January 22, 2014

Updates for Today and Some Things I've Learned about ICU

I certainly understand what people mean when they say hospital stays are a roller coaster of emotions. Thankfully, today has been a good day, but last night was a bad night.

Once Hayden was intubated yesterday evening, he was resting very comfortably because they'd given him a paralytic medicine to keep him completely still during the procedure. Once that wore off, little man was MAD. Even though he was heavily sedated, he was fighting. (Momma was kind of proud of the tough little guy!)

Basically, the vent was giving him breaths, but he kept trying to "breathe over" the machine. For every one breath the vent gave, he was giving two. He was taking in too much oxygen and couldn't expel the necessary amounts of CO2. So, even while intubated, he was breathing very fast and retracting quite a bit. All of that caused his numbers to get out way out of whack (blood pressure, blood gasses, respiratory rate, heart rate, etc.) Not good.

They ended up giving him another dose of the paralytic, so he was once again medically paralyzed for a short time (less than an hour) while his body really rested and chilled out. Since then, they've found Hayden's happy place in regards to the right sedatives and the right amounts, so he's been a chill little guy all day. This is very good! Right now, he needs to let that vent work hard so his body can completely focus on the healing of his lungs. Currently, all of his numbers are good. He's still heavily sedated, and he'll stay that way while intubated, but we're so pleased with his progress today.

On the flip side, his lungs are worse. This sounds scary, but it was completely expected. We've been told all along that with RSV, they typically get sicker before getting better, so we're hopeful today was his peak, then he'll start moving toward recovery soon. His lungs are just full of junk, but they're able to suction that out much easier with the tube. That, along with rest and some other things, will help his lungs begin to clear up.

If his next round of blood gasses test shows continued improvement (numbers are very good right now) they'll begin the process of weaning the vent tomorrow. That certainly doesn't necessarily mean he'll be off the vent soon because they'll be slow and deliberate about how much his body can handle, but that will definitely be a step in the right direction.

Some (random) things I've learned in my short time as a momma with a baby in pediatric ICU:
  • You kind of become a germaphobe. I'm all about washing hands and whatnot, but I've never been overly worrisome about germs. I feel like that is soooo about to change in my world! Just last night, I was changing clothes here in the hospital, and I had paper towels all down on the floor so my bare feet wouldn't touch the floor. True story.
  • You have an immediate sense of solidarity for other families here. Of course, that's mostly because we're all here for young ones in our lives we're very worried about, but I think it's also because we all look like absolute crap most of the time. Nothing more humbling than chatting it up with a stranger when you haven't showered in at least a day and can't quite remember whether or not your teeth have been brushed.
  • You learn enough medical jargon to get yourself in trouble. I feel like I know way more than I do, so I'm always asking questions about this or that, and I bet the sweet nurses are thinking, "I wish she'd just quit trying to do my job for me." Thankfully, they're all way too kind to ever actually say that, but I wouldn't blame them for thinking about it. 
Please continue to pray for our sweet boy and the other families here with their own babies. I'm fortunate to know my little man has a very, very, very good chance of a full recovery, but other families aren't looking at the same future. Pray for God's grace, peace and the understanding only He can provide.

Here's a sweet snowflake Macey sent for her little brother today:

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