Physical Therapy: Hey guys, is it possible to do... - ICUsteps


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Physical Therapy

jld85 profile image

Hey guys, is it possible to do physical therapy while having a trach? Dads getting one done tomorrow and didn’t know if we’d have to wait or not?

10 Replies

A trachy is there to assist breathing. When I had mine I still did physio (I had a feeding tube as well).

I was also taken out in a wheelchair around the corridors it just meant they had to take extra equipment with me including emergency power.

When I had mine in I did some minimal physio, but that was as much due to my physical weakness. In bed I did arm lifts, and on the few occasions when I was maneuvered into a wheelchair I was asked to do "high fives" with staff to make me stretch a little, but that was about it.

No physio for me when on a ventilator. After I used to get out of bed to sit in a chair for about an hour, but that was a big effort for me, and I was a bit resistant to this when in ICU. Main physio came later when out of ICU and transfered to a community hospital.

Yes - it maybe a more limited level.

jld85 profile image
jld85 in reply to Sepsur

I sure hope he can do some atleast. He is so weak and he still hadn’t gotten to the place of standing the first time he was taken off of the vent. The furthest he’d gotten, was sitting on the side of the bed. As of last week, he had already lost 100 lbs. I imagine most of this being muscle.

elsieadams profile image
elsieadams in reply to jld85

I weighed 89 pounds when I left the hospital after a month with 7 days hooked up to life support. It definitely makes you very weak. I was not allowed to get out of bed without assistance. This was so frustrating but when I realized the muscle mass lost was so extreme there was no way I could stand up alone. The nurses helped me do some movements with my arms and legs but not by myself. It will take awhile to build back strength but the sooner the better. Every little bit helps. Hope your dad starts gaining some weight back soon .

jld85 profile image
jld85 in reply to elsieadams

Me too, thanks! They’re actually putting in trach this morning. They should be done with the procedure any moment now. Hopefully this will be the key to help his lungs heal and get us on the right track to getting stronger! Thanks.

lynnmarr profile image
lynnmarr in reply to jld85

For my husband they only did range of motion. He developed muscle athropy and after 7 months he is now sitting on the side of his bed and last week he was able to stand up with assistance. I work his muscles and bend his arms and legs every day. Until he is stronger physically he is unable to get off ventilator. Make sure your helping him.

I did the foot pedal device that has different resistance settings and records how many pedal revolutions you do from a chair whilst still in ICU.I was still hooked up to mechanical ventilation doing all my breathing for me, the big white gloop bag feeder, central lines and many other lines etc.

I almost had to force myself to do it, i zoned in on the fact that every rotation got me a microcosm closer to a going home situation and with all the loopy hallucinations I thought I was in the pelaton for the Giro d'italia!

Oh my goodness! I don’t even see how you did being out of it like that, that’s great though!

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