Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 11--April 20, 2009

Our day started, for all practical purposes, yesterday. Upon discovery of those gaseous pockets, we have been on pins and needles ever since. While we did manage to get horizontal and sleep, it was only in the mechanical sense. Beth and I went through the routine, but there was little rest to be had.All of that changed around 6:45 this morning when the Nurse practitioner called and informed us that there was no change in those little gaseous pockets. As a matter of fact upon a cursory examination of the morning x-rays those pockets of air in her liver were hard to find. She then began to explain how well Katie had done during the night at that they had removed the tubes again, but I missed most of those due to the ugly crying that I was actively engaged in. You all know what I am talking about. The ugly cries are when the head and shoulder bobbing get in rhythm and the tears and mucus begin to flow freely. I was so relieved that our angel would not be rushed back into surgery, and could only slide off the bed and thank God again for yet another answered prayer on our behalf. This entire affair has been one of the worst emotional rollercoaster rides I have ever been on. It seems that at least for today, we have once again made it out of the valley and back on top of the mountain. Currently we are waiting for the results of the blood culture that was taken yesterday. If the results of this show that there is no infection, then she will again be taken off of the antibiotics.Her respiration rates are very high at 60-80 per minute. They should be around 30-40. This is expected as she is working with only one and one-third lungs. At this rate she will more than likely not be able to suckle a bottle and breathe sufficiently at the same time to keep her blood oxygen saturation levels up. With this in mind, the current plan is to insert a naso-gastric tube through one nostril into her stomach in order to introduce milk via syringe. We were informed that they would start her off with about 9cc’s of milk. If she tolerates that well, the plan then is to gradually increase the frequency before they increase the volume. Today is eleven days since her birth. She has not yet eaten anything. All of her nutrients are being delivered through IV’s. It is becoming evident that as they also gradually reduce the amount of morphine being given to her that she is showing signs of hunger. Today it took very little coaxing for her to latch hold to her pacifier, and begin to vigorously pulling on it. When the pacifier is not in place, she shows signs of “rooting” around, especially the back of her hand. She has been given a couple of drops of glucose gel on her pacifier, which she really seems to enjoy. I can’t wait until they feed her. With all of the other trials that she has gone through, hunger should be easy to fix.Her morphine drip started off at 70 some units per hour (sorry, here is where I forgot the official unit name. My memory is about as long as my finger. That is why I write this stuff down. For now though they’ll just be “thingies”). She remained at 70 thingies until several days after the surgery. They have been dropping by 10 thingies a day for the past couple of days. Today she was at 20. This is not only to gradually reduce her pain killers as her pain is naturally reduced, but also to prevent her from going through horrible withdrawal symptoms.We forget sometimes about the heavy cocktail of narcotics that have been administered to her since she was only 3 hours old. If these were to be stopped all at once she would be in full blown withdrawal, and in her fragile shape this would be catastrophic. Each day though as she is given less and less, her eyes brighten a bit more and she is becoming a bit more interactive. She will focus on items for a short period of time before dozing back off. We have looked forward to our visits when they allow us to hold her. This has become a special treat. Right now only mom and dad can hold her, which is a source of great frustration for these devoted grandparents. Each and everyone of these wonderful people has spent countless hours of running up and down the road from home to here, feeding our goats, chickens, and dogs, preparing food, watching Michael, checking mail, and bringing things we are in need of. Their demonstration of love and devotion to our little family has been truly selfless. Joan has even moved in at our home away from home and watched Michael for us so that we can be with Katie when we can. Beth and I love them dearly, and will never be able to thank them for all they have done. I know that I am a young father, and only have two children both under the age of two, but I can attest to the love a parent. These grandparents are demonstrating their support for us as only the most pure love can inspire. Should any of you see one of them in passing please thank them for me.As strong as this love is, it can no way compare to the love that our Lord has for us. We have felt the warming blanket of God’s love swaddling us through this adventure. We are thankful for all of his blessings, the many that we see as well as the many more that we do not. When all is well it is hard to see God’s hand in everyday life. However, in this, Beth and I see his work in everything. His grace is sufficient and we praise His holy name.

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