Becoming Trach Certified

Before we can bring Parker home Reed, my Mom and I have to pass off a Tracheostomy certification class. Yup, they will hold Parker hostage until we prove that we can take care of him even in the most emergent of circumstances. And no, they won’t let us take up residency there where we could have a Respiratory Therapist on call. We already asked.

The first class was no big deal. They went over all the parts of the actual trach itself. The long part that is inserted into the trach stoma is called the Canula. And the top part that you can see on Parker’s throat is called the uh….Top.

Today’s class was on suctioning. Suctioning is very important. If you don’t keep your child suctioned you are effectively cutting off his airway. Imagine someone putting a clothes pin on your nose and duct taping your mouth shut. That is what a blocked trach feels like. We practiced on a piece of pvc pipe that had received it’s tracheostomy before it got to leave Home Depot.

Then it was time to practice on a real, live somebody. Parker was less than excited upon hearing that news. I can’t begin to express how much love I have for this kid who so patiently and calmly let us suction him out. First of all Parker HATES to be suctioned. His trach is still so new that it hurts. Then there is the anxiety that comes with somebody messing around with your airway. If you don’t think that is such a big deal then come on over and let me stick a really long tube up your nose and go chasing for stray buggers. Parker was a real trooper. And I promised that I would become the best snot sucker that ever existed. It is the least that I can do for this blessing of mine.

Right now I am home trying to get a few things ready for when Parker will be able to rejoin our family. You know all the re-thinking of how you live you had to go through when baby proofing your home? Well, wall sockets and sharp corner pads are NOTHING compared to trach-proofing a home.

I have to:

Go through Parker’s clothes and keep only the tops that have a v-neck or are rugby/polo styled. NO CREW NECKS OR TURTLE NECKS. Okaaaay. There goes 98% of Parker’s wardrobe.

Do a ‘fabric test’ on all of Parker’s stuffed animals. If I pinch a piece of fabric and any fibers what so ever come off, Parker can no longer play with that toy.

I will have to perform the same ‘fabric test’ on all of Parker’s clothing. He won’t be able to wear sweaters or anything wool or knitted. He can wear sweatpants….but not sweatshirts because of the possible fiber issue. There goes the other 2% of Parker’s wardrobe.

Parker will no longer be able to use ANY of his blankies. His blankets are either hand tied with yarn or have been made using that shabby chic style where each square has been cut so that it will ravel and fray. We can’t use fleece blankets. We can’t use any blankets with soft and fluffy material. I am a little panicked about this. Actually I’m a lot panicked by it. Parker LOVES his blankies and I have no idea where I am going to get a kid quilt that is made of only woven cotton material that has been machine quilted instead of hand tied. Especially one that would hold up to lots of washings. The ones you can by in the stores really aren’t made to be washed frequently. BTDT.

Parker has been riding the kind of high only morphine can provide. He hasn’t noticed that his blankies aren’t in the crib with him. I don’t want to be there when that bit of realization dawns on him.

Next I have to set up a Trach Suctioning and Potential Emergency Station. You can’t believe all the stuff that one must have when a technology assisted child lives in your home. I thought it was bad before. I can honestly say that I will have doubled all of Parker’s necessary medical equipment by the time we bring him home. I have to figure out a way to fit this Trach Suctioning Station in our bedroom that is also home to Parker’s crib and Colostomy Care Station.

Wish me luck, okay?


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