HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!
(Please read the entire post if you are interested in visiting.)
Brandon was taken off the vent this afternoon and is making progress by leaps and bounds. As of 7:00 tonight, no vent, no radial artery line, no central line (although he still has the PICC line in and will have that for a while), no solid waste catheter, no antibiotics (he gets treatment meds by injection through the PICC line), no pain med IV (he is still getting occasional injections of pain med), and no NG tube! He is still receiving oxygen through a mask, although the nurse said tonight that if he keeps improving, by tomorrow he may be able to graduate to a nasal cannula for his oxygen, which will make talking way easier. He is still a little groggy and wears out very easily, especially after he gets his pain meds, but we will take it!
Right now, Brandon cannot have anything to eat or drink. Hospital protocol says that anyone who has been intubated for more than 48 hours must pass a swallowing evaluation before they can resume eating and drinking, and they will not perform the evaluation until at least 24 hours after the removal of the vent tube (to allow the throat to rest and recuperate). Once he passes that, he will be on an unrestricted diet and can have anything he wants, but they will probably start him off with soft food first, just to go easy on the throat.
Looking forward, once staff determines that Brandon’s condition no longer requires the level of treatment provided in the ICU, they will relocate him to either the intermediate (step-down) unit, or possibly just a regular medical unit, and that could be as soon as tomorrow afternoon (once he has had the swallow eval). After he is moved, he is going to require some minimal physical therapy, just because he hasn’t been on his feet for over a week, but once they have him disconnected from everything and any further treatments can be managed at home, and he is able to be up walking around, it will be HOMEWARD BOUND! Maybe even in time for Christmas!
Anyway, if you are planning on visiting in the next couple of days, please be sure to touch base with a family member to find out for sure what room Brandon is in and how he is faring as far as receiving company. Also, once he is in a regular room, he can get flowers, food, & gifts brought or sent to the room. E-cards sent through the hospital system can be addressed to C. Brandon Forbis with no room number, and as long as he is a patient, he will get them no matter where he is. Thank you for your continued prayers! Miracles do happen!