Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Now that I'm on my own, I'm finding a new routine for my visits to Andrea. The drive is long enough that I can only go once a day, so I try to optimize the time I'm there. Today, I had to see my doctor for my weekly "wound check" for the incredibly icky surgical infection, so that was part of the visit. I discovered today's quote when leaving the doctor's office, and I need to provide a little background for why I found it so significant.

Many of you know that my sister-in-law was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis last summer. She has been dealing with her own ickiness as a result. The only medication she can take is an injection, and she needs it three times a week. We love Tina, and want very much for her, and everyone else with MS, to be cured. Barring that, we'd love to see an oral medication. Last September, Ken & I rode bicycles on a 100 mile fundraiser for MS. Well, as I was walking from the doctor's office back to the hospital (the two buildings are connected by a walkway) I noticed a beautiful mural on the wall. I stopped to look, and learned that what I was seeing was a sculpture called "A Hope and A Promise". It was donated by Women on the Move, part of the New Jersey Metro Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I grabbed a flier explaining all this, and on the back was today's quote. I have included it here as positive thinking for Andrea, but also for Tina. With hope and prayers, Andrea will come home, and Tina will be cured.

So, as for Andrea's update today, she is continuing to do well. She is adjusting to CPAP, and in the next few days, they will stop the supporting breaths she's currently getting. She'll still have some oxygen support, but all the breathing will be on her own. She gained 50 grams, which more than made up for what she lost yesterday. She's now 750 grams, or 1 pound, 10.45 ounces. That also reflects a gain of 300 grams from her birth weight, in about 4.5 weeks. If she continues to do well, they will stop giving her some of the vitamin supplements she has been receiving. She's still getting 13 ml of milk every 3 hours, and has gone several days without needing blood. When I visited today, I was able to cup my hands on her while she dozed in the isolette. One problem with CPAP is that the pressure of the air forces Andrea's mouth open, so air and oxygen is lost from her mouth that should be going into her lungs. I was told to keep nudging her mouth closed while I was "holding" her.

When we visit, we are encouraged to talk to Andrea, since the sound of our voices helps her grow stronger. However, it is hard to maintain a conversation for long, with someone that doesn't talk back. (Remember, I live with two 8-year-olds.... I'm used to talking back!) Today, I decided to sing to Andrea. I spent half an hour going through all the songs I used to sing to Kenny, and some of my personal favorites from my church choir days. It made for a very relaxing way to visit. Tomorrow, I'm hoping to start my "kangaroo care" experience. Hopefully, the nurse can take a picture for me.

Andrea is taking a break from pink today. I was so excited to see her in a yellow hat. She needs the hats because of the CPAP sponges, so I'm sure her wardrobe will expand over the next few weeks.

Thank you all for your continued interest in Andrea's story, and your support of my blogging efforts. Keep praying for her, that she remains on her slow and steady course.

"Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible." Anonymous

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