Trach was successful: Today was the day my dad had... - ICUsteps

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Trach was successful

jld85 profile image
jld85

Today was the day my dad had his tracheotomy. Everything went well and the dr said we’re taking a different approach this time with the trach and going to wean slowly. He’s alert and so far all vitals are great. I know some of you have mentioned having a trach and have spoke a little on it. Can some of you share your stories with having a trach, maybe how long you had to have it? How hard was it to eat and speak? Also one doctor said he has lost a lot of the elasticity in his lungs and hopes a lot of that will heal. Did anyone else have this as well?

10 Replies

I didn’t tolerate intubation so had my trachy shortly after my op and kept it for about 2 months. Because of complications I was nil by mouth for the whole of this time and in fact until I left hospital. Once I was being weaned off I had voice box fitted to the trachy so was able to speak but only for short periods of time as it was very tiring.

Don’t forget we are all different.

Yes, of course! Thanks for your reply!! :)

Severe ARDS has a nickname - concrete lung - so yes I lost elasticity - it healed well although 2yrs later - a pleural effusion means I get breathless.

Whilst on trachy - I couldn’t eat or drink - but sucked mouthfuls of ice cubes - I was so hot & thirsty - 70 days without a drink!!!. I could talk with trachy for short bursts until they fitted passé muir valve - which meant my voice was stronger & I could speak for longer.

jld85 profile image
jld85 in reply to Sepsur

Oh wow! So you had a trach for 70 days!?

Sepsur profile image
Sepsur in reply to jld85

No - about 3wks I think

I had one in for 3 weeks while in ICU 2008 and it was near the end of it coming out that I realised I was not eating real food, I was been fed though a tube but I lost 3 stone :( I was not able to speak at all while it was in. When they took it out it was amazing how quick the skin healed over! My main issue was my windpipe stuck to my neck skin which irritated my windpipe when I moved my head in certain positions. This eased over a year or so but if I gulp it will still draw the scar inwards. I was due to have a Decortication to remove 15mm puss but they considered it to risky and put me on a Oscillator for 10 days. This has scared my lungs but I am alive!

jld85 profile image
jld85 in reply to Offcut

Oh my! I’m glad it’s better now and main thing is, you’re alive!

Offcut profile image
Offcut in reply to jld85

Sure am. The wife was told twice I was not going to see the night out, Nice they got that bit wrong,

BE Well

I had a trach for about two weeks after I was extubated. No food or drink was possible, nutrients were fed via a nasal tube and liquids intravenously. During this time I was so desperate for water, but the only thing allowed was the wetting of my lips with a sponge; if my wife was applying it I sometimes surreptitiously sucked at the sponge! I started feeding about two weeks after removal of the trach, once I'd passed the swallowing tests. As for speaking, about seven days after installation of the trach I had a speaking device fitted to it for short periods. My voice was quite weak for some time after removal of the trach and is still not as strong as it was.

My husband had his tracheostomy for just over 2 months. He used to get a bit worried/anxious each time they fitted his speech valve - I think this was mainly due to a bad experience of a nurse 'unplugging' him for too long as she couldn't work out how to fit the speech valve into the circuit.

He gradually built up strength which improved his speech and also allowed him to eat more of a variety of foods. He seemed to live on jelly and ice cream for a long time!

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