Friday, May 29, 2009

Maintaining the Status Quo

Well, it's day 92 of life for Andrea, which is a sobering thought. It means that she's been here for a full 1/4 of a year. When I think about the situation that way, I'm amazed that we all continue to function here. It's hard enough going to the hospital every day and working toward and praying for Andrea's recovery. While this has been going on in our lives, the rest of the world has continued to revolve. We've tried hard to keep life as normal as possible for our boys, nieces and nephews and family and friends, but it's been a challenge. The days are full, and events sneak up on us. After I finish this post, I'm off to frost a Sponge Bob birthday cake for one of the boys! I know life will be hard when Andrea's home, but it'll be hard in a different way from the way it is now.

Andrea now weighs 2145 grams (4 pounds, 11.7 ounces). She is still stuck at about 28% oxygen, but the flow has been reduced to 1 liter per minute. The doctors are puzzled about why she can't seem to get off that last bit of oxygen, and so are doing a few tests to see if they can come to some conclusions. She's going to have another echo cardiogram, to make sure that her heart is functioning properly in the circulation of her oxygenated blood. Andrea's also going to have another course of Lasix, a diuretic, to see if that improves the effectiveness of her lungs. She remains on the high calorie milk, because the doctors don't want to increase the volume of food she's being given. There is nothing else that's different in her daily routine. She eats, sleeps, gets PT, has a bath and waits to grow.

I had a long talk with one of the respiratory therapists today, about the process of bringing Andrea home on oxygen. The possibility of that has only recently been discussed, but I like to have all the facts. If we are able to take Andrea home, I would spend 24 hours in the hospital ahead of time, in what is called the "Transition Room". I would be responsible for Andrea's care, using the same equipment we'd have at home. At the same time, she would be monitored by the nurses, to make sure that all is well. It certainly sounds doable. One reason we'd like to get her home is that she needs more socialization than she can get in the SCN. The nurses are awesome, but they have other babies to care for. Once she's here, we can interact with her more consistently, which will help her development in so many ways.

The rotation of doctors changes again on Monday, so nothing will happen right this minute. Discharges are not usually done over the weekend, and new doctors coming on rotation are unlikely to make hasty decisions about treating a baby they've just met. (Although most of these doctors have covered before, and pretty much everyone knows Andrea!)

We ask for continued prayers that Andrea grows stronger and healthier. She has come so far, and just needs a boost to get over this last hurdle.

"Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain."

Author Unknown

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