They ex-tubated Shep around 5p and immediately he started to struggle. We were finally able to come back and see him around 6p and had to leave for shift change by 7p. We decided to get something to eat and come back, but honestly I was struggling so much with hopelessness that we decided it would be better to not go back up and see him struggle. We had met his night nurse and felt confident in the care she was giving him. We did have to stop by the hospital really quick to grab something but I just had Noah run up. When he came down, he affirmed my fears that they were planning on re-intubating Shep because his co2 levels had gone way up fast. It had only been 3 hours!! His last ex-tubation lasted 13 hours. I was sooo discouraged, so heartbroken. We asked that they call us when they did it but by the time I was about to fall asleep, they still hadn't called. So I asked Noah, who was the only one capable of functioning at this point to call his nurse and see when they were intubating. I just dreaded being woke up by the depressing call that they had to re-intubate him, even though I knew it was coming. Noah took over as I just kind of fell to pieces. He called the nurse and they had not yet re-intubated him. They put an oxygen mask on him instead to see how he would do. She said she would call if it didn't work. Noah took control over the phone and even offered to sleep on the other side of the room so I wouldn't hear when she called. My husband brings me such great comfort,and I truly thank God for giving my husband the ability to comfort and care for me in ways only God could equip him to do.
I woke up this morning with the awareness that it had failed, but when I asked Noah he said that they still hadn't re-intubated him because his numbers had done better on the o2 mask. So , as of 8:30am he is still off the breathing tube and on the o2 mask. I guess the plan is to keep him there and let him stabilize. I am not sure of the long term plan. I am cautious to be too optimistic, but I must admit it is a small miracle to me that we were not awoken in the night with the message that he was re-intubated. There was not a fiber in my being that thought that possible, and why hadn't the mask ever been tried before? I don't know, so for right now, I will just marvel in the victory that only God could have brought about last night. Thank you for praying. They told us last night that this was basically his last chance at ex-tubation, before having to consider other medical interventions. Please continue to pray for him throughout this day.
***My precious friend, Casey Chappell (with Poiema photography) came to see Shep and took some pics. Thanks Casey, for everything. And I think you might be right about the Smart water;)