Thursday, June 08, 2006

Set phasers for "fatten"

Woody’s little health hiccup last night appears to have just been a fluke. That or a large phlegm ball*, as it were; as we walked out of the room near midnight, Nurse M was able to dislodge a sizable clump of some mucus like substance from his vent tube, and ever since then Woody’s blood gases have been improving, even though he has required more O2 to keep up his oxygen sats.

This sparked two thoughts in my mind, both blatant tangents. First, Woody has not had a full week ever of being on the ‘normal’ Drager ventilator, and I have wondered if he may have in the past just needed some kind of rest period once a week or so, which the oscillator provides (his lungs don’t inflate and deflate on the oscillator, because it pumps air in and out via the hundreds of times a minute micro breaths thing). He has yet to go on the oscillator with this little episode, and I hope he doesn’t again, but it was a thought. Second, I have noticed that my updates recently have tended to be more focused on … the realm of biological body products, which is both a little odd to me and a good thing. The less I’m worried about multisyllabic Latinate syndromes and alphabet soup abbreviations and the more I’m worried about crap and boogers, the closer I get to being a real parent or something, right?

Woody is gaining weight steadily and approaches the magic 2 pound mark. At current rates, he’ll be there by early next week. His feedings are increasing, too. He is now going up one cc every 12 hours, and should be at full feedings (10 ccs) by late tomorrow, as he is already up to 7. This is huge. When he gets to that level, he will be pulled off his nutrient IV and for the first time ever will subsist entirely on real live milk. This will be a big milestone. Also, he gets his followup brain ultrasound tomorrow, which is to confirm that his brain did not suffer the catastrophic bleeding that is regrettably so common in the micropreemies. The first one, miraculously, came back with no bleeding at all, which many doctors have mentioned is just remarkable, as many babies, even those that wind up with no neurological problems at all, have level 1 or 2 bleeds.

*Three straight posts with asterisked asides? It’s getting to be a habit. Anywho, I had a running argument with Auntie Krista last fall about the subject of ‘the flu’. Krista seems to think, like many people, that ‘the flu’ is a disease that involves vomit and digestive woes. My position, which I remain convinced of, is that one can only use the term 'the flu' properly to refer to the respiratory disease. Thus, the defining characteristic of the flu is, like a bad vent tube, ‘phlegm balls’.


At 10:21 PM, Blogger frykitty said...

From Senn:

The definition of "flu" is that you're infected with an influenza virus. Symptoms are typically respiratory but may include intestinal problems.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

This is (and I can't believe I'm saying this) overly pedantic, I think. My primary point was that flu is a respiratory illness; tonsillitis can probably cause some intestinal issues too, but when people say 'stomach flu' or the like they are wrong, wrong, wrong.

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Krista said...

Nathan, you straight made up my definition of the flu. My sole point in our discussion of the flu was always, and always will be, that phlegm balls don't exist.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

Ok, fine. Whatevs. But this much is true: there are TOO such a thing as phlegm balls.


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