Saturday, November 8, 2008

Worlds better

Well, you think something like the ventilator will happen and it'll just be the worst thing ever, but I got there today and it just wasn't as awful as I'd thought. It just looked like a tube down her throat and at least she was breathing. Even better, she was active, squirming around, and her color was excellent. Her blood-gas tests show improvement every time, she is "overbreathing" on the ventilator (breathing on her own, outside of what the ventilator helps her do), and though she's still very sick, things are really looking up.

And now, a Q&A:

What was the goddamned virus?
A something-cocchus. My brother-in-law the interventional cardiologist (ooh la la!) stopped by today, asked a bunch of questions, and gave our course of treatment a big thumbs-up. He also confirmed that, well, if you're in the hospital, that's where the sick people are, so it's pretty common for babies to get sick with this particular virus, which is just sort of floating around all the time.

What about the meningitis?
SHe's already testing negative for it. She's on antibiotics for it and they are carefully watching to make sure there are no side effects. The worry is the kidneys, but she's "peeing like a race-horse" in the words of her nurse, so um... yes, the world's smallest and slowest race-horse seems to be ok in terms of the inflamed meniscus.

And the frigging yeast?
Yeah, I don't get this one. But it's in her. Yeast is "always around," you can't get rid if it because it's always supposed to be there in small quantities; when things get imbalanced, the yeast overgrows. She's on an intravenous antifungal (eeeyuw!). There is a slight worry that the yeast could grow on her retina or her heart or her brain, but that's highly unlikely and they'll be checking for it in the next few days.

So if she's doing so stellar, what's with the ventilator?
Slow down there, Charlie! She's getting better -- she's not Superbaby. It'll take some time for her to heal, but they are thinking they'll try to take her off it as soon as tomorrow. What they do is turn it down and look at her breathing. If she seems like she has the energy to breathe on her own, they'll take it out. We're just waiting.

The thing is, she really hates the ventilator. She hates the CiPAP mask. She hates the IVs and tries to kick them off. She hates all the stuff. Anyway, so the sorta bad news is that when they intubated, they had to give her some morphine (doesn't hurt her, and I don't want her in pain, so ok). And then she was just really mad, furious, wiggling around the minute she started feeling well enough to realize she had a thingy in her throat, so they also gave her Ativan, an antianxiety medicine. I thought this was weird, but then I saw her heartrate kept going up dangerously high, and I couldn't calm her down with my magic mommy hands, so I said OK, and then she was comfortable. As unhappy as it made me to think of her drugged up and sacked out, I recognize that she really has to have time to heal, and fighting the ventilator is just going to cost her precious energy.

Randy and I sat with her for a few hours, as I sang into the porthole. I wasn't able to hold her today so this'll have to do. Our friends Murphy and Haili came to visit her -- Haili had her first baby at 6 months, and she was 4 lbs, and that little girl is now a stunning 21 year old, so I was grateful to have their good example paraded before P. Plus they brought the cuuuutest presents.

As predicted, I no longer resist The Pink. When all I had were preemie clothes in boring ol' boy colors, I wasn't even tempted to bring them in, but now that my editor and friend Leslie has sent over rose-sprigged onesies, I can't wait for her to get better so I can dress her up again. Crap, I have to get iron-on name labels!

so so so -- things improved immensely and only show signs of getting better. ptui ptui ptui.


janet said...

Thanks for taking the time to update and anticipate all the questions. Hang in there and keep the good news coming -- sending my love to all of you

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