piece of floss that goes up one nostril, around the septum, and out the other nostril, tied just under his nose to the feeding tube, clamped off with a little plastic lock. It’s quite reminiscent of years ago, when Ansel got such a kick out of displaying his ability to floss his septum with a spaghetti string. To this day, I’ve not been able to perfect the art of nose flossing. Don’t worry — I’ll keep my day job.
Last night went swimmingly — Ansel’s blood-to-oxygen ratio held a healthy 95% for most of the night with no intervention, which means the collective therapists agreed to attempt a few things today:
– A component of the trache-tube has been swapped out with what’s called a ‘trache-mask’. This is basically a small plastic shield that fits over a space above the trache-tube, allowing for quick swapping between the aerosol-enhanced air (humidity and oxygen) and straight-up room air. Without the mask, and with a strong enough cough, Ansel can blast loogies across the room through the trache-tube. He racked up at least 20 points on Thursday. But I won’t bore you with those details. 😉
– Just about an hour ago, Ansel got his first ‘walk in the park’. Well — almost. He was moved to whats called a ‘cardiac chair’ to allow him mobility, while still maintaining a placebo-like saline drip (just to keep the main IV’s open). With this, Val, Ansel and Charlie were able to take a stroll through the healing garden.
– Upon returning to the ICU, the respiratory therapists were so pleased with his vitals that they’ve ordered the speaking valve! They will attempt to install this later today. Pending continued acceptable blood-to-oxygen ratio, this will be a temporary fixture to allow Ansel to speak (with some training), until he’s ready to start eating solid foods!