Monday, July 19, 2010

Tube Drama

McKay's chest tube fell out last night. More like wiggled itself nearly out and invited a cardiothoraicic surgeon to finish the job. Regardless, it was extremely frightening to his parents.

Matt and I were laying across the hospital bed reading a few bedtime stories to Mac when we both quieted at the sudden sound of suction. We looked at each other and immediately started trying to assess where the sound was coming from. We figured something had gotten loose in the tangle of tubes and wires that criss-cross Mac's body. We got quiet and followed the sound - straight to the bandage on his abdomen covering his chest tube. We called the nurse. She listened. She left to page surgery. The site started leaking fluid. I ran in tears into the hallway and grabbed the first person I could find. Suddenly the room was full of nurses and doctors and xray machines.

Apparently even when removing a chest tube under very controlled conditions, there is a chance air will enter the space and cause a problem with pressures. This can collapse a lung and cause general havoc. So you can imagine when a chest tube makes an impromptu exit, there is high cause for concern. Before we knew it, the surgeon on call arrived, determined the tube had to be pulled and fast. He offered quick apologies that he did not have time to prepare a better scenario and that we had to be there to witness this. Then with a 1, 2, 3, he pulled what seemed like a solid 6 inches of tubing out of my baby as Mac lifted his back and screamed with panic.

Then it was over. They packed the wound where the chest tube had been with Vaseline saturated gauze and I scooped up McKay. He melted into my chest. It was the first true hug we'd shared in more than a week. And with the chest tube out of the way, it was possible.

They started an IV, took another xray, discontinued any further food or drink for the night in anticipation of surgery to replace the tube in the morning. The morning came; this morning came. Another xray. Things looked the same. Hmmm? What to do? How does a kid go from putting out 200+ml of drainage with a chest tube, to maintaining the size of his current effusions with no chest tube?

Whatever the answer, the surgeons are willing to wait and see if he'll maintain. If he does, great. If he doesn't, they will reinsert the tube when he needs it. So we watch. And wait. And hope for the best.

No chest tube this morning meant Mac was virtually free to do what he pleased. He wandered like a drunk out of our room and into the hallway stumbling, but never falling, from wall to wall. He charmed the nurses, found the playroom, explored, colored, and then cried exhausted and was happy to be back to his bed for a nap. So he sleeps and I type; hopeful this little twist of fate provides just the jump start we need to find our way to the door permanently. It would be just like Mac to decide when, where, and how he makes his exit. This is his show, 100 percent.

14 comments:

Kyle and Alli said...

Oh my. What a nightmare. I really hope that they can clear the last of the effusions with diuretics instead of having to place another chest tube! Yikes. Perhaps this was an answer to prayer after all? Hang in there guys, and enjoy a day of close snuggling and playing!

Christina said...

Drama is no fun. Hopefully they will not need to replace it. Thinking of you guys!

Hugs & Prayers,
Christina

The Butlers said...

I can't even imagine going through that. Or anything of what you, Matt and Mac are going through. I think of you constantly and pray for a quick recovery. So glad you could hug your cute Macaroon! It had to be one of the best hugs in a while. He is one lucky kid to have you for his mom.

Katie said...

How scary! I would have freaked out!!! So glad all is ok so far with the tube escape. Hopefully he can maintain and no more tubes! I bet he's loving it and you too...still in our prayers!

♥ Michele ♥ said...

Sounds so scary!!! I'm glad it didn't turn out to be worse. He is a little fighter and has some awesome parents there fighting for him!! Keep up the good work!

Thinking of you....

Kristi said...

Ah Mindi. I hope you're getting a nap somewhere in there yourself. Prayers continue...

Dianne said...

Wow, what amazing circumstances you had. I stand in awe of how well you guys are handling things. I seriously doubt I could be as strong as you. Maybe everyone's prayers are doing their job.
Many prayers going your way.
Dianne

Patti said...

That boy is a miracle, through and through.

Sabrina said...

Holy crap. Well, like you said, maybe that's it for the chest tube-for good. My birthday is Wednesday: and my birthday wish is for Mac to be discharged-by Friday-latest!

Ryan and Hilary said...

Holy cow, how stressful! The Lord does work in very mysterious ways sometimes. I hope this is one of them and you will be heading home soon.

brees said...

Oh.My.Gosh. How scary. Maybe this is his ticket home, his time to show that he can do it on his own?! I think so!!! Praying that it will not have to be replaced. I am sorry that you had to go through that. HUGS!!!

Grateful Grammy said...

Thinking of You! And, praying for You!
Wendy Christoffersen Family

Jenny Lincoln said...

Oh my gosh... How awful that moment must have been. My heart dropped into my stomach just reading it! Praying that McKay is able to manage the fluid and not have to have another tube placed.
heart hugs,
Jenny

Stefenie said...

How scary! I too am sorry that you guys had to witness that and poor sweet McKay. Thank goodness he has some amazing parents who are always right there to keep a watchful eye and quick to comfort him when he needs it.

Praying he continues to maintain without a tube.