If practice makes perfect, then we are well on our way to seamless travels to and from Dallas. We are thankful that we didn't have any major hiccups this time, and managed only to leave the house without a large syringe for his bolus feed. Not to worry...they had extra ones at vent clinic, and our problem was solved!
The doctor was pleased with Drake's progress over the past month! So...where do we go from here? That was my biggest question. BIG steps...vent trails!!! What does this mean? Drake will actually begin attempting short periods of time disconnected from the vent completely! We will still have supplemental oxygen connected to his trach as long as he needs the support, but he will get to be free from the tether of the vent (for short periods of time). I will be able to carry him from room to room, or outside, without needing assistance from anyone else! There was no hiding the beaming smile on my face as I listened to the doctor's instructions! We have a schedule for gradually increasing these trails (as long as he tolerates) over the next month until he reaches 2hrs twice each day completely off of the vent! We will begin tomorrow with two trials of 15min each. Drake as also been cleared to work with his speech therapist using flavored swabs, and we can begin giving him small amounts of brightly colored fluids. This will allow us to asses how he is tolerating swallowing and if he is aspirating. If, when we suction his trach, we see that we are getting the brightly colored liquid, that will tell us that he is aspirating (it is going into his lungs rather than his tummy). Once he is successful with this, he will be ready for a new swallow study. As you can see, we have many things to work on over the next month.
Gran met us along our route and intercepted Kennedy. The two of them drove on to McKinney to have a fun lunch with Poppy. My dad sent me a text message while we were at vent clinic letting me know how much he enjoyed having lunch with his precious granddaughter :) I know she loved it, too! Gran met us again on our journey home so that we could retrieve Kennedy; however, I know Gran and Poppy would have been thrilled to keep for longer.
Over this past weekend, Brian and I took Kennedy down to the water for a little bit on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday it was clear that she was not thrilled with our adventure. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. So, we took her back down on Sunday, and she became a regular water baby! I think it helped that there were two other kids there on Sunday, but whatever the reason...we are just glad she enjoyed the lake! She has many more lake days to come in her future!
I am well on my way to recovering from my snake bite. My foot is still extremely sore and my toe is still swollen, but I am getting better every day. I was told to expect 6 weeks before I am fully recovered. At least I'm almost 2 weeks into my recovery which means only 4 left to go. So far I have only been able to wear one pair of flip-flops without too much pain. I am ready to get my running shoes back on, but my foot isn't quite up to that just yet.
I am thrilled with how well our day went, but vent clinic days are always long days for all of us. Drake and Kennedy are little troopers and it was obvious this evening just how tired they both were from today. They both crashed out, and I am ready to doze off, too. I'm looking forward to sharing all of our good news with Drake's therapist tomorrow...and getting started with his 1st vent trail!
1st golf lesson with daddy!