Tuesday, October 25, 2011


So sometimes it seems to me that we suction Luke a lot and that we shouldn't be suctioning as much.  Like we could do something to make it better.  And when I go to pulmonology and they ask how many times he is suctioned a day on average, I always feel like it is too high of a number and I feel guilty or that maybe they are judging me or thinking Luke is sick or something when I say the number.  I should instead ask them what think of this number.

So what is Luke's normal...  when he is doing really well it can be an average of 12.  When he is sick it can be 20-25.  When the weather is changing, it is raining or just when he has a junky day it is more like 15-18.  This seems a lot to me, possibly becuase I have heard other moms say they suction only a few times a day.  That would be awesome.  We have been under 10 for days at a time but it has been a long while.

Today I was on the trach forums at Aaron's Tracheotomy Page and someone asked about the amount of suctioning.  Many parents that answered said they suction multiple times an hour and that is the normal.  Many said that it was a lot at first but things have gotten better and they are only suctioning a few times a day.  They mentioned medicines like Atrovent, Albuterol, Pulmicourt and Robinal to help and positioning but mostly humidification and getting it just right.  We live in Michigan and we go from humid summers to dry winters and everything in between.  Humidity on a day to day basis has a lot to do with Luke's amount and type of secretions.  Things get really different when we are in the car and doctor's offices all day than just a day at home.  The car has lots of hot dry air blowing around and it is very dry and so he secretions get thicker.  When the weather is wet he is loose and lots of suctioning.  I think Luke also may have allergies of some sort which factors in.

So I feel lucky that our normal is not suctioning multiple times an hour.  Because when Luke is really junky I get pretty fed up with suctioning so often and constantly hearing the secretions in his trach.  It one of those things that drives me nuts.  I feel bad then becuase it is not his fault and I do not get frustrated and upset with him.  It is the situation.  It is not a normal pet pieve and when I am in a good mood it can go okay, or put me in a bad mood in no time at all.  I get really snippy and on edge and just not fun to be around when I have to hear the secretions all day and have to suction a lot of times.  I don't like that it is like this and I am trying to take deep breaths, have more patience and just letting it go.  I try talking to God about having more fruits of the spirit, kindness, gentleness, self control (is that a fruit, I forget).  Luke is really helping me to practice being more patient and gentle.  When I get upset I do wish Luke could get better faster that he would be able to get rid of the trach and all this noisy breathing and suctioning.  But it looks like we are in for the long haul, more patience required.

So there are my thoughts on suctioning.

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