Tyler's Heart

Pictures - Pictures from Houston.
LVAD Video - A YouTube video about living with an LVAD.
HeartMate II Video Clip - Short video clip about the pump Tyler has.

Another good blog to read is from our friend Bill. Cozumel Part 1 - This Might Be Habit Forming.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No tube, No tracheotomy.

Today was another good step forward. Tyler is more alert and drifts away less. He also had the breathing tube removed because he can breath on his own. Because of this they didn't have to due a tracheotomy. He is looking around more and had a lot of visits from the nursing staff. He is trying to talk but his vocal chords aren't ready quite yet and he barely produces a whisper. He is in a lot of pain but is hanging in there. He also keeps trying to grab his feeding tube to try and remove it. It has got to be irritating having a tube running through his nose. Until his vocal chords repair themselves he can't even have ice chips because the water may trickle into his wind pipe.

A cardiologist explained to Tyler what happened medically over the past three weeks, but he may not remember what he was told. Hopefully he will make more progress today and in the next few days be able to talk a little more. At the last visitation I read a couple of notes/cards to him, including a note from his mother. I also let him know the huge number of people thinking of him. A lot of his nurses stopped by to say hi to him and I thought .."typical Tyler, even in a coma he makes friends"! But I also think he is overwhelmed by the situation. He will probably be moved to another floor today (still an ICU) and they will begin physical therapy.

I was also shown how to change the dressing around his drive line and was given a kind-of pop quiz about the LVAD. The staff asked if I was going to LVAD class and my response was I still was trying to handle things and that I've been bugging the nurses about the LVAD already. I know they do understand but it felt like I had to remind them that I still had fires to put out, other fires to prevent, and needed to work so there could be some income coming in. While it is great that he is breathing on his own and didn't have to have a tracheotomy, I'm still concerned about his state of mind. To wake up three weeks later, be in a hospital (in Houston), having an implant, and a cord running out of him has got to be a living hell. It appears he doesn't remember going to Cozumel and it will be good to know what was the last thing he remembers so I can start to bring him up to date.

For me, I'm realizing that as he gets better our lives continue to get harder. My short term goal is to be able to watch TV with him, but with the H1N1 flu going around the visitation times are pretty restrictive. Only four times a day and only 30 minutes at a time. I'm trying to remain as strong as possible and am worried about Tyler being upset and depressed. I keep reminding myself that Tyler has quite the strong personality and will overcome this. I'm also working hard to be "normal" with Tyler. The nurses wanted me to bring in balloons, jump up and down, and be celebratory but I needed to just be with Tyler quietly. To watch him look around at all the tubes, IV's, and equipment as he tries to take it all in is disconcerting for me. I'm working on trying to be upbeat but I think since he is medically okay, my adrenaline is dropping and I'm starting to have some moments to really understand what has happened over the last three weeks and what is about to come.

Okay, I'm going to get my attitude in order and tomorrow's post better be upbeat! My mother is here today and will be able to help me with a lot of things and beat me into shape!



  1. I like your comment about typical Tyler making friends even in a coma- HA! how very true! Hang in there Robert, you are doing an amazing job caring for Tyler. (don't forget to take care of yourself too) He is so very fortunate to have you in his life. Take care- Many prayers and much love- Tracy Geiger

  2. YIPEEE!!! Way to go Tyler, you made it off the vent... Big step friend... Susan