Saturday, August 12, 2006
Doing It His Way in the PICU
Well, it has been an adventurous few days in the PICU. Braden has taken us along on a rollercoaster ride... he would seem better, then get worse, then seem better, then get worse again. Probably our scariest moment was Friday afternoon he started having apnea, so the docs put him on Heliox (mix of helium & oxygen)... hoping that the helium would help open up the bronchioli and make things 'slippery' in his lungs, in hopes that it would loosen things up for suction, and allow him to do less work to breathe. Well, this had the opposite effect on Braden, as his oxygen saturation dipped, he was running a marathon to breathe, and was tiring out. We were literally 5 mintues away from intibating him before the doc put him back on plain oxygen where Braden seemed to breathe easier and get his saturation back up... but it was a close call. Our friends Dwayne and Kim took us to dinner to have a few hours of non-doctors/nurses/hospital air, and it was a well-needed emotional break.
THE FROG... when I was a young child, frogs used to scare me. One time my grandpa told me that frogs were good luck. While I don't know if he told me that to get me to quit screaming, or if there really is some myth or legend that frogs are good luck, I have believed in it ever since. This morning I went to the kitchen to let out a sream, as I was startled when a tree frog greeted me by jumping out of my sink straight at me!! I took it as a sign of good luck, as I told Brad the story my grandpa told me, and that I was hoping that this would be a sign we would have some good luck today.
We feel that we are turning a corner, as Braden was working less harder to breathe today, and was crying when we suctioned him, and was fussing because he was hungry - so we know he was feeling better:-) We got to start him back on a very slow feed today, to ensure he won't aspirate anymore, and at some point we will have to repeat the Upper GI to ensure the surgery we had done in the hospital (nissen fundiplication) is stil doing it's job. The pulmonologist believes Braden is micro-aspirating, and we will see him on an outpatient basis after we are discharged. He may be ordering more machines for us to use... yippee. Braden's blood culture finally showed that he in fact does have a pnuemonia called "serratia pnuemonia". It is easy to know if you have this kind of pnuemonia once the mucus starts coming out of the lungs, as when it is exposed to air, it turns blood red. The pulmonologist believes this happened because Braden is a poor swallower, cannot handle all his secretions, and could be microaspirating... added to the fact that we have a suppressed immune system, our scenario was ripe for such a disaster.
Thanks for everyone who has called or written to check in on us, we appreciate the support and your continued prayers. We will update again soon.
Kodi, Brad, & Braden