Caelan and I have recently taken to the roads. We've started out small, with 20 minute drives into Casselman and Embrun. We can do these by sticking to some back roads and staying off the major highways. We have yet to tackle the drive into CHEO, but at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
This is a really big step for us and just shows how much our little man has improved. A year ago, this day seemed like it would never come. With the trach and all Caelan's reflux someone always had to be prepared to suction at any time. This meant that we've been coordinating drivers (mostly grandparents) for all Caelan's appointments. The prospect of being able to take him to appointments alone and not having to impose on others for drives is something for me to look forward to. It will give us a little more independence. Not that I’m complaining, everyone has been fabulous with helping out for appointments and totally willing to do more than a little shopping with us J especially with Christmas coming.
Caelan actually requires very little suctioning throughout the day now. He’s gotten really strong at coughing up his own secretions from the trach to clear his airway. There’s still a period in the morning where things are pretty sticky but we manage and generally we’re not up and out of the house that quickly!
I have driven with Caelan and the girls on a bit longer route, about 30 minutes. Not that the girls are able to suction yet, it’s just the reassurance that there are another set of eyes on him. Like today, the four of us were in the van and Caelan decided to unplug his mic-key extension. This results in his milk being pumped into the air and his stomach contents emptying out all over the seat. Caelan thinks this is great fun – or at least a great way to get some attention! Unfortunately, the pump does not alarm off for this. Had I been driving on my own I would never have known he had done this unless I happened to get sprayed by a drop of milk flying through the air. With the girls in the van with me I was told right away and was able to pull over and put things back together. For the record, this doesn’t hurt Caelan, he’s only undoing two pieces of plastic and giving away some food… well that and making a lovely sticky mess! Easy enough solution though, I can plan our solo trips around his feeding schedule.
Pretty exciting stuff for us. All those local playgroups better watch out!!