Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A little wired

Woody's progress continues to be still mostly in the great range. Yesterday afternoon he had a weird heart pattern for awhile (basically, one of his ventricles was contracting slightly early, which showed up as a spike on the monitor every fifteen beats or so for a half hour) that got him a trip from an EKG technician, but in retrospect it's pretty clear that he was far more bothered by the test than the blip. He calmed down great when Maggie held him, then when I called before bed there was a note from the cardiologist for us that said something along the lines of "just a fluke, don't worry".

Of the going theories for what happened here, the leading one is that his caffeine intake got adjusted up a little too high, which caused a minor flutter. This can happen to anyone*, and as one of the doctors told us yesterday, if we were constantly hooked up to monitors they'd probably see something weird there too in 10 weeks.

I am not worried. Woody gained weight, has been stable, and remains cute. I have gotten a few comments from people who thought that his nose looked kind of raw in the first pictures taken after extubation. The first day was probably the worst one, because he was squirming a lot against the mask. To minimize irritation, the nurses switch him every four hours or so between these two breath interfaces:

The first one is the prong fitting, and actually goes up his nose. The second one is a tiny little mask, that fits over his nose. Each has a place it irritates; the prongs make the area between the nostrils sore, and the mask rubs worst under the nose. By trading off, they keep his skin from getting too beaten up. It took a day to get his correct size of hat and prongs, so now that they fit well he should not be quite as red. Later pictures will bear this out, I assure you.

Maggie and I have been coming to this hospital for too long, I think. We've now seen three of the monthly volunteer pizza meet-n-greets, we have seen every one of the neonatologists (impressive because they are each in charge for two weeks a stretch), and I keep seeing the same pattern of intake over and over again, where I'm sitting in the lounge posting an update here and the family comes in, worried about their baby and talking about what's going on. It's an odd place to observe people, because I don't hear a full narrative of their life stories or what happened in the pregnancy, and only rarely do I hear about the outcomes of the intakes (and those have been mostly negative outcomes), but I see the same worries and the same parsing of the argot that we did when we first came in.

Yesterday within minutes of each other I saw a couple talking about pulling the umbilical line and installing a PICC (which Woody did around day 14, as I remember it) and then another family following a recovery bed into the NICU (which is the way Maggie first came in, still woozy from the anesthesia after the c-section). It was an odd deja vu. I know we're not the longest tenured people here by a long shot, but I see that most patients in the NICU cycle in and out much quicker than Woody, which makes me a little jealous. But then I remember how lucky we really have gotten, and that makes things better.

*Auntie Krista swears to god that if she drinks more than two beers, she gets 'beer racing heart.'


At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Krista said...

Let's certainly hope that Woody's little flutter is not beer racing heart. (Maybe you should double-check any IV bags, just in case.) However, I'm not above sharing that experience with him at some (much) later date.

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous jared said...

Speaking of beer drinking, is it alright that I'm a little jealous that 'drow will be able to drink some 4 months earlier than I was...

Ahh, everything for a reason and everything spun positive. Yo ho ho, an optimist's life for me.

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous neuharth said...

Shouldn't that be:
"drow will be able to legally drink some 4 months earlier than I was..."?

Regardless, more power to the little man as he keeps moving forth in this amazing journey.

By the way, isn't Woody about due for some more pics in that tie-dyed outfit?


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