Wednesday, October 24, 2007

P A C E R U P D A T E

Monday we took a quick trip into Chicago to see Dan's Superman doctor. [yes, Christopher Reeves was #3 for the pacer, Dan # 38] Dr. Ray Onders of Synapse Biomedical was in town to speak at a pulmonary conference for doctors. This saved us a trip to Cleveland for Dan's 2-month pacer check up.

One thing that needed to be changed is the TYPE of trach that Dan has had since his injury. At the hospital they put in a "Cuffed trach" [see page 75] which is usually up or inflated [at hospitals] for when he sleeps, thus he cannot speak. At the Rehab, they taught us how to put it down or deflate the cuff when he is awake, thus he can speak.

Enter the diaphragm pacer that needs all the airway passage to work properly, and that cuff [up or down] is still in the way. It was suggested by Dr. Onders' assistant that we use a CUFFLESS
trach for better pacer results.
When I, Bill, changed the trach back in August before we left the Rehab, it was a messy deal [you fill in the blanks - it was bloody, hard to pull it out, looking at a hole in Dan's neck, etc - somebody please give me an honorary nursing degree]. Dan took note of that change AND the pain. Dan, like most people, does not like to experience unnecessary pain, so we have put off any trach changes. Monday was different, and we were determined to change the trach.

AND CHANGE WE DID!!!

It was still messy, but the CUFFLESS trach is now in. Dan can pace almost a full day now, but without a cap, the air goes out before reaching his larynx, so no speaking voice. Previously when we capped Dan's trach, his oxygen level went down, his carbon dioxide level went up [that causes most of your sense of a "lack of oxygen pains"] and his title volume tanked [from 600 down to 450]. NOT ANY MORE. The cuffless trach, along with a special cap, is allowing Dan to speak while pacing. The following areas still need to happen, so add this to your prayers.
  • He is able to tolerate having his cap on longer each day.
  • His weaker pacing voice improves.
  • He will be able to drink and eat while pacing with the cap on. [You and I stop breathing to swallow, the pacer breathes 12 times a minute non stop]
  • His pacing while in his wheel chair will improve. [lying in bed is easier to pace]
A school friend of Deb's recently sent us this encouragement from Romans 8:16+17

God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!
Thanks for your prayers, meals,
helping here with Dan's care on a daily basis
and for the checkinondan this week.

4 comments:

Jane-Jane said...

Deb, and Bill too...you BOTH get more than an honorary degree.... you have passed with labs alone! You are awesome and strong people to face some of the medical stuff....not all of us have the ability to deal with medical issues. (my sister is a nurse, I PRAISE GOD that He did not call me to the same field!)

Dan....talking....look out, there will be no quiet times in your home from now on! lol Hope you are eating....strength comes from a good eating program and our Lord and Savior.

Have a GREAT Thursday!
Praying Jane

John said...

wow...great update! you guys are in our prayers...
wammer

Anonymous said...

I think of what you have to do in a day...and it humbles me. Thanks for allow us to be part of you life. Praying in Northern Ohio

Gramma said...

Bill Knudsen, along with his assistant, Deb Knudsen, is awarded the HONORARY NURSING DEGREE from the family and friends of this great Knudsen family. Yes, you deserse it. And,Dan is awarded the Patient of the Year award. Love to you and God bless you. Jesus is tenderly holding you in His arms! Love Gramma