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the eric update - day 27: the ho-hums

we spent a lot of time at the nicu today, just keeping an eye on eric. he's had a few more "a's" and "b's" than normal over that past few days and his oxygen levels have been turned up ( room air is about 20% oxygen and after a long stint of not having any supplemental oxygen, he's getting anywhere between 25 and 30%. the bloody goo problems are continuing and it's raising the background level of anxiety as we're spending more time tapping his butt or rubbing his back to try and get him to breath. we discussed things with his nurse practitioner and from her perspective he's still doing really, really fantastic. and concurred with kris' observation that the bloody goo problems and the cpap mask are part of a vicious circle. the air in the cpap mask dries out his throat and the suction catheter makes the irritated parts bleed. it just comes with the territory. here's to hoping it doesn't continue for too much longer, because at this rate he's not going to want anyone to touch every touch his nose after he gets out for a very, very long time.

we also didn't get much 'roo time in today as the only chair that fully reclines was in use and if we try to do the 'roo while sitting upright, we find that his neck muscles can't keep his head in the rights positions to get him a steady supply of air. so instead, we just hung around his bed and kept him company.

[ update: much later in the day ( o.k. maybe it was technically early, early the following day, i did get to hold him for awhile; the nicu was abuzz with reports of a possible '22 weeker' being admitted, but as our nurse said, everyone is hoping that they can delay the birth, since - as she put it - "22 weeks is not really, well, compatible with life." it's odd to look at eric and know that there's just two short weeks between their birth gestational ages. a lot of biology must happen in those two weeks. ]

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7/31/2004 10:03:00 PM 7 comments


Dear Eric IV (Odin, Woutan), Happy 4 week birthday, grandson! It won't be long before you will be big enough to breathe on your own so you can get rid of those annoying tubes - and your stuffy nose. We know that you are a fighter but soon you won't have to work so hard. Once in awhile, you might have to have a LITTLE tantrum just to show everybody who's boss. But, we know that you will be enjoying yourself more in your second month of life and are going to grow, grow, grow! Love from Gwanmanman Sherry, Kirk and Nana Rier

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:25 AM  

Wow, he's certianly growing! What an awesome little guy! How are Ma and Da hanging in?

Emily in Nova Scotia

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:09 PM  

Ah yes.. Bloody Goo!

Kyle had a bloody nose for a month and a half. We had to put him under an oxygen hood just so that he could breath and heal. When he came off the vent the second time, they used Vapotherm (I wrote about this in another post to you). The air is heavily humidified and allows for the "CPAP" like pressure, without the dryness or irritation. Seriously talk to the staff about this. We found that kyle's bloody nose issues seriously impacted his O2 requirements... Vapotherm worked like a charm for us, and we're still goo free and going strong (now on standard humidified O2 at home).

Good Luck, we're rooting for him :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:56 AM  

crap. i forgot to ask them about vapotherm. thanks for the gentle reminder katra :-) and i read your post on the fussiness ( or lack thereof ) of preemies and am happy to learn that he might not be as fussy as you might suspect ( he just might not ever like things stuck in his nose ).

ma and da are doing fine. thanks for asking. i'd probably be doing a little better if i could fine time to get out for a run. going from running marathons to not running at all is a big bummer. i think over the next few weeks i'm going to make it a goal to get a few miles under my belt a week, before the belt gets too tight and i can't put it on :-) kris is doing fine and is fully recovered by all accounts. she'll be going to visit the doctor soon to see if they can discover the underlying issues that caused her preeclampsia to get so severe so quickly.

By Blogger e3, at 12:29 PM  

Oh, I meant to add (which you mentioned), they REALLY hate things stuck in their nose!

Kyle completely flips out when I try to just put a little saline gel in his nose at home! Mommy is not allowed anywhere near the no-no place (aka The NOSE). Oh, and he doesn't much care to have his mouth syringed either.

We finally got to the root of Kyle's oral aversion - hopefully E4/Odin can skip this step. Kyle officially has over-reactive airway syndrome. It's from being intebated so long. The throat is very easily irritated, and it hurts to swallow - which completly makes sense now - since he is addicted to Mr. Pacifier, but won't take his bottle!

Speech comes in tomorrow (in the home) to help work with us on it. Oh, and he got a "little" cold last week - it drove his O2 requirement from 1/2litre to a full litre. So, if that's a "Little" cold, I'm kind of scared of a full blown one. He's almost back to his 1/2 litre of flow now. As the nurses have already warned you... Germs are bad for these guys. The dr thinks it was due mostly to a change in environment (something to keep in mind when your little guy comes home).

Good Luck, Kyle is working on his very best picture to convert to a Postcard for his new little NICU Buddy (we're trying to get one with him smiling) :)


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:55 PM  

thanks again katra. while i enjoy everyone's comments, ( as i'm sure you're very aware ) it helps a lot to hear specific, descriptive examples of what other parents have gone through. eric is liking the pacifier more and more these days and we'll be keeping a close eye on his his oral aversion or lack thereof. obviously, eric's not intubated in the "i'm on the vent" sense of being intubated, but he obviously has more than his fair share of tubes going in his mouth and down his throat.

interestingly, i asked the staff about vapotherm and only one of the nurses had heard of it and they didn't know much about it ( and considering that some of the nurses also work at the other nicu in town, it's safe to say that they don't use it either ), so it might just be unfamiliarity with a new piece of equipment.

amusingly, they are testing a new electronic medical record system and one of the nurses thought she saw references to vapotherm, so maybe they'll be getting more familiar with it :-)

By Blogger e3, at 7:45 PM  

oh and thanks for the postcard. we got another bunch of them today. it's big fun to walk into the nicu and read the cards.

By Blogger e3, at 7:49 PM  

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