Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wood, Chuck

Tonight (day 55) Woody got a visit from his great-grandfather and -mother Seivert for the first time. Chuck is a very tall, gregarious guy who would love to talk to everyone except for the minor problem of him being almost completely deaf at this point. This leads to the complication of him getting involved in a conversation that consists, to a large degree, of his own comments about a matter and then de facto ignoring any feedback on the issue. He has a little bit of a limited range, too, but we discovered tonight that it's not all about 3M stock splits and baseball, he also is delighted to tell everyone around about the fact that he was 13 pounds upon his birth, and that he has ten kids and ([shouted:] "how many, Elaine?") eighteen grandkids and a smattering of great-grandkids. All in all, it was pretty hilarious, although after a while Woody started showing some signs of getting a little annoyed at all the noise (you know, decreased blood oxygen sats, blah blah blah) so we had to pull Chuck away from a pretty nurse that he was accosting, and encourage him that it was time to go home. Said Grandma Stiffler upon his exit, "I think that MY blood oxygen sats probably plummet when he starts bellowing too."

What was REALLY impressive when we came in, though, was the fact that his O2 was set at 43%, which is the best I have seen for a while, and closer to that magic number of "below 40" that gives a better chance of success for extubation. The current plan is to start him on a steroid burst on Friday or Saturday to give him a three or four day run with the steroids to increase his chance of having a successful extubation. Back in the day, as I have said, they used to give out lung steroids like candy to these micropreemies, but recent research has taught the neonatalogists that prolonged exposure to the steroids can have detrimental effects on their brain development. But they do show good progress with (especially) the short doses, and the research suggests currently that the 'burst' method doesn't present the same kinds of developmental problems.

The other thing that's delayed the extubation attempt for him is that he's gotten his eye appointment scheduled for tomorrow. I have been warned by multiple nurses that the eye exams are very traumatic for the lil' tykes, and so we don't want to give him any more stresses while doing extubation. The other consideration is that a not-that-insignificant minority of the preemies wind up needing pretty quick surgery, and if he were to need that they'd need a tube in. So to prevent him from requiring an extra intubation after already being extubated, we're going to see what happens with the eye exam.

Overall, he's doing very well, and I'm quite hopeful for the next few days. I'm going to try to start collecting prayer notices from the disparate churches that have been keeping track of Woody's saga. Here's the first one I've found, from his great (and Great) grandparents'* church in my hometown of Norman. Thanks for the support.

*I'd like to note, by the way, that Woody has SIX great-grandparents following his progress, which ought to tell you right away that he's got some great fighting genes.


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