in the HDU

Sorry about no update last night. We sat around all day doing nothing, waiting for his x-ray to be taken, for the x-ray to be read, etc, and when things finally moved along, it was too late to post on the hospital computer (there is no wi-fi here, we’re using the hospital’s computer in the cafeteria).

So they did move Emmett to the Ladybird ward yesterday, which is the regular cardiac ward. But in that ward, there is a room with 4 beds called the high-dependency unit (HDU), where the nursing ratio is 1 nurse to 2 patients. That’s where they’ve moved Emmett.

They were able to pull one of his chest tubes yesterday. Unfortunately, his pneumothorax on the other side (the same side that has given him problems since the surgery) is not any smaller, so they decided to leave the tube on that side in. Which means he has to continue on the morphine drip (because a chest tube is really painful), keep his central line in, keep his urinary catheter in, etc. So this is not the best news.

Last night he also had some bloodwork that showed that he’s starting an infection. They don’t call things by names I recognize here, so I’m not sure if its his white blood cell count that’s high or if its something else, but he’s already on really heavy-duty IV antibiotics, so we’re praying they’ll take care of whatever it is, and that his kidneys can continue to tolerate those antibiotics.

Rounds will start in a few (we actually get to be there for these), and I think the plan is that they’ll take another chest x-ray (we’ll be lucky if he isn’t glowing in the dark from all the radiation when we bring him home) to check on the pneumothorax, and then make a decision about what to do about the chest tube. I think the dilemma is that all of the tubes in him present ways to introduce infections, and they’d like to get those out as soon as possible, plus they’d like him to be awake and moving around to break up chest secretions, but at the same time, if his lung is till leaking air into his chest cavity, he needs the chest tube.

In other news, Mike is going to head home today so that he can take my mom to the airport tomorrow – actually tomorrow morning he’ll bring the kids and my mom on the train close to here, and I’ll meet them at the station to say goodbye to mom and take the boys. Then when Mike gets back to the hospital, we’ll hang out as long as the boys can stand it, and then I’ll take them home. I’m really not looking forward to Mike leaving, and I’m really, really, really not looking forward to my mom leaving – she has been a Godsend these past few weeks. But we’ll figure it out – with the help of our friends and Mike’s squadron, ’cause we sure can’t do it on our own 🙂 .

I really can’t thank you guys enough for all of the emotional support you’re giving us – it blows us away. Please keep praying for Emmett – he’s definitely not out of the woods yet.



Filed under health issues

7 responses to “in the HDU

  1. Charity

    I will be so glad to help you out with the boys anytime. I know you need to be at the hospital as much as possible and that has got to be difficult trying to spread yourself so thin. So please, if you need ANYTHING – call. I know Tate would be happy for the company too :).

  2. I’m so sorry your mom has to go home now, but I’m glad there are friends you can lean on for help. I would so totally be one of them if I could.

  3. Christina

    Little bits of progress… thanking God for each little bit, and praying there are a lot more signs of progress soon.

  4. I’m so glad, as Eliane said, that you’ve got resources to help even when your mom goes. I wish I could help more than reading and hoping along with you.

  5. Small steps. You and Mike amaze me with your grasp of all that is going on medically. You’re so on top of it and that makes you incredible parents and advocates for him – that is very rare and very impressive. I’m so sad for you that your mom is leaving, but happy to hear there are still people there to help. I wish I were closer – I’d happily take your boys to do stuff during the days to give you and Mike some downtime, or time to be with Emmett at the hospital. But from here, all I can do is to keep praying, and I’m doing that for sure. Take care guys!

  6. Praying for Emmett and you every day. Thanks for keeping us updated.

  7. Beth

    Thanks so much for the update. I’m here in FL, wishing I could do more, and praying that things progress positively.
    I’m sorry that your mom is going home, but I know your military family will help you along the way.
    I wish I was there to help!
    Praying and believing BIG for you and E!

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