Jan 15, 2009

Super Scare

Normally I don't drive anywhere with Ainsley. We go to and from "preschool" and that's it. I schedule doctors appointments when we have a nurse to sit in the back seat with her. And I do my grocery shopping, fulfil our carpool commitment and run errands on those days too. Driving and trachs don't mix. But things were much worse when she needed a lot of suctioning and would vomit if left to cough it out. Since things have been so much better lately I thought after school today I'd drive to a shoe store a friend had told me about since it's pretty close to Ainsley's school and the shoes I'd put on her today wouldn't stay on.

Funny just today I said to Ainsley's speech therapist that she's been wearing the PMV all day but not in the car because I'm worried she'll pull it off and pull the trach out. So instead I put a Portex HME without any filters to keep her from splattering the car with secretions. We use one without filters because she doesn't like to wear an HME and I don't want her taking it off while driving.

Well unfortunately she pulled on it anyway. Even though they are fairly easy to get off she pulled at an angle and pulled the trach out. I heard her making some weird noises, looked in the rear-view mirror and saw the cannula and a very startled look on her face! OMG! I ran a red light making a right turn into a load zone, put on my hazards and jumped out of the car. Thank God I wasn't on the freeway. Luckily the very tip was still in the hole so without really thinking I pulled the trach away from her neck (the velcro ties were still on and secure) and tried to slide it sideways back in. It didn't quite look right but with a little wiggle it went it and it could be adjusted so it was straight again. In hind sight I probably should have undone the tie so the trach was free to be inserted straight rather than at an angle but then it probably would have come all the way out and I would have had to put it in without the obturator. Amazingly once it was back in things were totally normal. She didn't turn blue and there was no bleeding. I was so worried that perhaps I'd hit her trachea with the cannula by putting the trach in at a strange angle.

Then I bawled my eyes out for a minute and then went and got my girl some shoes. Now I need a glass of wine, or three.


  1. Oh gosh Susan! I hope you've had that drink or two by now. I only remember one incident with Jack and his trach and an emergent situation. Jack's trach was plugged and he was turning a lovely shade of grey. He was strapped in his carseat and I was so freaked out I tried to pull him out of the car without undoing the straps to his carseat! It is such a scary situation. I'm glad you remained calm enough to get Ainsley's trach back in. It's just a reminder - should we ever forget -that our children really are "medically fragile".


  2. What a day. Hope you had your wine and Ainsley got some really cool shoes!

  3. Wow Susan! I'm really glad everything's okay and that you weren't on the freeway! It's so funny how our kids can go through something like that and then bounce right back like nothing's wrong.

    Happy drinking!

  4. Oh my... that's so scary! Congratulations for being able to react so quickly! I'm glad everything is okay. :o)