Andrea got her transfusion late last night, and we were able to see a difference already today. She was well enough that the nurse was able to give her a bottle for her 9 a.m. feeding, and she was able to fight me when I tried to take her temperature and change her diaper. She is by no means 100% herself, but we believe that all the breathing trouble yesterday really took a lot out of her. 120 breaths a minute is pretty fast, and she was panting for a long time.
The IV needs to stay in for now - she's going to get at least three days of antibiotics. If the cultures come back negative, that'll be the end of it. If they're positive for some kind of infection, she'll get 7 to 10 days of medication. Her nurse today managed to dress her, despite the IV in her arm. It was a huge relief to us to see her in her own clothes, looking healthy. Last night, she was in the isolette, which had been heated again, and she was naked except for her diaper. We've been spoiled by seeing her dressed. She just looks better in clothes.
I spoke to the doctors today, who were also relieved that Andrea is doing better. I believe they were doing what they thought was best when they requested permission for a spinal tap. I feel terrible that Andrea had to endure that, especially since it took a few tries to get a sample. Still, I'd feel worse if we denied permission and then Andrea got really sick. The doctor in charge reassured me that they will be more proactive in deciding when to give Andrea blood - they'll do transfusions when her hematocrit is 25% or less. It was 23% yesterday. (Hematocrit is the percentage of red blood cells in the blood)
A few of Andrea's nurses follow this blog - I trust them to correct any of my inaccurate statements. I try to pay close attention, but sometimes the doctors lose me. The nurses have been wonderful about making sure we understand what's happening, and why. The doctors do the same, but we see much more of the nurses, and they're better at the explanations.
Thank you for your concern yesterday. She is really better today - although not her complete self. Her color is WAY better than it was - she's rosy pink again. Her appetite is still excellent. She has lost some weight, between the diuretic and not eating for a few meals yesterday. She'll pack it back on soon, though. We're lucky that eating has not been a problem for her.
“Take heart again; put your dismal fears away. One day, who knows? Even these hardships will be grand things to look back on.”