September 20, 2010

A Long Week

It's been a long week for our boy. Sorry in advance, this is going to be a long post.  Short version: Isolation, eye surgery, constipation, and desats, spitups, recovery.  Keep the thoughts and prayers coming!

Here's the update since my last post:
I went into the hospital for his eye exam, hoping to talk to the opthomologist.  It's not fun to listen to your son cry as his eyes are pried open for the exam.  He handled it well though.  Unfortunately, his ROP did progress to Stage 3, and the doctor recommended the eye surgery.  We were somewhat prepared for this, but still disappointed that he needed another surgery and scared that he could potentially have some long-term vision issues.  Based on my research, 80% of preemies his age get ROP, but only 5 - 10% need the surgery.  Most do well afterwards, but there is still a chance the ROP can still continue and he'll need additional surgeries, or experience vision loss.  The surgery is scheduled for the next day.

On a good note - he hit 4 pounds this day, and seemed to be handling the move of the feeding tube to his stomach well.

Isolation - gown and gloves.  Andrew doesn't mind!
We got a phone call before our evening visit from the doctor, to discuss the surgery and the consents we'd need to sign.  He also dropped the bomb that one of the MRSA cultures taken from Andrew the day before was growing something in the petri dish.  It was inconclusive, so they were watching and waiting to see what it was - some sort of staph or other bacteria, or even just a contaminant.  They were hoping it was nothing, and he wasn't showing any signs of infection from b/w or observation, but they did have to put him on isolation as a precaution.  Isolation means gowns and gloves each time you enter his area, and in this case (where he possibly has a bacteria on the skin that could be very dangerous if it got into the blood stream) isolation is more another layer of protection for the nurses and other babies around him.  Grrreeeat.

Night after surgery

Really long day.  This surgery was scheduled for 8 a.m. so J and I got the hospital around 7:30 to see Andrew and meet with the surgeon.  We were happy to see that one of primary nurses, Nurse L was on that day with him.  She let us know that the culture was still not conclusive, and so they were going to take another one.  They were all thinking it was probably a contaminant, since there was no clear answer after culturing it for 48 hours.  Good news!

Andrew handled the surgery very well, he barely needed any additional oxygen, the sedation went fine, and the surgeon was pleased with the procedure.  He'll continue to have eye exams weekly to see if the ROP has stopped - we have our fingers crossed.

Recovery went OK for the little guy - he did have some brady's, which were expected and he was pretty much out of it all day.

He's off isolation!  His culture came back negative this time, so no more lockdown for Andrew!  J and I are so happy to hear this, especially that he does not have any sort of infection or bacteria.

I spend most of the day holding my sleepy boy.  The sedative should be out of his system, but his eyes are still pretty puffy and he is definitely not back to normal yet.  They turned his feeds back on, but his system is not moving anything through yet.  Constipation is still here, and the medicines are not helping!

Sweet dreams!

I also got to give him a bath today - which we was NOT pleased about.  It was a quick one, due to his screaming.  The boy has some lungs on him!

The screaming began moments later...
Not a fun bath!
One good thing today is that they lower his flow on the nasal cannula to 3.  We keep chipping away at respiration!

Friday - Sunday:

Andrew is more awake each day, and his eyes are looking so much better.  By Sat, he's back to his alert self.  On a bad note, he has been throwing/spitting up somewhat regularly, so they are not sure if his belly is just still adjusting to the feeding tube there, he has reflux (already on meds for this), or his stomach is just too full b/c he hasn't gone poo yet.   They finally get him to stool on Sat night - we all celebrated! The doctors decide to give him a few days to see if he can handle the feeds better, but overnight on Sunday, they move the feeding tube back to his intestines.  Along with the throwing up, he's had more respiratory spells since the surgery (no bagging this week though!) so we are hoping those diminish in the coming week.  It's a slight step backwards, but we know he'll go better next time!

His weight at the end of the week is pretty much the same as he started it - right around 4 lbs.  Between the throwing up and the surgery, we are not surprised he hasn't gained much.  Lots of ups and downs this week, but hopefully the surgery was successful, and we can move forward again soon.  Andrew turns 12 weeks old today, and will be 36 weeks gestation on Wed.  We hope he comes home soon, but it looks like the milestone of his due date will probably pass with him still in the NICU.  But, as long as he keeps making progress we know he'll be home with us soon enough.

One more sleepy picture.  It was a long week!
I'm also a man of many hats this week - and
am beginning to grow out of some of them!

I'm getting so good at my paci -
I can't wait until I can try a bottle!


Beth said...

Thanks for the update, was wondering how you guys were doing this week. He looks so peaceful in the last photo. Lots of good thoughts and prayers coming your way.

Mykar1971 said...

Love to hear the mostly positive news, and that his surgery went well! Looking forward to hearing more great growing news.

Krystal Spitz said...

I'm glad to hear the surgery went well! I think about you all everyday!! And so do a lot of other people.....your Leave Sharing Campaign opened and closed in a matter of just a few hours!! :) Everyone is thinking about you all, and can't wait for the little guy to come home so we can meet him.