This picture came up today in my “memories”. I check these “memories” every day because it’s one of the ways I still connect with Quinlan. What were we doing together 6 years ago today? 5 years ago? What about 4 years ago? And then to check the memories from 3 years ago. Those memories no longer exist with him. Every year gets another year further away. I long for those “memories” that pop up.
When I saw this picture from 4 years ago, it was one of the <gasp> reactions, as opposed to an <aww> reaction (you know, the cute ones of him and I snuggling or him looking so handsome). This picture, once again, shows just how different my two mom lives have been. It’s something I’m having a hard time with. I want my mom life to feel like one, but instead it feels very much like two. And I’ll be honest in saying I don’t like it. It doesn’t feel right. But I’m working on accepting it.
Now to explain this picture. For those lucky enough to not know what it is, it’s a trach. It allowed Quinlan to breath properly. The funny balloon shaped piece to the left is supposed to be attached to the little skinny tube piece on the right. When the trach is inserted into the throat, there needs to be something there to keep the trach from sliding in and out easily. That’s where these two pieces, that are supposed to be attached, come in. Once the trach is inserted, the funny balloon shaped piece, that should be connected to the little skinny tube, is used to push a small amount of water into the skinny tube and fills up a little balloon on the trach in the throat. This applies just enough pressure to prevent the trach from coming out unnecessarily, as well as preventing leaks, or air sneaking out on either side. Obviously because Quinlan was on a ventilator attached to the trach, keeping the trach securely where it is supposed to be was very important. The tubing on the ventilator can sometimes pull at the trach if it’s moving around too much. We had a clip on the vent tube that we would clip to his clothes to keep in place. (This is important to the story. Dang clip.)
So, why are these two pieces that are supposed to be attached NOT attached, you ask? Let me explain.
On this day, our day nurse had just left and it was just Quinlan and I, hanging out for a few hours until Bear got home from work. We were doing our usual, I was keeping an eye on his sats, making sure the tubing wasn’t pulling, and that all looked good. I unclipped the vent tubing to adjust it. That’s where the separation of these two pieces happened. I clipped the dang little skinny tube instead of just his clothes and it completely cut through! The pressure was being released from the trach and this wasn’t what was supposed to be happening. I needed to do an emergency trach change, by myself.
This is when I started talking to myself. “Okay, Lindsay, you know how to do this. Quinlan, we’re good, we got this”. This was my first emergency trach change.
I walked over to all of our supplies, still talking to myself “Okay, okay, we can do this”, pulled out the trach and all supplies needed (syringe, tape, trach ties, Mepilex AG) and headed over to Quinlan for my first solo trach change. This whole time, Quinlan was just chillen on the couch, acting like his mom wasn’t freaking out. I got him positioned and did it. I removed the trach, put the new one in, attached the trach ties, filled the balloon, put on the Mepilex and done (not sure that was the exact order of events but it was something like that). My first emergency solo trach change, because I clipped the dang little skinny tube.
Four years ago today, that was something I had to do as a mom for Quinlan.
Today, as August’s mom, I made him breakfast and listened as he sang along to his favorite songs.
My two worlds.