Yesterday was an interesting day. Very monumental in our journey for several different reasons...
Tricia had an extremely rough morning. The day before was her best yet, but she did not sleep well, and by the time I woke up around 7am, she was complaining about having a lot of trouble breathing. It was very, very difficult for her, and she sat in bed all morning very uncomfortable and stressed until the docs came and did a Bronchoscopy around noon and suctioned out a lot of "plugs" (mucus that is literally plugging the airways in the lungs).
They also changed her plastic trach for a smaller, metal one. This metal trach has no cuff (the balloon in the throat that is inflated to prevent air from passing through the mouth and nose) which means a lot less airway obstruction. After the bronch and new trach, Tricia immediately felt better, which was a relief both physically and mentally.
Tricia was given a plug for the new trach, and she has been breathing since completely through her mouth and nose for the first time in over three months, as well as talking...a lot. :) The plug also allows her not to need the hydrated O2 (at room air, 21%) that she had been receiving for the past few weeks, which means one less thing strapping her down. She slept with the plug in all night and had the best sleep in weeks sleep. And, she is able to really smell for the first time in three months.
She also walked twice for a total of 14 laps, which is approximately 4000 feet. And, for the first time ever, We were able to go visit Gwyneth without any nurses or RTs in tow. And, for the first time ever, we went to visit Gwyneth twice in one day. Other than walking her laps, Tricia still travels via a wheelchair.
And, perhaps the biggest news of all...Gwyneth was moved to the stepdown nursery. There are only nine available beds in the stepdown nursery, which means that Gwyneth is one of the nine most stable babies in the NICU. It's one step closer to getting out and going home. Although the stepdown is different than the NICU, and the change is not something that feels comfortable yet, we are excited to see the progress!
I was told that we were unexpectedly on a local TV news station in the Hampton Roads, VA area yesterday evening as well...if memory serves me right, one of the stations there is partners with the Virginian Pilot, and they must have mentioned the story in the paper somehow. Which reminds me...tomorrow brings another TV interview with Barbara Gibbs and ABC 11. This interview is meant to give an update on the girls' progress as well as help promote the CF Great Strides Walk this Saturday at Duke (more about that later). I'm excited, because, hopefully, Tricia will actually be able to speak audibly this time!