There's a point in the night when you want to go to sleep. And even though you are not asleep because you are keeping a watchful eye on your little dude who needs a watchful eye, you still think, "The alarm will go off if he really needs me, plus I'm right here on the couch, an arm's length away." You decide, then, that it's OK to close your eyes. So you find a pillow and a blanket, and you turn down the lights and snuggle as best you can into the nest you've created in the couch. Then…
KA-THUNK KA-THUNK KA-THUNK
The mist collar tubing is full of water.
The mist collar tubing being full of water is one of those things that always happens at the most pain-in-the-ass time. Like your kid always having to poop at the grocery store. Or Kanye stealing your microphone when you finally have your notes out. Almost always, the mist collar set-up needs emptying when you're just about asleep. This is especially true in the hospital when you are so exhausted you can't see straight, and the mist collar tubing is elaborately snaked through the rails of a crib and thus impossible to reach without getting up, walking around to the other side of the room, and dealing with it.
It's ka-thunking at me right now. Always at 2:30 am. Always when I'm hunkered down, eyes tearing from exhaustion. At least we're not in the hospital.
The mist collar set-up really isn't that big of a deal. You have an air compressor with a big water-filled nebulizer tank. This is hooked to a little water heater via some plastic tubing. More tubing hooks from the heater to a little mask that you put over the trach. This way, the trach gets warm mist blown into it all night so that it doesn't dry out and get plugged up. Simple enough.
The tubing fills up with water from all of the condensation, though, so you have a little water catch attached in the middle that allows you to drain the water out. This stops the ka-thunking noise, and gives you a cupful of water to dump in the plant on the sideboard when you are too tired and/or lazy to dump the water in the sink.
Except that, when you do this night after night your plant will overflow onto the sideboard, drench several library books with plant water, drip onto the carpet, and make your husband go, "WTF? Who's been drowning the plant?"
In case you were wondering.
Now I am going to go empty the mist collar tubing. But not into the plant. Because I want to stay married. And I want to go to sleep.