Inserting a trache and hospital transfer, please HELP!!!

    • Anonymous
      September 23, 2007 at 8:45 pm

      Can anyone tell me anything about the trache after being taken off the ventilator? Currently the doctor is still trying to wein my father off of the ventilator and they say that he is progressing. Anyways, he looks alot better, now I’m just concerned about the trache. We don’t know too much about it and the doctor had asked my dad if he wanted to have a trache inserted? He said yes but I don’t even think he understands what it is. he just knows or thinks that he will get off of the ventilator if they put a trache on him. Me or my sister didn’t get to the hospital till this afternoon after the doctor had already left. Anyways, from the information that my sister gathered from my dad’s girlfriend’s family was that the doctor said he had talked to my dad about the trache and he wants to do it so they will probably do it soon and the way that they talked was that it will be permenant. Anyways, if anyone has any resourceful information and can explain it to me i would appreciate it. These doctors don’t really explain things right to us and this isn’t the first time either. Well also before my father had went into cardiac arrest we the whole family had talked about having him transferred to Parkland Hospital which is one of the best hospitals in Dallas because we don’t feel that my dad was getting the proper care and attention and we as the family had several complaints about the way things were being handled. He is at the Veterans Hospital right now and in ICU and that department is taking very good care of him and I have no complaints but when he was on the floor it was like the nurses forgot about him. I will just tell a few things of what has happened cause I could write a story. He didn’t have a bowel movement for 9 days and I had to basically be rude to the doctor and tell him to do something about it then he ordered an enima and 45 min later he went to the bathroom. Well that should have happened after the first few days. Then the nurses let him sit in his bowel for up to 30min stating that they were short staffed. My dad had a call button on his cheek and called one of the nurses about his leg massagers hurting too bad if she could maybe take them off for about 5 mins and she was very rude to him, grabbed his call button and threw it (there was another patient in the same room with him that witnessed it). They wouldn’t put him in his cardiac chair stating they weren’t licensed to do it which when I talked to the Chief of Staff said that wasn’t true and we gave him the name of 2 nurses that said that. My dad would tell us not to say anything because he had to stay there and when we left he would have to deal with it. There’s more but I’m going to stop right there. Anyways, my dad doesn’t have any money and is a veteran so everything is paid for at the VA cause he’s a veteran and i think that is his main concern about going anywhere else. My question is should we tell my dad that we want him transferred and let him make a decision? We don’t want to stress him but don’t know what to do? Please tell me anything that will help us make a decision.

    • Anonymous
      September 24, 2007 at 12:33 am

      First off, a patient will always receive better care when in ICU than when on the floor. That is just the nature of intensive care; less patients per nurse. And there are good & bad nurses in every hospital. In April my husband’s appendix burst & after surgery he was put into the cardiac ward because the gastric ward was full. Anyways, he was very sick for 10 days afterward & I got a chance to see just how overworked the nurses were there; they were literally running. I was so glad then that I had been a teacher & not a nurse.

      If your dad feels more comfortable being in the VA Hospital, I would leave him for now. At least he has the assurance of not having to worry about medical bills later on. If you transfer him, he could lose everything he has worked all of his life for. Trust me, they do come after you diligently for their medical bills once you leave the hospital. Your Profile mentions that he has a ranch, maybe he is afraid of losing that? BTW we all have horror stories from every hospital we have stayed in, at least I certainly do.

    • Anonymous
      September 24, 2007 at 9:04 am

      Trach is good, it isn’t for life-just until he gets off the vent. It is inserted into his windpipe through a incision in his throat/neck area. It just makes the vent alittle more comfortable for your Dad. They also have talking valves, so he can communicate with people. I would keep on the nurses, report the bad ones to the supervisor, or higher if you have to. You are your Dad’s care advocates right now, insist on good care. Moving him could cause more stress on your Dad, which is the main thing you want to avoid, keep your Dad in the loop of decisions. Insure your Dad the wrath won’t come to him if he or you stick up for his rights to good care. As Pam mentioned, we All have horror stories of our hospital stays, to one extent or the other. If there are certain nurses that are rude to your Dad, have those nurses reassigned, you have the right to request nurses be removed from your Dad’s care. If you have questions for the Dr, then request the head nurse call him, so you can talk things over with him. The drs would rather explain their methods to madness before hand, then face the family afterwards. Ask All the questions you have, and if you don’t like the answers, let it be known. A positive environment at All times is important for a good recovery. If your Dad has pain, make sure he is being treated for it. Alot of people use gabapentin(neurontin) or Lyrica for nerve pain. Touch can cause alot of pain, if your Dad is sensative to massages then stop the massages-they aren’t that important! Physical therapy-range of motion is important everyday for a few mins a day. I wouldn’t worry too much about the bms, his nerves control the gastro system, they can be affected-mine were. Take care.

    • Anonymous
      September 24, 2007 at 11:33 am

      Thanks for the advice this has really helped me. Also has anyone had a trache with the GBS?

    • Anonymous
      September 24, 2007 at 5:05 pm

      Hey, I had a trache with my GBS. I know that getting off the vent and receiving a trache is a step in the right direction. When I had a trache it had to be “downsized” and that had to be one of the most awkward experiences of my life 😮

    • Anonymous
      September 24, 2007 at 11:01 pm

      i had a trachy and believe me it was so much better than being intubated. While i had the tube i felt like it was always making me gag and i was constantly trying to move it around in my mouth. Once the tube is out of your mouth you can start trying to mouth words etc. I had the trachy for 3 weeks and was gradually weaned off the vent. I started talking again and I was able to start eating again while i still had the trachy. It was also a lot easier to cough and clear my chest with the trachy and meant a lot less suctioning which is always a good thing. It really made me feel a lor more human. I know some people do have permanent trachies but i think that is only when they have permanent breathing difficulties. As long as the breathing muscles continue to improve there is no reason to think that it will be a lifelong thing.

      I still have a scar from my trachy about 5cm long but i think that is larger than usual as i developed an infection. To me it is like a badge of honour and reminds me of what i have survived.

    • Anonymous
      September 25, 2007 at 9:43 am

      Thanks for the positive feedback. I can relate to my family easier with the information that I get off of this site. Anyways, my uncle said with the trache he was just concerned about my dad trying to depend on it. Do you think that could possibly happen or is it more of muscle control?

    • Anonymous
      September 25, 2007 at 2:57 pm

      Hello everyone. My sister is at the hospital and I just spoke with her. She asked me if daddy was talking (lip movement) to me yesterday and I told her yes and she said that he is just laying there not speaking or anything with her. He just looks at her. Do you know why he would be acting like this? I know he was upset yesterday when the nurse told me that they were going to do his trach on Monday instead of today, but do you think he could be upset and don’t want to talk to anyone, could this just be a bad day or I don’t know what else it could be. He worries us when he does certain things like this especially considering that he doesn’t normally act that way. Please give me some feedback..

    • Anonymous
      September 25, 2007 at 3:57 pm

      It could be stress, or fear. Being on a ventilator, and having a tracheotomety is serious and maybe he’s realizing what happened to him. All you guys can do is to stay positive, and really watch and monitor what the doctors and nurses do to him…i.e making sure they clean the trache so it wont get infected.

    • Anonymous
      September 25, 2007 at 5:10 pm

      When I was in I had good days and bad days. I will say that once I got a trach I had alot more good days and It was a big plus to be able to talk. I only had it in for about a week and then I was able to breathe on my own. It was a big step in my recovery.

    • Anonymous
      September 26, 2007 at 4:22 pm

      My daughter (33 yrs. old) was intubated for several weeks, then because it was expected she’d require ventilator assistance for an extended time, had a tracheostomy. The blessing of the trach is that it freed up her mouth and lips, thereby allowing communication to begin. NOT being able to communicate was terrifying and frustrating to her, as it may be for your dad.

      Vent weaning was easier with the trach. And, as someone else mentioned, once the person is stronger, various speaking valves can also be used to begin verbalization.

      As for tranfer, confidence in the facility, doctors, and nursing staff is key. If the patient is confident in the overall care, then as hard as it is for the family, it’s best if they are supportive of the patient’s decision. (I was the person who wanted my daughter to receive care elsewhere. However, despite some bad nurses and doctors, she had confidence in the hospital.)

    • Anonymous
      September 26, 2007 at 5:40 pm

      Thanks. I will share this information with my family so that they know to be patient with me dad as well. Actually, finding this forum has helped me more that anyone could possible know have more patience, understanding, and less tears. i’m so thankful to everyone and have learned so much from reading others postings and receiving responses as well.