ICU Day 1 – AM

First off, I want to apologize for not responding to those who had left me messages. It’s been a crazy 24-hr.

Andre still has his breathing tube and chest tubes. He is sleeping right now.

He was semi-awake when I came in this morning. He wanted to communicate more than the head nods and shakes he’s able to do. He asked for pen and paper but his writing was illegible–not being able to see what he’s writing probably didn’t help. I wish it had crossed my mind that communicating can be problematic when you’re intubated, and Andre and I could have devised a way of doing so prior to the surgery.

At about 10:30 AM, I finally saw the surgical team. They apologized for not seeing me yesterday and gave the expected excuse that they were busy with other surgeries. They told me that they were conservative with the surgery. They only took out two “wedges” in his left lung (not the full lower lobe or the full left lung as was originally considered), and that the surgery itself went without a hitch. They looked at the two chest tubes sticking out of Andre’s left flank, and they said he’s doing great from their standpoint. Their only responsibility right now are those chest tubes which will come out in about a week, if I’m not mistaken. They will be back again later today to check on Andre.

As the surgeons were about to leave, Andre started getting agitated. His pain meds must have been wearing off (he’s currently on a Fentanyl drip for pain and getting Propofol via I.V. as a sedative) and he started trying to get the tubes out of his mouth. The ICU nurse had to strap down his right arm while I was holding down his left arm. It’s good to note that Andre is strong enough that he’s able to push back against me but it’s bad for his breathing to be exerting that much. As the nurse was delivering a bolus of pain meds into Andre, the pulmonary critical care docs came in. They are the ones in-charge of when he’ll get extubated. Their main concern is still the same: strike the right balance between pain control, sedation, and consciousness. If they take out the tubes but Andre is still in a lot of pain, then they expect his breathing to become labored which might necessitate him getting intubated again. On the other hand, if he is too sedated, they can not take out the tubes because he might not breathe strongly enough. They’ve called for the anesthesiologist to look at Andre and see if an epidural can be put in. The anesthesiologist during the surgery yesterday decided against it because Andre’s platelet count was low. He was given platelets this morning so an epidural should be possible now.

I’ll post more later this afternoon.