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the eric update - day 37: more of the vent. and a little levity.

more of the same today, by which i mean gagging on the vent endotracheal tube. hopefully he won't have to put up with it much longer, although the staff is being a little cagey about when they might take him off. the party line is that it might be tommorrow, or maybe the day after that. so it's time for another exciting round of The Waiting Game. of course, there's not much to do in this round because being on the vent means he doesn't have many alarms since the vent is doing all the work, and there's no holding or kangaroo care to be had. apparently some nicus allow some 'roo time while babies are on the vent, but ours isn't one of them, because of the risks involved of moving an such a little thing around while being intubated. watching him as he tries to launch the tube out of his throat, i can see how they might come to that conclusion. eric is still gaining weight despite being only on intravenous fluids; tonight he weighed in at 1040 grams or 2 pounds 4.7 ounces, although it's tough to know how much of that is "fake" weight due to the transfusions and water retension.

in one of those small pieces, loosely joined moments, i was reading susan dennis' post on how she had become so enthralled with following eric's progress ( or lack thereof, as the case may be ), while also reading An Innocent, a Broad by ann leary, who happens to be dennis leary's wife. as soon as i learned that the book is her account of having an micropreemie while on a business trip in london, i knew that i had to run out and immediately get the book to help me pass time while playing The Waiting Game. jeez louis. we managed to get to page 11 before kris and i broke into hysterical fits of laughter complete with tears rolling down our faces, as ann and dennis try to come to grips with the fact that she's just has a premature rupture of membrane ( PROM or, simply, her water broke too early ).

"It's true that at times like this we learn of what we're really made. I used to think that if I were in a major disaster - say a plane crash or an earthquake - I would be the one to take charge. While the weak-willed people with the small brains ran shrieking into the burning wreckage, I would be the one to stop them and lead them to safety. In my mind most people were handwringers, unable to take action, while I was a doer, the who could coolly Heimlich the choker and tourniquet the bleeder. It was easy to hold these beliefs about myself, as I had never actually been involved in any kind of real-life crisis. I identified with the heroes and heroines in literature and felt sure that I would have been able, for example, to deliver Melanie's baby in Gone With the Wind or rebuild a plantation with nothing but my bare hands and razor-sharp intellect. It never occured to me that nobody sees herself as Prissie the useless slave girl, and that it's easy to feel brave when the most immeninent threat is an overdue cable bill. So it came as a bit of a surprise that afternoon in central London to learn that I am, in fact, the shrieking, running-into-the-burning-wreckage type.

"Maybe you just peed your pants, "Dennis offered hopefully, between my wailing cries.""
it's hard to remember exactly how i held up on the day that this all began. i think i started off as more of the calm, cool and collected type than even i thought i was capable of, but slowly as the day wore on, i'm fairly certain i transmorgified into the shrieking, running-into-the-burning-wreckage type. luckily, at that point we were already surrounded by a cadre of trained professionals and not standing on the corner with nobody to turn to but dennis leary :-)

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8/10/2004 11:50:00 PM 4 comments

4 Comments:

Eric
I just wanted to let you know how much I have been thinking of you and your family. I check every night to see how Eric is doing. I want so much for you and your wife to be able to hold and comfort Eric again soon. I am soooo impressed with the strength the you and your wife have given to Eric. He has to sense it and drw from it. I just wish that I had the right word to say to help you all at this time. You are all in my thoughts daily and I wish for you that the progress continues. Take every day as it comes and cherish it. How ever small the accomplishment, for Eric it is huge!!!! With all my hope for the best,
Terri

By Blogger gretta, at 12:34 AM  

thanks gretta. wish no more about having the right words to say to help, because you just posted them.

By Blogger e3, at 12:55 AM  

I was really going to tell you about the book, but I wanted to wait until I finished it. I finished it yesterday only to learn when I checked on eric this morning that you were (no shock here) way ahead of me.

I'm sure you and kris will be fascinated by her accounts and all the details.

I like the perspective. I'm looking forward to 13 years from now when your entries will be about eric's latest teenaged trauma and how you and kris are trying to deal with that... I will remember when...

By Blogger susan, at 11:27 AM  

hmmmm. i just noticed that the person with the blogger profile "gretta" signs posts as terri - sorry i didn't notice that and called you gretta.

and thanks again for the tip on the book, susan. i just assumed you were telling me by linking to the site in your post. as you know, nothing escapes the grip of bloglines or technorati :-)

By Blogger e3, at 9:28 AM  

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[ rhetoric ]

"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

the complete tales & poems of winnie the pooh

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this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

he's quite a fighter and you can always send him a postcard to the most current address listed here if you're inspired by his adventures. see the postcard project/google maps mashup to see a map of the postcards.

if you're new, you can browse the archives to catch up. and don't forget to watch a few movies that i made while we were in the neonatal intensive care unit. or if you want the abridged version and you can find a copy, you can read about his adventures in the november 2005 issue of parents magazine.



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