Jun 20, 2011

Breathing Problems

Hajime had a pretty calm morning but around 11am, we began exercises to sit in a chair.
This was not like before where he walks the several steps to the chair,
this was a customized chair (converts to a bedlike apparatus).
This allows the transfer of his body along with his sheet. 
Therefore we were able to transfer him without causing him much pain. 
However, after sitting for a while, it seemed it became harder for him to breathe and
he would want to return to the bed. He did however stay sitting in the chair for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
After he reached his limit, we returned the apparatus to the bed position,
but later tried to sit him up in the chair again. 
This appeared to be a bad idea and due to this action, he had a lot of secretions.
When there are a lot of secretions, it seems to cause breathing problems and Hajime seemed to be suffering a lot.
We called the respiratory therapist and sucked out the secretions many times
but his breathing did not stabilize and he had to go on the respirator again. 
Even then his oxygen level remained a bit low. 
Once his breathing settled down, we went to the waiting to room to rest a bit.  But when we returned things were bad.
Hajime’s breathing was labored again and his heart rate was high, so the nurse had just called the doctor.
Hajime’s face was red and he was in pain.
For this, the doctor ordered an x-ray but after a while Hajime’s condition began to settle down. 
By night fall, his heart rate also lowered and we were relieved. He was then scheduled for a
CT scan in the middle of the night, so at 10pm, he was headed to the CT.
I had come home but they contacted me to let me know that the CT scan was completed and Hajime’s condition was stable.
I don’t know if it is because he was on the respirator for a long time, but sometimes
it seemed like he would forget how to breathe on his own. 
When he would have trouble breathing, he seems to think, “My breathing is going to stop…” and gets very scared. 
I think this fear causes his heart rate to increase even more.
Hajime made it through these fearful moments, holding on tightly to my hands and his father’s hands.
He held on tightly with his hands that have lost much strength.
Translated by Ethel Hoshi

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