The hospice nurse and the pulmo turned out to be 100% correct!!! I didn't mention it in my prior blog but when the nurse mentioned Jude was panicking like his COPD patients he said he thought Jude had mucus plugs. He believed Jude was panicking trying to expel the plugs so he could breathe and he was right. The day nurse had a hard morning with Jude but an okay afternoon. She mentioned she pulled out two large plugs from Jude's throat.
Tonight during my shift Jude started becoming very toned out and upset so I treated his pain with medication. Then Jude started coughing violently and ended up turning a horrible purplish blue. Sweet Gina was with me and I was yelling commands that she was following to the best of her ability. The vital machine was screaming with sirens as I yelled.. RAG! SUCTION! SALINE! MASK! NO WRONG MASK! Gina followed while holding her breath. I was desperate and Jude wasn't breathing so I grabbed him and sat him up grabbing the suction and forcing it down his throat to grab the plug. Suddenly Jude threw up the biggest mucus plug I have ever seen. Poor Gina gagged a bit and Jude was so exhausted he started closing his eyes.
The night nurse is here now and we are in bed. We are really tired and Jude is too. The question is if this is just a mucus plug issue or if his lungs are breaking down creating thicker secretions and a build up of these life threatening plugs. I was scared tonight and I am so thankful Gina was with me.
This is an overwhelming situation but it's unbearable if you are alone at the time something critical happens.