Posted by Oli on Thursday 22nd November, 2007
We had a lie in today to catch up on some much needed sleep and so went to see Oli this afternoon.
I wasn’t there when they moved Oli to the ward yesterday so was really pleasantly surprised when I walked in to see that he has a tv/dvd player and a fridge that I’m sure is meant for important things like drugs but that we have taken over to store chocolate milk and other vital get-well-soon yummy things.
Oli’s had a very tough day today. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still doing fantastically well, but I think today might have scared him a little and made him see a mountain that he wants to be at the peak of before he’s really set off. It appears as though his brain is finding it difficult to trust that his lungs do actually work fine and are capable of working harder than he’s pushing them to. The amazing team around him have been encouraging him to take deep, slow breaths in order to open up all of the airways and make sure the alveoli at the base of the lungs are being used.
In order to give Oli a bit of help with this, they’ve given him another Neve (our name for NIV – Non Invasive Ventilator), like he’d been using pre-transplant. The idea behind it being that it takes an awful lot of effort to breathe deeply when you’re not used to it so neve can aid Oli at times thorughout the day and night, especially when he is tired or when his CO2 levels go up.
Oli hasn’t taken to this new Neve much, she’s very much the same as the one he’s used but he now finds the mask a bit claustrophobic (pls forgive spelling mistakes) and has been getting panicky after short periods of use. The marvellous nurse Jason who was looking after him today managed to finally tweak the settings and adjust the mask and eventually this evening, Oli has been more comfortable on it. We hope he might use it tonight to help him sleep well, I really hope it works for him.
The other, slightly scarier thing Oli has found difficult today has been the hallucinagenic side effects of the very strong drugs he is on. Apparently it isn’t unusual (we had actually been forewarned about this by Emily who told us she liked to imagine conversations with her doctors!) but it is never-the-less not pleasant, and this evening after starting with seeing shapes and squiggles led to thinking the bed was trying to swallow him.
We left him tonight calmer but exhausted and with permission from the docs for his big bro to stay with him in his room tonight. I really hope he gets some good sleep. Sleep is so important for the body to heal and he has a hard enough journey ahead already without suffering from lack of sleep.
See you tomorrow x