My father loss blood flow to his brain from an aerota tear after his heart surgery. After emergency surgery we knew he had brain damage, but not how much. At the time - EEG was low in brain, no verbal but had respritory down throat, eye open but no response, and right foot moves, left leg moves, right arm moves, left arm seems to not move. Two days ago he has been in a vegatative state since this above assessment and they asked us to remove the ventilator. Removing ventilator would cause certain death.
Yestereday we arrived at his room - he had a breathing trial and ended up breathing on his own. He was on a Cpak on a number 5. He has a cpak at home for sleeping. He continued to breath on his own from 10:00am to 8p.m. with his breath per minute around 30. Little high. We were delighted - first time he breathed on his own. We talk to him. I asked him if he could hear me and he nodded yes. Sometimes I ask and he does not respond. When I keep his attention he will follow commands that require NO motor skills. I asked him to blick, close his eyes, move his right hand and he moves it slightly. I told him I loved him and he silently mouthed the words to me.
Doctor came in today and said we still need to let him die and completely remove life support. I told him about the changes and said they were not significant. Doctor said "my father" needs to do something purposefully....he put his fingers inside Daddy's hand and said squesse my hand. Daddy did not. Daddy had not done that with me. He moved his hand for me. His eyes respond to light also. Bottom line - Doctor thinks even though some improvement slightly that Daddy should be taken off all life support and he thinks this would be the best Daddy could ever be in life at this level. He is basing this on statistics and that all the changes that could happen after this truma happened within the first 72 hours. It is too late now for him to get better. Then he said we can give it a day or two. He said if he can blink once for yes and twice for No then he will reconsider.
Does that mean there are different parts in the brain - one that can follow a command separate from a part that he is understanding yes and no? Also - hearing is last to go and first to come back. What is the next sense that comes back after hearing? With the tube in his neck for the cpak and vent as needed always before - does that block him from talking or making a noise?
If we could get him completely off the vent we could put him into a facility for two months to see if any change at all. The family feels he should be given a total of three months. No improvements in three months then left him go. Doctor wants it now and feels like we are bad people, false hope, and that any reaction Daddy makes is only reflex. Yet he responded to commands about 50% just starting today.
From everyone that has been through this or going through this..please tell me what to think of all this? Did it happen to you? What was outcome? What is the next sense to expect to work now that he can hear?
No living will - with no talks about what he wanted. Daddy is not stiff - he moves around in the bed and he gets agitated sometimes. This rollercoaster of emotions - I don't know if I should be excited about his huge increase in breathing yesterday and then today Doctor has me crying that we are makinig up the observations. One nurse also was able to get him to respond to her commands and she was so excited. Doctor is still set on letting him go.
Should we be hopeful - should I try to get him to respond to yes and no with his eyes. What part of the brain is responsible for that action -
Thank you - please leave any comments or questions - anything you can for me to help figure out what to do tomorrow - just answer one of the quewtions if you can help me out. Thank you.
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