Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Very small tempest, very small teapot

At around noon today, Woody got his vent tube switched back to the 3.0 size. This was kind of a big deal, for a few reasons. First, every time you intubate a small baby it is kind of dangerous, because the tissue in his throat is very sensitive, and the more attempts you make the more likely it is that it can get abraded or otherwise damaged. Second, this is complicated by the fact that he had an attempted re-intubation after he pulled his other tube out. Third, because his failed re-intubation was possibly due to swelling in his trachea, they gave him 24 hours of a steroid for anti-inflammatory properties, which is always somewhat of a concern for some developmental issues (to clarify, briefly, studies show that prolonged exposure to steroids for preemies can have detrimental effects on their brain development, as well as making it more likely to thin the digestive tract. The question that has not been answered very well is what length of time constitutes 'prolonged'. The doctors are pretty sure that 24 hours does not. And heck, he's been on steroids before, to fight the PIE, so obviously their benefit outweighs this theoretical risk from time to time).

But after all of the worries, the NP got his new tube in just fine. Maggie arrived shortly afterwards, and got nervous because of how many people kept cycling in and out of his room for various reasons, but in retrospect I think she knows it was pretty routine followup and maintenance sorts of things, and not because the staff was trying to bug him. He's doing very well now, and my concerns surrounding the re-intubation have been allayed.

Any time a procedure has to happen to Woody and we're around, it's a worrisome thing. And I do mean any time; if it's even routine blood tests that are being taken, he can squirm and set off his monitor alarms and the room is just not a great place to hang out when it's beeping and buzzing and whirring with activity. When you add in the worries of tube issues like he's had, it can make waiting for news near torture. So I absolutely sympathize with Maggie's worries there. Add in the fact that she is still anxious about her pumping schedule (thanks again, lactation expert) and note that it's tough to do any milk letdown when you're even sort of freaked out*, and it's easy to see why she was nervous today.

Today has not been without its humor, though. The picture I'm currently featuring on the front page (here, for when I change it out) shows Woody's isolette with a new bumper sticker given to us by our friend Mary. For those out of state types who don't recognize the reference, it's an exhortation by our late senator Paul Wellstone. I bet he'd approve of its use to encourage the kid.

Also, the very first Woody video clip is now online. You can catch it here, on Youtube. This one was taken day 11, one of his sickest days, and shows him puffy with edema and with the raw skin that he had right after birth. But he's pretty feisty even then, and waves around his hand even though it has an IV in it.

*Like squeezing blood from a turnip, as Maggie says.


At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Krista said...

Woody looks so BIG in today's picture! It almost appears like he's on the verge of a squeezable fat role. Keep those pictures coming, for all of us out-of-towners. Could you post one of the blanket/isolette cozy that Grandma Stiffler made? I'm sure the whole group would love to see it, as much as I would.

At 6:01 PM, Blogger Augmented Brain said...

*Starts up chant*

Squeezable Fat! Squeezable Fat! Squeezable Fat!

-Auntie Val

At 8:03 PM, Blogger frykitty said...

Oh! The video! You really get a sense of how rambunctious the little feller is. Go Woody!

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous aunt jeannie said...

I totally immersed myself in Woodyland today; watched the video, viewed the slideshow, watched the video again. Now I'm off to the store to buy tissues and a baby gift for my favorite baby. Yeah for baby fat!!!


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