Hello friends of Dick & Karen Trentman - welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated as Dad continues on his road to recovery from aspiration pneumonia and being on a ventilator for 6 days. He's improving each day, but we expect that this journey will continue awhile longer and I've finally had a chance to set up this site to keep you updated on a more timely basis. Janet, Cheryl & Sandi
On Sunday morning, January 3rd, Dick Trentman went to St. Joseph's Emergency Room with an intestinal obstruction. This is a situation he has had a few times before over the past 14 years, and sometimes ends in surgery, but almost always requires several days in the hospital.
Later that afternoon he was admitted, but an hour later the pulmonologist decided to send him to the Intensive Care Unit. By Tuesday he was feeling a lot better and we were puzzled why he was in the ICU. They also talked about moving him to a regular room the next morning. Well....during the night on Tuesday, his lungs filled up and it was so bad that they nearly had to intubate him. Dad was put on a "BiPap machine" all day on Wednesday, which is like a very large C-Pap machine that pumps oxygen into the lungs. The mask was huge and very uncomfortable, and the machine was extemely loud. It was a terrible day for all of us to watch him struggle to breathe. Early on Thursday morning, his vital signs decreased and they decided to intubate him and put him on a ventilator, where he had to be sedated continuously as the machine breathed for him. Once he was sedated, they were able to clear out his lungs, and then the antibiotics began to work better. The diagonosis was "aspiration pneumonia".
Dad was on this ventilator for 6 days until Tuesday, January 12th. It took a couple of days for the anesthesia to wear off, and then he was moved out of the ICU (hooray!) and onto a regular room. Just one day later he was moved to the Rehab floor at St. Joseph Medical Center, where he hes remained for 10 days.
During the first 11 days, our sister Cheryl was able to come from St. Louis and stay with Mom and help with all the decisions and day-to-day challenges. Sandi and I both work full time and have been there evenings and weekends. Of course all our husbands have been a great help too, along with friends and neighbors of Mom & Dad. Last week, Dad's brother and sister-in-law, Cliff & Gloria Trentman came for a 3 day visit too.
Dad is ready for visitors and phonecalls now. In general, he has several therapy sessions in the mornings, and has more time to visit and chat in the afternoons and evenings. Mom is usually there from about 11:30 am until 5:30 or 6 pm. If you would like to visit, then afternoon and early evenings are pretty good times (I think dinner is at 5 pm). We are very grateful for all the friends who have helped already.
On Monday January 25 in the afternoon, we will be having a meeting with the case worker at the hospital to learn more of the next steps, but have been told that once someone has been on a ventilator for any amount of time, quite a bit of recovery and therapy is needed. Dad is receiving daily PT, OT, ST and RT in the Rehab unit.
He's currently at St. Joseph Hospital /435 & State Line. Room 503. Tel 816-943-2503