Friday, May 19, 2006

It's always something

It feels like no sooner that I write something about great news that there has to be some countervailing bad news to equalize it. Although Woody's brain scan came back clean as a whistle, I was called back up from the farm by NICU this evening because his blood gases (CO2 mostly) have been trending bad since about the time we left this afternoon. As a result, Woody has been switched to a different ventilator, a large and obscene behemoth referred to as the oscillator. The theory behind this contraption is that where 50 breaths per minute are not doing the trick, why not go up to 700 micro-breaths per minute?

I'd love to have been in the developing room when the doctor proposed this. "Yeah, let's try pumping a whole lot of tiny breaths into the super-duper preemies and see if that does the trick!" "Sounds great, Ted."

Anyway, It's worrisome but so far Woody looks like he's responding very well to it. They've been able to decrease the oxygen in the air they are giving him to just above 30% (remember that 21% is regular air), which is pretty good, especially if you consider that when his blood gases were doing poorly earlier they were cranking up the percentage well above that. This most recent crisis has also temporarily put a halt to his introduction to food, which is frustrating too. But this is exactly as we were warned: even in the best of cases, there is a maddening back and forth where one problem looks like it is addressed and then the next problem crops up, or we move back a step or two in the flow chart and try to get something we thought was taken care of rectified again.

As seems to be usual, our primary worry for those offering prayers is the lungs. This will continue to be the main worry, if we are lucky, for weeks or months. Thanks for your support.


At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Dad said...

Yes, the ups and downs are not only annoying but debilitating. I find myself "playing it safe", probably the way I have done things all my life, shaving a little off the highs and bucking up the lows a little so as not to get hurt if things slip back. That may not be the best solution since it takes away some of the intensity of life experiences, but you do have a long path to forge here. You'll need all the resources you've got to get W.X. and Maggie and all of us pulling for the kid through this.

Hang in there; we can carry some of the load with you. Looking forward to being there tomorrow night!


At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Aunt Susan said...

Thinking of all of you!! Or as they say in Ohio and Pennsylvania...youse guys. Glad you have some Okies coming to visit. Hope you get some needed support. our love and hope. aunt susan and family

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous jared said...

I breathe deeply and methodically with you in my heart 'drow. Magister Ludi style: X seconds in, 2X seconds out, and then for 4X seconds I hold my breath, eliminate the situational stress, and summon the strength of my spirit in support of your tiny lungs.


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