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Free air, Oxygen no more!

Posted Sep 11 2009 4:57pm
After 19 weeks on oxygen support, whether through intubation on the ventilator, CPAP or nasal cannular, Reuben was finally and magically, taken off oxgen this morning.

Today is a momentous one. I wish I could have seen that source switch from Oxygen to Room Air at 5am this morning, so long have we dared to dream of the moment he came off oxygen support.

Drs would often remark when the prospect of a tracheostomy had loomed so ominously on Reuben's horizon, and they were trying to sell it to us "Well, he may not necessarily have to be on the ventilator" as if that were a key selling proposition for us, yet it deflated and scared the hell out of us.

Snapshot. His numbers are looking steady:

Respiratory 40. Heart rate 122bpm. Oxygen saturation 100%

This is perfection! Beautiful saturation, the amount of oxygen in his blood and an indication of his ability to breath. Respiratory, the number of breaths he's taking. Heart rate, determining whether his heart is being put under any pressure from his breathing.

We have of late seen some cardio bradys, heart rate dropping into the 60s on occasion and indeed some PACs (palpitations). Yet with his repaired heart and protected airway from the trach, Reuben needed little time, just 3 days post trach surgery, to say bye bye to oxygen.

He will at night have a humidifier for the trach when he's sleeping for his comfort, but I'm sure you can only guess at the amount of freedom, not having to cart around oxygen supplies, will give us.

Thank you, the heavenly powers that be. Thank you Reuben for your courage and spirit.

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