Thursday, December 30, 2010

Swing of the Pendulum

So, the last few days, I have been feeling pretty anxious to get Abby home and start our new life.  I've felt pretty good about my level of knowledge and was kind of starting to get a handle on how all of this was going to work.

Yes, well, today I'm falling back more into the terrified realm.

I had my first vent training today.  dun, dun, dun!!!  It was overwhelming, to say the least.  There is just so much to learn and so much information to apply!  Turns out, this was the easy part!  Right...

So, let me quiz you to see how much of this easy stuff you know:

1.  What do they call the vent tubing?

2.  What are the names of the three different filters in the vent?

3.  How do you test the vent tubing to make sure it doesn't have leaks?

4.  What does PEEP mean, how is it measured, and how do you set it?

5.  Approximately how many different outlets do you need for all of your home equipment?

Alright, I'll give you the answer to the last one...12!  Thank goodness for power strips...

Yes, we have to actually take a written and performance test.  Yes, I took a million notes.  Yes, I have already started studying.  No joke!

Good news:  I really like the DME (Durable Medical Equipment) company we'll be working with.  My respiratory therapist seems great and I've been pleased so far with the equipment and supplies they are willing to supply.  We'll even be getting a bed that tilts (important for secretions) and has sides that lower.

Bad news:  This crib is the size of a twin bed, which makes for pretty tight quarters in our already cramped space. 

I long gave up the idea of Abby living in the beautiful bedroom we've decorated for her.  Now, it will be a very nicely decorated storage room, apparently.  We've converted half of the playroom into Abby's room.  There are a couple of reasons for this:

*  I would really like to keep the upstairs the family space so that we have at least a little bit of privacy.
*  We don't have satellite hook up in Abby's room, which means the nurse wouldn't be able to watch TV.
*  The alarms would most likely keep Caleb awake all night, since he's right next door to Abby's room.  (I don't mind if we're up because--at least in the beginning--we'll probably be awake all night right along with the nurse, but I worry about Caleb being up!)
*  We are on the main floor most of the day, which means that Abby will be around people and is able to interact more with others.  I don't want to isolate her!
*  She's not exactly the most portable little girl, so having her on the main floor where we are most likely to be is just easier.

No, we're not taking Caleb's toys away.  We did purge some, but it was looooong overdue for that anyway.  We have mostly just rearranged some things and made the basement a little more of a playroom as well.  The room is a work in progress, but we're getting there.  I have a cart and some storage units coming, but I think that we'll just have to see what works for us before we finalize the room layout.

Anyway, we weren't really planning on the crib being that big (quite a bit bigger than a regular crib), so that throws a wrench into the planning. 

Are you wondering what exactly has to go into the room?  Well, wonder no more!

*  the crib
*  a pole for the feeding pump/bag
*  the vent (which is on a pole and has the humidifier attached to it)
*  the pulse oximeter
*  a suction machine
*  oxygen tank
*  lots and lots and lots of storage for all kinds of medical supplies

It's gonna be a little bit cramped, but it's the best we've got.  We'll make it work.

Yeah, I know this post has been a little bit of everywhere.  Sorry about that.  That's how my mind is feeling right now too...

Have I mentioned that we will never be leaving the house ever again?!

1 comment:

mom said...

Julie, you are truly amazing! I had just a small snapshot of your world at McDonald House and the hospital but I really enjoyed the last 2 days with you and Abby. You drive in the city like a pro and it's incredible how you care for Abby. I'll never be able to do what you do but I am rather proud of myself for doing the g-tube feeding today! Thanks for being such a patient teacher.