Saturday, May 5, 2007

Cuff Down and Speaking and Wheelchair ... Oh My!


It started on Tuesday with Dan getting a different resident Dr., who seems to have taken a great interest in Dan. He said he had not heard Dan's voice, and so we proceeded to "put his cuff down". *[see below] When this is done, there is about 3-4 minutes of secretions that have to be suctioned out of his mouth and lungs, as Dan can't cough on his own --- bottom line --- it's a difficult process to put the cuff up and down. Most of us have been trained to do this "cuff down" procedure, but it can be an anxious time for all.

After working through the above change, Dan kept his cuff down for 5 [yes five] hours that afternoon. It might have helped that friends Jen and Issac were visiting him. His previous record time was 1.5 hours. Well Wednesday, he didn't want it down and so we didn't post the good news. [Caution vs Excitement]

On Thursday he had his cuff down 6 hours, Friday[in 2 different segments] 12 hours, and today it's been down since 9:30 am. He even stated that he might like to get approval from his Dr. to keep it down overnight. That's big.

Dan has responded to his weekly goals, with sitting up in his chair for 3-6 hours a day, and doing more with his swallowing of different puree and soft foods.

This is far more of a mental challenge vs physical than any of us could have imagined. We continue to dialog with Dan about his thoughts and his physical status.

Continue to pray for the "mental challenges" that face Dan each day, and let others in your churches and prayer groups know. We feel that Dan might be turning a corner in his recovery.

Know that we think of and appreciate all of you, and how you continue to help and comfort us with your love, gifts and prayers.

*[Cuff technical jargon - meant to be read fast]
There is a small inflatable ring or "cuff" that holds the trach in place. Usually it is inflated so all of the ventilator air goes down into the lungs. When air is taken out of the "cuff", it allows air to flow to the lungs AND also upward past the "cuff" and the larynx, allowing the person to speak.

Now since machine breath is a volume of 1000 and 10 times a minute, [natural is 600 vol. 6-8x], the air flowing into the mouth or nose can be annoying. [Like having some one blow air in your face.] Dan prevents this by closing his larynx, and the air goes back out his breathing tube. So although it works a bit differently than before, when Dan "puts his cuff down", he can speak, and he says it makes him less anxious.


Anonymous said...

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!!! GO DAN!!! You are doing it and you are making us all so proud! Keep it up! God is so faithful and you are working so hard! We are hoping to see you again this week!!! I'm looking forward to hearing you talk!
Jan Stern

Psalm 34:14, 8 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

Anonymous said...

It is so encouraging to see your positive attitude in light of such circumstances! We're all praying for you Dan. Here's some of my fave verses if youre ever in a down mood: Lamentations 3:19-40

Gramma said...

Dan, I just read this news to Uncle Steve and girls and we all are excited! Keep it up Dan, God is so good and you are doing a great job. Love you and see you soon. Gramma

Jane-Jane said...

PRAISE GOD!!!! What an awesome week!
Keep up the hard work, cause anything worth having is going to take lots of work.
Dan you are such an encouragement to me... you have helped me to realize that I need to not wine and complain about stuff in my life... cause I truly don't know what the next minute holds and how fast life can change.

God has a plan for you Dude, I am praying that you will see a small piece of His puzzle so that you will keep up the fight to finish well!

Prayers! Jane

Mamá to the best 2 said...

Dan, that is sooo awesome!! We are so glad to hear how well you've done this week, and know that it's been hard work, we are sooo proud of you!!!

Amber said...

I'm so proud of you, Dan!! Keep trusting in the Lord and the power of HIS might, not your own. He will see you through! :)

Amber Metz

Papá to the best 2 said...

Dan, thats so exciting as well as encouraging. Thinking about you every day, and hearing this type of news bring joy to my heart. Can't wait to hear your voice again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan and family,
You don't know me but I have been checking in here often since I heard of the accident. I have written an e-mail that may be of interest to you. Something of which maybe God could use to help in Dan's recovery.

Thanking God tonight of the progress Dan is making. With God, all things are possible. He is a God of miracles! Keep looking up!

Prayers from Seattle. (BBC)

Jeff & Kim Thiele said...

Hmmmmm, I wrote a few days ago but it disappeared, but anyways, I owe you an amen from last Monday and a few more in between and why don't we just make it complete with a few "praise the Lords" too!!! Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord!!!!!

All this great news is so wonderful. Please tell Dan thank you for all the hard word and energy he is putting into his days. We will continue to pray for God to uphold him and strengthen him as Dan continues working so hard.

And those girls are so cute and the sweatshirts are adorable.... but ....all those relatives going there, Cedarville should be naming a wing or a library after them!!

We love you all!!!

Anonymous said...

Praise God!! Keeping entrusting yourself to the Lord. Dan, you have the strength of the God ALmighty in you, keep making leaps and bounds. Praying specifically this week for the mental challenges of speech therapy and the cuff down. Our God is faithful! See you Tuesday!

Amanda Martin said...

Absolutely wonderful to hear that progress. Praise the Lord!!!!! Praying!

Jordan Huff said...

Dan, I love you brother. I think about you everyday and I pray for you. My heart hurts with you and rejoices with you. I'm coming to see you as soon as I can. I'll let you know. I'm trying to put our Christmas movie '02 on my iPod so we can watch it on the visit. Be strong with the strength of Christ and His resurrection. See ya later man.

Anonymous said...

wow, Dan...i am amazed at your courage & still praying for you all the time. make it a GREAT day!