22 March 2012

Night of the Bear

All caregivers in ICU are given a pager so the doctors/nurses can get in touch quickly, usually to provide status during surgery, etc. So as you can imagine, if the pager goes off unexpectedly in the middle of the night and when your son isn't in surgery, parents can get a bit worried. Well, it was a bit after midnight when our pager went off last night. Standard protocol is to call the ICU front desk to find out what's going on . . . need to meet the surgeon in the conference room, should go to Eddie's room, etc. . . . so imagine our heightened anxiety when no one was answering the phone at the front desk. By now, we're imagining all kinds of crazy scenarios so we got dressed and went downstairs, looking like people do when woken up in the middle of the night!

We were met in Eddie's room by 7-8 doctors and nurses with all of the lights blazing . . . obviously not normal. Eddie was on the bed and he seemed to be breathing ok and no one was working on him, so a bit of head scratching on our part. Finally, one of the nurses broke the news . . . "Eddie decided it was about time for his breathing tube to come out." Yes, Eddie managed to pull a fast one on his night nurse and, when she wasn't looking, pull out his breathing tube entirely. And as you can see from the picture below, we're talking about 24cm of breathing tube (9-10 inches).

Apparently he had a good cough and the nurse was going to help him clear his lungs, but Eddie managed to get his hands on the tube and gave it a good yank. Most importantly, he is ok . . . probably suffering from a pretty sore throat both from two weeks on a breathing tube and from pulling it out so abruptly. The nurses attached a temporary breathing tube in his nose and the plan is to watch how he does over the next few hours. If he does well, they won't replace the ET and will let him start to recover on his own.

So in addition to that excitement, we also welcomed a couple new furry friends to our growing arsenal of stuffed animals. First, the Berlin Heart company (yes, the company that makes the Berlin Heart . . . ah, you Germans are so creative!) sends a stuffed bear to all of its patients.

And then we were met at the front desk with this surprise! Again, I'm not naming names, but the guilty parties know who they are. Wow! If you're creative, there are some fun things to do at the hospital . . . we've added another to our list . . . walking through the corridors carrying a 3 foot tall stuffed bear. Impossible for the many patients, their families, and even the doctors not to smile when they see Sarah walking down the hall with this bad boy. Thank you!


  1. Love the big bear. Not surprised at little Eddie yanking that tube out. Our prayers are with you ,John and Sarah. also with Eddie. Thanks for keeping us posted on Eddie's progress.
    Bill Bergen

  2. Hopefully this means Eddie can finally have his apple juice!
    What a scare though. Stay tough, Eddie!

  3. So happy that EDDIE is all right. Those tubes are a real problem... now he can talk to you as you see him... SO Happy to see the big smile onSarah, You guys have all been through a very tough time....extended... for weeks- months. Very good that things are gong well. We love You All!

  4. Praying for your family and sending you a huge hug!

  5. What a scare in the middle of the night! Knowing that everything seems okay now I can't help but smile to think of Eddie pulling that breathing tube out on his own. He was done:) Hope everything goes well and he gets to stay off the ventilator. I love to see beautiful Sarah and the giant bear!

  6. What a night! The bears are fun! Love the pic Sarah. We are glad Eddie is doing well and sense his strong will all the way out here in California!!
    ~Love~The CA Powells

  7. So wonderful to see a pic of you, Sarah! I too am glad to see you smiling. . . . So glad Eddie's okay after his little nighttime hijinks! Hang in there, guys. Sending our love to all of you, Cathie & Fred & Sarah & boys

  8. Sarah, you look beautiful, glad to see you smiling. Maybe Eddie just thought "hmm, here's my chance, to get rid of this thing" and went for it. I hope he doesn't have to have it replaced, I am sure you would all be much happier communicating. I am so glad to here that all is going as well as it is. I wish I could come and just visit with you, call me when you need to talk, I'm just stuck her with my kiddos.Love you guys, Shari