Monday, September 3, 2007

Finding his feet, finding his fingers

Over the last week, Reuben's started to pay particular attention to his fingers. Given his hands have mostly been tied down for the last 8 weeks of this hospitalisation to stop him being a rascal and pulling out his ventilator tube, when we're with him, we hold onto his hands and watch as he raises them close to his face. We start to think he's going to try to self extubate, but notice rather magically that all he really wants to do is work out why it is that when he sees his fingers moving, he can feel them moving too.

His recovery is steady. His scar is healing quite miraculously, a faint, smooth line that defies the steel holding together his ribcage. Echocardiograms (ECG) of his heart are good.

He's now on pressure support with sprints, like interval training, of CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) whilst on the ventilator. This in effect means that he's breathing by himself, but that a machine pushes a continuous flow of oxygen into his airway to help keep his lungs open. When we breath naturally ourselves, we are unaware of the additional effort that's required to initially re-inflate our lungs when we inhale. Yet like a balloon that's hard to blow up at first, once you've got it partially opened up, the rest is easier. CPAP works by providing that initial boost to Reuben to open up his lungs with each breathe. The rest he can do quite happily himself.

Thus, we're hoping this week for another attempt at extubation from the ventilator. Meanwhile, my sister Anne-Marie and niece Aurora left today for the UK after a great evening with our extended American family. A disappointment that they didn't get to see Reuben's cherubic face without the ventilator, but as Reuben slowly finds his feet, we know we're getting ever closer.


Kristi said...

I am so glad you updated about the vent! John and I have been wondering... he asks me every day if you've updated the blog about that in particular! Given our own experiences in that department, we await news with bated breath. It sounds like he's doing well if he's down to just CPAP... that's great!
I have to say, though... what brought the biggest smile to my face was the title of your post! It brought back so many memories of Gracie during that time... the wonderment of it all... the realization that these "things" are connected to them somehow. It's so much fun to watch them as they start to unravel the mystery that is their own body and space!
It warms my heart to read about the "baby" things Reuben is doing amidst the tubes and wires.
As always, all three of you are in my thoughts (and John's). As extubation approaches, know that we are sending TONS of strength and positive energy Reuben's way... and yours.
With love,

yp said...

Glorious and wonderful - what an amazing boy Reuben is :o)

Anne said...

Young Reuben has come a long way in 4 months, hasn't he! He's a fighter for sure. Gosh - 4 months already. It seems to have flown by; but perhaps not for you? I think the courage, strength and bottomless love that both you and Jason have is incredible.
A x

ellen charge said...

keep it going