Sunday, June 11, 2006

Summing up the week

Scares with clots, touch-n-go on the lungs, and fears of kidney issues were the only real mars on a week of great progress for Woody. As of today (day 31) he weighs 840 grams, which is almost two pounds in 'merican units (or about five standard NHL hockey pucks) and represents a total gain of well over 100 grams for the week.

As for the parents, I actually worked five more or less full days for the first time since Woody was born (and, I'll sheepishly point out, the first time since September of last year, since I was unemployed all winter). Maggie is close to feeling good now, and has been cleared to work a couple hours a day next week.

We continue to try to work on Woody's nurse rotation; we have our definite favorites, and generally have few complaints about who watches him. Naturally, I like to have nurses that know Woody's situation, and prefer that nurses understand that I consider myself part of the team (and don't get snippy with me when I check the vent settings, as happened earlier today) and/or maintain a steady demeanor when Woody shows a little instability. Friday night, for instance, we had a nurse who was not terribly familiar with Woody and his tricks, and when I was holding him he decided to get clever and hold his breath and then try to make some noises around the vent tube. Rather than simply putting him back in his isolette and then checking to see if the tube was in the right place, she hit the code blue button and within thirty seconds a dozen nurses and doctors were in his room checking on him. While I can appreciate the sentiment of not taking any risks, the NP checking quickly realized that he was just fine and the group of excited nurses and residents had to gloomily trudge back to their boring* stations for the rest of the night.

And then there's the lactation nazis. Nothing I've written here has gotten the kind of response that my rant on the milk consultant precipitated. I appreciate the feedback, and I especially appreciate the backup from mothers who have had to deal with lactation and their own boobs. (I mean the experts, of course! What did you think I was saying?)

The real reason it irritates me so much what this woman did was because of the near-crushing of Maggie's gentle spirit as it has to do with her pumping. She's already pretty fragile, and has doubts about her physical capacity for motherhood based on the circumstances of Woody's birth. So why did the 'expert' feel that she had to try to make her feel worse about that? I have had to reassure Maggie many times since Thursday that she's doing well, and that she hasn't permanently messed up her milk capacity, and that she should listen to me (surely I am just as expert?) rather than the boob. Fortunately, Maggie's more frequent pumping schedule has been paying off with excellent results. She's up well over 100% in production since then, and her milk supply appears to be highly elastic with the demand, so as far as I'm concerned, she's fine.

Next week we will try to keep Woody on the chubbening track, and hope that he starts building good lung tissue to outgrow his chronic lung disease. Thanks for the continuing support.

*Boring is, of course, good for the parents and the kids. I somehow suspect that the nurses like a little excitement tossed in, especially if it's the next nurse's kid rather than their own. This is just speculation, of course.


At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi There,

This is one of Steve Hobbs co-workers in Tulsa. I continue to follow your blog and am so very happy for you and your family that Woody is doing so well. :0)

You may already know this, but just in case... Woody is eligible for SSI (supplemental security income - from social security administration) All children born below 2 lbs 9 oz are automatically eligible. The parents' income is not considered while the baby is in the hospital. He is only eligible for a $30 monthly check, but that $30 makes him eligible for medicaid which would be secondary to your primary insurance.

I am not sure how much that would help, but it may be worth looking into.

Woody and your family remain in our prayers.

Many Blessings,
Christine Doss

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Christine Doss said...

Clarification... the actual monthly check amount could be higher once social security verifies with the hospital if private insurance is paying the current bills. It could be as much as $603 or a little more if the state you live in has a state supplement.

Every little bit helps when you are talking about major medical bills so I wanted to share this with you as I know you have had a few other things on your mind.


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