Monday, February 28, 2011
On Sunday, Darryl and Stacy Seguin (Brittany's family), came for a quick visit. Their boys had played in a basketball tournament up in Leduc on the weekend and were passing through town on their way home. Visits from family have come at good times and we have enjoyed each of their company.
My parents (who had come up for the weekend) went home on Sunday afternoon. As I was walking out with them we were talking about all the little miracles that have happened over the past week. We talked about how the prayers of so many people have helped us cope with the situation at hand. I mentioned to my parents that although a date had been set for Ethan's skin grafts (Thurs. March 3), and that even though we have accepted the fact that he'll need them, I still had a little hope and faith deep down inside that the grafting would not have to be as extensive as originally thought. Well, today Ethan went in for his dressing change about 1pm. For some reason I felt a little more worried today than other days but once the doctors showed up my worries left. I think my uneasiness might have had something to do with the fact that this was his last dressing change before the skin grafts and we'd find out the extent of how much grafting will be needed. Ethan came back about an hour and half later looking pretty good. He snuggled me for about 2 hrs on the chair which was nice. Dr. Harrop, Ethan's plastic surgeon, came and visited with us about 3pm and mentioned that they are going to proceed with the skin grafts on Ethan's arms on Thursday. He also mentioned that it looked like the top of his right foot was going to need a little grafting as well. Dr. Harrop then said that they were going to hold off grafting any skin on his head for another week because the 3rd degree burn areas were starting to show signs of re-growth. I guess there are little areas of redness (which is a sign of vascularity or blood flow) and budding. The budding is a sign of hair growth which means that the skin can also grow. Britt and I were so excited for the great news!! In our minds this is a big miracle. We attribute this to all the prayers that have been given in behalf of Ethan.
Over the past week we have had offers from many people who have wanted to help out in some way. If there is one specific thing that we could ever ask for, we ask that all of you who are praying for Ethan will continue to remember him in your prayers and specifically ask our Heavenly Father that the burns on Ethan's head will continue to heal properly.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Tonight as we were getting Ethan settled for bed we noticed there was something going on as the nurses in the hall (the nurse desk is right outside the door) were trying to get some rooms ready for incoming patients. We asked the nurse (who was attending to Ethan at the time) what was going on, she said that the emergency room was really busy and that there were going to be some new patients coming up to the unit we are staying in. Thinking of the people in the emergency room made me reflect on the night we drove up to Calgary. It wasn't until then that I realized that Ethan's accident took place exactly one week this evening. I started thinking of all the ups and downs that have happened this week and thought I'd share a couple of them...
- An overwhelming sense of peace and calm from the time we gave Ethan a blessing in the Lethbridge Regional Hospital's emergency room until now.
- The overall response of EMS responders who got Ethan to the Hospitals in Lethbridge and Calgary
- Awesome Teams of doctors and nurses that have attended to Ethan's every need, he wouldn't be where he is without them.
- A large support group of family, friends, and strangers who have offered prayers and thoughts, meals and visits, and everything we needed this past week.
- A couple of good night sleeps.
- Burns on Ethan's face are healing with no visible scarring.
- Swelling of Ethan's head going down.
- Ethan being able to open his eyes.
- Ethan eating on his own.
- First smile.
- Hearing his voice as he communicates back to us
- Not being able to recognize our little boy as a result of all the swelling and and burns.
- Learning the extent of his burns from our plastic surgeon.
- Watching the pain in Ethan's face throughout the recovery.
- Britt and I staying up one night holding Ethan down for 10hrs straight (11pm-9am).
- Exhaustion and lack of sleep.
- Ethan hates blood work and so do we.
- Keeping Ethan from ripping his bandages off
- Having to deal with all the tubes and I.V.s hooked up to Ethan
Ethan's swelling has gone down a ton! His face is healing well and the doctors are very pleased with how he is progressing! I am so glad I can finally see those big blue eyes; and he can see me!
Friday, February 25, 2011
Ethan had his dressings changed yesterday. All the doctors and nurses taking care of him are doing such a great job. After a couple of days sitting with just dad, Ethan decided to switch it up and snuggle his mommy today.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Ethan's new trick: he thinks that by holding his two bandaged arms over his eyes the nurses wont be able to find him. his other trick consists of him shutting his eyes and pretending to sleep; if he is sleeping the nurses are less likely to bug him... so he thinks.
We have been feeding Ethan water through these little baby bottles. We just cut the hole in the nipple big enough for the straw to fit through. He finally figured out how to hold the bottle without the proper use of his hands.
Ethan has been Daddy's boy the past two days. He wont let anybody hold him except dad. They sit in the lazyboy chair all day and sleep there all night. His new stuff animal puppy came at the perfect time (after a long rough night), since then nobody can touch the puppy, not even mom.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
My parents have been with us for the past two days and stayed in the Ronald McDonald house last night while Tim and I stayed in the hospital room with Ethan. He was extremely irritable as a result of the side effects of the drugs he is taking, along with the catheter,g-tube and fevers he has had. He thrashed around in his bed, tearing off his bandages, rubbing his burns on his face until they bled, pulling out his oxygen, and kicked so hard he almost pulled out his catheter several times. He did this from 11 pm until 8:30 am. Yep, Tim and I pulled an all nighter, standing on either side of his bed; Tim held his legs down while I held his hips still from turning over and hurting his bandaged arms. We literally stood holding him all night long,no chairs. My legs ached and i started to get a headache from all of Ethan's screaming. His throat was so hoarse, especially since he had a feeding tube down his throat and had a breathing tube earlier in the week when they put him under for his dressing changes. We joked because we would settle him slightly for two minutes and so tim would go sit down and as soon as his bum would touch the bed Ethan would scream. Ethan was miserable and he never slowed down. We found out that in the morning his morphine wasn' t working all evening so they changed the pump and set that up. Then they pulled out his feeding tube and
ethan completely quit his screaming and calmed right down. That lasted for about an hour and then he started up again so we waited to see the pain team first thing in the morning. they came in and upped his morphine patient control. Tim and I were tired and very stressed because we kept telling the nurses and evening pediatricians that something is wrong and they would do nothing. Once the new morphine kicked in he relaxed a bit. The life saver of the day was the stuffed puppy he got from some dear friends of ours. He would not let that thing go and as long as he had it he was peaceful. We did however get to remove the feeding tube, the catheter due to a bacterial infection he has, and two iv sites that weren't working anymore.
My brother Dale and his wife Becky and their daughter came to the hospital and helped out lots. They made sure I got a break and they brought us the best Chinese dinner, so we were spoiled rotten. Ethan will go in to get his dressings changed tomorrow at 1:30pm so we should know more then. His last dressing change was not as good as we hoped and his entire scalp had to be removed because it was burned so deep, so now we just hope that tomorrow things will look better.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
His fever continued to rise to 41.8 degrees and so they opted to give him some Tylenol (they didn't give it to him earlier because he has been on so many drugs they were worried about his liver). The Tylenol took about 40 minutes to kick in and it dropped his temp. to 38.8. He continued to have an on/off fever all day that was quite high. To be safe, they added an antibiotic to his I.V. in case of an infection. Our doctor also wanted us to do a urine and blood culture to see if there was an infection. Ethan has had a lot of blood work done since we got here and only has one site to draw it from on his left foot (his other foot and both arms are completely bandaged). Two lab technicians came in and poked his foot but had no success so they tried a different spot on the same foot. Still no luck! They decided to come back in 10 min, which they did but still couldn't find. Spot so they opted not to poke him yet. 10 minutes later another two technicians came in and poked him two more times but still no luck. So they might have to put a PIK line in him when they do his next dressing changes on Thursday.
We have had a hard time getting him to drink or eat today and so we had to put another feeding tube in his nose which he absolutely hates and keeps trying to rub out. He also has oxygen running through his nose and so we have to constantly fight him to keep his hands off his face so that he won't rub off his burned skin. He also had problems with his catheter not flushing and so after several attempts to flush it
and no success they decided to remove it and put in a new one. So the day has been pretty rough for him and yet he has been such a trooper. He has tolerated so much but is sure to let the nurses know when he has had enough by saying "ewwee" or by giving them a wack with his heavy, bandaged arm.
On the good side of things his burn on his face is starting to heal and he opened both eyes today! This is a huge victory since his eyes have been swollen shut since the accident and he has been very frustrated not being able to see things. We won't know if is eyes were damaged until an opthamologist looks at them hopefully tomorrow or the next day. We also were approved for a room in the Ronald McDonald House and so that has been a huge blessing. They will allow up to five people to stay, will provide good home cooked meals once a day and have given us a few food vouchers to grocery stores and gas vouchers as well. No more sleeping in chairs!
So thats the update for today and we are continuing to pray for a miracle that Ethan won't need any skin grafts. Dr. Harrop our plastic surgeon is unsure if some of the burns on his arms and head are third degree and so we just wait to see what will heal on it's own and what won't.
When we arrived in calgary emergency, trauma unit, this was how Ethan looked. A little more swollen than when we had last seen him in Lethbridge.
Ethan is much more swollen and looks pretty rough but was actually doing much better. He sure loves the nurse, and she calmed him right down by singing to him his ABC's.
Grandpa Bart and Uncle Steve came to visit. Tim's parents Bart and Sue came and helped out so much. We were so greatful to have them with us those first 2 days. Steve was very proactive in trying to give Ethan the very best care. I will explain more about that later.
Tim, Ethan and I. He loves to be snuggled by Tim or myself and it will usually settle him right down. The only problem is that he weighs a ton due to all the added fluid in his body and so we have to take shifts holding him. Sleep is hard to come by these past few days and so we try and sleep by taking turns, one of us always by Ethan's bedside.