Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chew on this for a while.

Recently I rediscovered Grape Nuts cereal. I forgot how delicious it is and how very very long it takes to finish a bowl. Each spoonful requires a lot of chewing. One of the upsides of this: you can get a lot done while you eat breakfast.

Sunday morning I was chewing and chewing and hanging with Maggie. She was bored at my long periods of silence. (No talking with your mouth full!). A bored Maggie is not a good thing. When she is bored she frequently starts pulling on her trach ties. It's a bit disconcerting to say the least.

This activity is discouraged at every turn. Maggie can pull out or break the tube very easily - and has done so dozens of times. A broken or dislodged tube sends us all into a flurry of activity. We have to work fast to get the new tube in before she gets into trouble with her breathing. Even if she doesn't break it or pull it out, the constant tugging on the ties loosens the whole thing making it more likely to fall out at a later time.

As I chewed I inspected her trach ties. They were extremely loose. Perhaps the nurses had also noticed this because someone had done 7 or 8 knots in the ends. Tying additional knots will prevent Maggie from undoing the ties (which she has done on occasion) but it does not do anything about the looseness of the tube. I figured I could re-tie it while I finished my cereal.

Retying the trach while Maggie is in the chair is difficult because the headrest on her wheelchair is in the way. Initially, Steve came over to hold her head forward while I worked but it was going to take too long because there were so many knots and some of them were really tight. We put her back in the headrest and I went to get the tools to loosen the knots and scissors to cut off the long ends once it was re-tied.

When I couldn't get a knot out, Steve, the fly tying fly fisherman would step in.

Then I got into a rhythm. Take a bite of cereal, undo a knot while I chewed. When I looked and saw my "still life with Grape Nuts and trach tools,"  I marveled at the absurdity of our life and I  wondered if everyone was this efficient while they ate Grape Nuts.

Funny, I've never seen this on the commercials.

1 comment:

  1. I'd say you were being mindful at best and multi-tasking to an extraordinary degree at worst! (and I bet your law degree comes in handy during such work!)


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