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the eric update - day 36: stabilizing. gagging. and just a bit of jealousy.

eric spent the day stabilizing. as quickly as things started falling apart, they appear to be coming back together, thanks to the fast response of his care team. he's still on the vent, but amazingly, he's doing so well that they they're just letting him cruise to give him a rest while he fully recovers from the infection. his differential blood counts are all returning to normal and there's still no sign of bowel perforation. we'll never know what caused his skin to start to slough off. nurse debbie said it might not have even been an infection at all, but rather a circulatory issue. micropreemie skin is so delicate that small changes in circulation can cause the skin to deteriorate.

there's certainly no doubt that eric's gag reflex is developing quite well, as he spent much of his waking time choking on his endotracheal and od tube which releases air from his stomach. although he was relatively comfortable, it was still quite difficult to sit by his bedside and watch him gag on his tubes over and over again. they could have taken him off his vent today because he doesn't appear to need its help for breathing, but they want to let him get a little more rest while he's recovering from his infection. from where we're sitting it's hard to see how he's able to rest while he's gagging, but i guess that's the way it goes.

so, other than a little gagging and a transfusion or two, it was a fairly quiet day. i suspect in the next day or two, eric will be back on the cpap and start feeding again. maybe we'll even get to start kangaroo care.

today, we also had to deal with an issue that any nicu parent faces - comparing your child to those around you. it's one of those things that you know you can't do, but which is basically impossible not to do. in our case, one of the new admits across the way happens to be a 27 weeker who came in at 1 pound 9 ounces. he's aready on nasal cannula full time and graduated from a radiant warming bed to an "isolette", which means that the don't think that he'll require as much intensive care as eric still requires.

while we're tremendously happy for the 27 weeker parents, it's hard not to feel jealous at how much difference two weeks can make, as we watch eric gag on his ET tube.

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8/09/2004 11:59:00 PM 6 comments


What a little fighter. I know what you mean about comparing him to the other preemies, but he really has come a long way. He must have a strong will, and it shows. Theoretically, how long do they think he will have to remain on the vent ? I will cross my fingers that things continue looking up, and that you guys get some kanga time in real soon.

By Blogger Brenda, at 12:33 AM  

Wow, talk about your heart falling into your shoes! How can it go from your throat to the floor so fast? Incroyable!

I just wanted to say that Eric is really looking great in the recent pics! In that one where he's on the vent and you can see his whole face, dare I say that I can see CHINS rather than just CHIN?!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:13 AM  

i suspect that he'll be off the vent soon. they have all the settings "dialed back" and it's noti giving him very much respiratory support, but they want to make sure he's recovered from his infection before they put him back on cpap which requires more work on his part.

i think you can see chins too! it's a little hard to tell from the pics, but his cheeks are really starting to fill out too. since we see him every day, we tend to notice much more subtle changes, like his foot being slightly swollen or his belly being a bit more taught, but we seem to miss some of the bigger changes. i guess it's a forrest and trees kind of thing.

at least we've got lots of pictures so i can go back to any day i want and compare :-)

By Blogger e3, at 9:36 AM  

I don’t know what is worse, our compulsion to compare our children to other preemies, or the evil scourge of the “adjusted age”. Fact is, communicating with the other parents is helpful – albeit a delicate balance of support versus measurement of your kid’s progress. We used to joke about our kids in wrestling class weights (super, super, super, super featherweight). Down the line, you will look at the previous 36 hours as a time you would never want to relive, but one that makes you appreciate how tough E4 is. My older brother joked with me that after all that Andy as been through, if he ever broke his arm I would just tell him “you're tough, walk it off.” Have faith. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

By Blogger Robb, at 11:46 AM  


It's always a little hard seeing the "healthier" babies come in. I still have a hard time now and then when I'm out and see all the "term" babies with their happy families.

We had a terrible shopping trip Friday (not the norm when we are out). I went with my friend, who's daughter was born Term, 10 days before Kyle. She is so beautiful and interactive - loves to shout, squeel and smile at everyone. She was in her baby bjorn with her mommy, and I was carrying Kyle (stroller and oxygen in tow). Several people had commented on her, but everyone kind of backed away from Kyle and I. It was really bad when a group of women stopped my friend and carried on for around 5 minutes abour her DD, but they never even acknowleged that I was standing there or commented on Kyle. I just kindly told my friend that I was headed over to the boys clothes - and never told her how I felt. I know the women where probably uncomforatable with him being on oxygen, and having the NG tube in his nose, but what is it about our culture that segregates even babies into the "fear factor" group - where they are treated almost as if they have some catching disease... It's such a shame.

Anyway, as I headed toward the boys section, a Twin mom almost ran into us with her stroller (I was already trying to keep it together)... There they where 2 beautiful healthy babies - and then her friend with her healthy son. I only got around the corner fast enough to wipe away a couple tears, out of site from everyone.

As happy as I was for all of them, I was so upset that my beautiful son had to, and will continue to go through many challenges in his little life. He has endured far more than many adults could handle - you know?

These boys of ours are beautiful and precious - but it will take another miricle for people that don't understand, or know the story a while to ever realize just how precious they are.

I am so glad that you have this site - so that others can see and appreciate the many miricles that happen everyday - and just how precious these little lives are.

Katra & little Kyle

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:34 PM  

thank you katra, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing such a personal story. we've had similar moments everday when we enter the hospital and see happy parents leaving with their healthy, full term babies, knowing that even after we leave the nicu we'll likely have to learn how to cope with experiences like your own.

and as robb alluded, we've only yet begun to deal with the "evil scourge of the “adjusted age”".

all my best to you and kyle ( and robb and andy ).

By Blogger e3, at 12:40 AM  

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