Life Starts Now.

Living each day to the fullest, because we know first-hand just how fragile life can be.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Waitin' on a Call

Last Saturday we had our "pre-opish" appointment with Boseley, the ENT doc who put in Joel's trach.  The plan was to meet with him to discuss exactly what was to be done with Joel's scar tissue, and when.  The DVD of Joel's broncoscopy didn't play in the computer, or his office, so we still don't know exactly what will be done during surgery.  This is what we DO know:

-Joel will be having some sort of surgery, and soon.  We told him our goal was April 15th, but he's busy during the middle of the month and will be out of state.  He gave us the option of having surgery the first week in April, or the first week in May.  After lots of prayer, consideration, and advice, we've decided to go with April.  Joel has to be on antibiotics until his trach is out, and at this point, we feel that the trach is doing more harm than good.  He's been off the ventilator for months, and never needed oxygen even when he was sick.  I think one month isn't going to make a difference.
-If things go as planned, Joel will get his trach out during the surgery, and extubated the following day.
-There are most likely 2 options for surgery.  Option #1 involves going in through Joel's mouth.  Cutting out the scar tissue, and closing the stoma with a bandage.  This is the option we're hoping for.  In the case that Joel has major complications or gets seriously ill, re-traching him won't be a big issue.  It takes about a month for the stoma to close by itself.  Option #2 is more complicated...and scary for me, but apparently it's described worse than it actually is.  Going through the stoma after cutting around it, they cut the trachea to open it up, and if it's bad in there...they take a sliver of cartilage from the (esophagus?) and hold the trachea open, stabilizing it with sutures.  Details on this are a little sketchy, because I think I was too freaked to actually absorb all the info tossed my way.  The end of surgery 2 has the stoma being sutured shut.  Re-traching would be more difficult.
-Dr. Boseley's office should be calling us today or tomorrow to set up the appointment for the first week in April.  (We hope.)

Waiting areas are SO fun!
 So there it is.  There's still a lot we don't know.  We don't know what is on that video, or how bad the scar tissue is.  We don't know which surgery Joel will be having, or if there are any additional airway problems that he's seen.  Please keep Joel in your prayers, and I'll be sure to keep you updated when we get that phone call!

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