Saturday, August 26, 2006

Another fine day in Woodyville

Woody's extubation continues apace, and we are beginning, slowly but surely, to be confident in his ability to be resilient enough to handle difficult times without having to be re-intubated again. This morning he got a blood gas test, his first since Thursday, and it showed similar results (7.36 pH, 63 CO2, 35 bicarb) to that one. This means that he continues to be able to purge the carbon dioxide from his blood as well as he was doing on the CPAP, and since his subjective signs all seem strong it's clear that he's able to adapt to the new lower-pressure regime of the nasal cannula.

It's been so great to have that setup too, because compared to the CPAP or the vent tube the little tube is just so much easier to deal with. It's not a big deal anymore to just reach into the crib and pick him up, which probably doesn't seem that huge of a deal to parents of Normal Kids*, but for us, considering that we've always had to ask the nurse for help, if not permission, to hold our child, it seems pretty darn big.

Sometimes I just have to step back and realize how far he's come to get some kind of perspective on the whole Summer of Woody. Sometimes I have to do that just to keep myself from going insane every time I show up at the hospital. I mean, by now I swear that I know just about everyone, and the occasional incident where a new greeter asks me who I am or makes me wait while they finish a phone call so that they can fully re-vet me for entry into the NICU can sometimes annoy me. The hospital's been slowly implimenting new security procedures, too, which I'm very happy about, but when it results in me waiting around longer while some greenhorn security guard figures out what they're supposed to be doing I want to ask them "you new here?"

But I don't. Instead, I realize that Woody is over 7 pounds now (3230 g)., which is somewhere around six times his birth weight, and nearly eight times his lowest weight ever. He's made it this far with no brain bleeds, no necrotizing tubeguts-itis, and has thus far avoided a trach. It's been a long, frustrating time, and it's not even near over yet, but I for one am really amazed with the kid, and I hope and expect more greatness from him.

*My mom and her friend Eileen have coined the term BWI (Babies With Issues) to describe kids like Woody and Eileen's granddaughter, who have substantial Issues to overcome compared to the Normals.

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