So we did end up flying home late night on Tuesday, September 8th. The go no-go decision was not clear cut. The x-rays of Lucas’ lungs we good enough for us to leave, but his oxygen (O2) sats were pretty low (about 92). The concern was that since high altitude in the plane (cabin pressure is about 8000 ft) lowers everyone’s oxygen even more, that Lucas might have a major issue if his O2 dipped into the 80s. In the end, we got a not-to-reassuring “I think you’ll be fine” from the doctor, and the ultimate decision was ours.
We decided to make the trip, primarily because at home we had access to Lucas’ airway clearance vest and nebulizer – two items we knew he needed, but we were having a difficult time locating as out-patient in Boston on a holiday weekend.
The flight started out OK. Lucas actually fell asleep as Jill and I monitored for grey-blue color and bluish fingertips. I watched the moving map on the JetBlue monitor in front of us making mental notes of the nearest children’s hospital we were flying over. The biggest issue of the flight came when Lucas woke up from reflux with uncontrolled coughing. At one point, Lucas gave me his terrified look. It’s the look in his eyes he gets when he can’t breathe, and scares me like I can’t explain. Normally, we only see that look after a surgery and an occasional post-surgery night terror. I remember telling Jill that the flight might be one of the dumbest decisions we had ever made, and I can attest to you that at that moment, I almost made them land the plane in Chicago!
Instead, we got a quick answer to our prayers and Lucas was able to calm down just enough to take some breathing meds. The rest of the flight had a couple more scary spells, and lots more coughing, but nothing like that first one. I continued to watch the map the entire flight and was so happy to finally start our descent into Phoenix. Ironically, when our plane pulled into the gate, the flight attendant asked everyone to remain seated because an emergency medical crew would be boarding the plane. Gigi asked me if someone had called for Lucas. They hadn’t, and we were very glad to be headed home and not straight to the Phoenix Children’s emergency room.
Lucas was so excited to get home. He immediately went for his toys and starting playing. Over the last week, the CPT vest and hypertonic saline have been a crucial part of Lucas’ recovery, and in the last few days, Lucas is eating again, starting to feel better, and getting back to normal. I’m still not sure if we made the right decision to fly home, but it sure is good to be here. We even went swimming for a few minutes today.
Below is a picture of Lucas from June while he was at our Nanny’s house. Does he have the best smile or what! Love, love, love this photo of our little miracle boy!