Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hanging on

We continue to measure Woody's success on the CPAP in a day by day style. The good news is that he's still on it, and hasn't been re-intubated yet. The other good news is that his chest x-ray this morning shows slight, but definite, improvement in the airspace. He maintains his inflation of his lungs down to the ninth rib, and the heart outline is a little clearer and to my eye I see more open spaces among the white patches. So that's good.

The not-so-good news is that his CO2 readings on his blood gas test continues to inch up, which is suggestive of an inability to fully purge the stuff from his blood. However, his pH continues to be fine, which is for now reassuring enough to the doctors that he shouldn't be put back on the ventilator yet (or as I refer to it, "chickening out"). I mean, I don't want to have him in a dangerous spot, for sure, and I understand that they don't want to wait for him to just get exhausted from the continuous effort of trying to breathe, which is why they'll put him back on the ventilator before he gets to that point. But on the other hand, like I said Friday, I think that whenever he gets extubated he's going to have to struggle a little bit to figure out this breathing thing, and I would much rather have it be sooner than later.

He also did not yet gain weight; he is down 5 g from yesterday, which is not bad at all. We do need him to start figuring out how to retain calories to gain weight again, because that's the other thing that will make them chicken out and put him back on the vent.

We are very happy, though, that as of last night Woody has started a good long run of consecutive nurse shifts with his primaries. We have nothing against the 'normal' rotation of nurses, of course, but we absolutely love his primary nurses, and we know that they care about him and don't want him to fail the extubation, so they'll give him a little extra attention and make sure that he has every bit of comfort and care necessary to allow him the best chance at succeeding. It remains a little touch-and-go still, but the fact that he's made it over 48 hours without being re-intubated is a hugely good sign, and I remain optimistic that he'll figure out how to purge his own CO2 well, not waste so much energy struggling and wiggling, and therefore be able to gain weight again like he is so good at doing.


At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Grammie said...

This is like the tense moment in _Peter Pan_ when we all had to say out loud "I believe in fairies" so that Tinker Belle's light would grow brighter and brighter as she grew stronger. (I know I'm dating myself by revealing that I remember repeating the phrase to a TV upon Mary Martin's lead.)

I believe in Woody.
I believe in Woody.

(All together now, everyone: I believe in Woody!)

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Bill Hooker said...

I believe in Woody.

I feel a little silly writing that, but I don't care.

I believe in Woody.

And when he's sixteen and thinks -- as all 16yo's do -- that the world hates him and he's doomed to misery and failure, I am going to point him back to this blog and say, mate, if you can do that, you can do anything.

I believe in Woody.


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