A tracheotomy --
This is what we are looking at now. Since Kathryn immediately felt as though she couldn’t breath when the tube was removed yesterday they believe there is a problem with her upper airway. A tracheotomy allows a person to breath by bypassing the upper airway. They would put a short tube in her throat and there would be a hole in the middle of her throat about where that “u” shape part of the bone is on your neck. She probably would be able to breath without a machine and this would free her up to do more things. As it is now the tube goes in her mouth and a long ways down her throat. This is uncomfortable, ties her to a machine and does not give her the ability to talk. The tracheotomy would give her the ability to talk and right now communication is very frustrating. Also being on the breathing tube is so uncomfortable that she is on constant pain and sedation medications. She is aware and can nod but being totally aware would be much better.
This may be done early in the morning in the room or the next day. Or it may be done in the OR early next week. We believe the sooner the better and I think the doc feels the same. This doesn’t have to be a permanent deal but does allow a chance for them to also evaluate the upper airway to see what is the true issue.
The MRI also shows some improvement but also some progression. Unfortunately the progression is in a dangerous area of the brain. This area is right by the brainstem which controls all of our auto functions such as breathing, swallowing and on and on. This could be the real issue of the airway. Man has no way to control this at this point so pray God heals Kathryn by reversing or stopping this tumor progression.
We came in here to get her sodium level up. Seemed so simple at the time and now we are a week into ICU and looking at 5 or more days. So, don’t take for granted the ones you love.