Matthew continues to do well, although the road to recovery is not always smooth.
His chest X-ray this morning showed that the upper part of his right lung had partially collapsed (atelectesis), and the lung had some fluid around it as well. They are treating it with more Lasix, and “chest percussion,” which he gets every 2 hours. The percussion is a type of physical therapy where they basically pound on his chest and back to loosen up any mucus or fluid in the lung. He needs the therapy, but as you can imagine, it’s not very comforable to have someone pound on your chest only 48 hours after chest surgery. His nurses have been very good about giving him Morphine prior to the treatments, and he does a lot better with them than I expected.
They also had to remove his central line today, because the line was “migrating,” beginning to come out on its own, and would cause more problems if they left it in place. It’s good to have one more line out, but now they can not use it to draw labs. This means that every time he needs blood drawn now, they will have to poke him whereas before they could draw blood from his line without hurting him. It’s so hard to see him in pain.
They also removed his surgical drain and pacer wires today. Getting the tubes removed was quite painful for Matthew, but it is one step closer to recovery and going home. This morning they were talking about releasing him from the PICU this afternoon, but he will spend one more night here to be safe. Even so, the doctors are all impressed by how well he is doing and at this point anticipate a shorter stay than we had originally thought. He will most likely be transferred to the intermediate floor tomorrow.
It is really hard for us to see him in pain, but we know that everything is helping his recovery. We’re looking forward to having him home with us again soon. Thank you for all your support and encouraging comments. We will update again soon.