They tell me that they're glad I'm nervous because they'd be worried if I acted like all of this is no big deal.
I don't see it as a healthy fear.
The realization that I will very soon--not really very soon, but very soon in comparison to a lifetime--be the primary caregiver for a vent-dependendent child with a tracheostomy and a gastrostomy tube hit me really hard this weekend.
Don't get me wrong. Matt has been wonderful. He has done a great job of learning everything and practicing whenever he is here. I know he'll be wonderful with Abby's care when he is home.
But we all know that his job takes him away a lot, and that leaves me.
As the primary caregiver.
For a vent-dependent child.
With a tracheostomy and a gastrostomy tube.
Oh and not to mention being the mother of a spunky nearly four-year-old little boy!!
Like I said, terrifying.
Yes, I know most of the above statements weren't complete sentences. I did it that way on purpose. Call it a writer's prerogitive.
Tonight we had trach and g-tube training. We have already been checked off for g-tube care, but we needed to learn how to actually put it in (it's changed every 3 months). That wasn't too bad. The trach changes are another story! We're fine with the trach tie changes, but putting the new trach in is very scary. Let's just say I cried with fear. Nope, we never even touched Abby! It was all done on a baby doll and I cried. That's how scared I am about all of this! Healthy fear.
What scares me the most is that I am directly in charge of maintaining Abby's airway. If I mess up, she could die. It's as simple as that. This is why I didn't become a doctor or a nurse.
However, I keep reminding myself of another time I was pretty nervous. Back in college when I worked at a camp, I thought I might like to learn how to drive the boats. One day of boater's training and getting the tomato-in-the-blender demonstration for what will happen if you don't watch the propeller was enough for me to say, nope! Nevvvvvver mind!! The director pulled me aside and convinced me to stick with it because the most cautious drivers are the best drivers. Many, many trips out onto the river without kids later, I finally felt like I could do this....and I loved it! That summer of [cautiously] driving kids around on the double banana boat and double tubes was awesome!
I'm not sure I'll ever be able to describe changing a trach as awesome, but I'm hoping that I will at least reach a level of comfort where I can do it without crying!