Not the words I want to hear while folding laundry this morning. I run into the living room to find that indeed, Ava needed help clearing her airway. Ava has another virus and needed her airway suctioned. She can't cough hard enough to clear it herself. This usually involves laying her flat on her back, tilting her head back to open the airway and suctioning through the mouth into the throat. I will also suction her nose This has to be done fast, as suctioning can remove all the gases from the lungs. I have a depth which I will not go past when using the actual long, thin catheter. I asked the Respiratory Therapist to actually mark the "stop point" on the tube. I'm always terrified of going in too deep and damaging something. Ava is usually freaking out when I have to suction her like this. She's not able to breathe due to the plug (or secretions in her throat) and will panic. These are the things I use on Ava. The first two are for her mouth and throat. The last picture picture are nasal suckers.
I don't know how mother (and fathers!) of children with tracheostomies suction hourly like it's second nature. It makes me a nervous wreck to deep suction her. It always has and I've been doing it for over a year. I guess it's like everything else, you do what you have to for your children.
I often wonder how Dakota and Christian feel about all this. They both know too much about these things. They have both been amazing helpers. They've both missed out on various things because of their little sister's health. I won't lie, I feel so guilty for it. I try very hard to make up for it. I don't want them to look back on their childhoods and only remember Ava's medical problems. I'm terrified they'll resent her (or me). I want them all to have fun, happy, carefree childhoods. I wonder if they can have that while yelling for me to "Help Ava!" or visiting their sister in the hospital again? I hope to find a happy medium somewhere.