more from ICU

Ollie still has a long way to go, but he is improving at this point. They have weaned him off the norepinephrine as of last night, and are currently working to wean him off the epinephrine. After that they will work to wean him off the dopamine. Those are the three blood pressure meds that saved his life.
He’s on a lot of drugs that I can’t spell, but here is the list and what they do:
• Milrinone dilator to get blood to his organs. He’s on this in part because the blood pressure meds increase tension on the veins which make it harder for him to use all the o2 in his blood. He should hopefully be able to come off this when the other blood pressure meds are gone.
• Phentanal which is a pain med.
• Versed is sedation, this keeps him from moving around too much or fighting the machines. He is also occasionally put on a paralytic drug if he becomes too active, but we haven’t needed too much of that. Currently if you touch him or rub his feet he occasionally will move in response.
• Phenobarbital is an anti seizure med. This one is a little complex because they won’t wean it until the last. They want to do a cat scan and then put the EEG electrode hat thing on him again when they go to wean him off this. He may not be able to come off of this, if he has a seizure while they attempt to wean it away, it will most likely then become a long term drug for him to prevent further episodes. We are praying that this med will come off easy and that there are no long term effects from his seizures. We won’t know more on this for at least 4 more days, possibly longer.
• TpN/lipids- which is nutrition and fats that he is getting directly into his blood stream since he can’t eat at this time. He is going to be on these and unable to eat for at least another 24-48 hours. Hopefully after that we can start to give him small amounts of breast milk. I’ve been pumping every 4-5 hours to keep up my supply and storing the milk. I’ve probably got over 40 oz at home in the freezer already. So far my supply seems good.
• Lasics which is a diuretic. He’s a really swollen, puffy baby, which is a side effect of how much fluid they have to pump him up with to carry all the drugs.
• three antibiotics, I don’t know the names, and an antiviral.
• Hydrocortisone, because his cortisone levels were low. They think this is due to the infection, and hopefully not a long term problem with his adrenal glands. Another worry for much later.
Yesterday he also got some magnesium, because his levels were low, as well as the FFP (fresh frozen plasma) The plasma was because his clotting times were low, which was a result of the infection. The FFP kept him from hemorrhaging or bleeding out. So far no one has talked about him needing these things again today, but that could change.
Yesterday’s doctor (who was very doom and gloom when we talked to him, and who had a crappy bedside manner) ordered a ton of tests which resulted in the Magnesium and hydrocortisone being added. I really think that these things, along with the “food” have really helped Ollie.
They are starting to pull back on the respirator today, so if we are really lucky, he might be off it by Weds or Thurs. Once he is off that we can hopefully hold him. Oliver has been fighting the respirator and breathing over it fairly regularly, so I’m very hopeful that weaning him off that will go well.
He was mostly stable last night, and he’s handling being moved, touched, and played with a lot better today. His blood O2 saturation doesn’t take a dive every time he’s moved anymore. Not that he is being more than shifted a little. They did have to add another IV site last night for his “food” to come into his body at. Also, his first IV site that went in on Thursday morning is starting to go bad, so they will probably take that one out soon and have to add yet another one. I suspect the next one will be on his head.
We’re still waiting on test results as to what caused all this, a name of something, a label, an exact cause. All we know right now is that he got sick and turned septic. They may want to take more spinal fluid if the test results today are inconclusive. The doctor who kept us in the hospital on Saturday (the one who by keeping us saved Oliver’s life) stopped by, and she said that if they don’t have results for us now, the cultures are not growing, so she doesn’t think it’s anything they’ve tested for. She’s been checking up on us and calling in for updates.
We’re still waiting for a cat scan as well. I’m now thinking that we will be in ICU until Friday or Saturday. We’ll just have to wait and see, and play it by ear. Ollie is improving, but he could take a turn for the worse at any moment. Please keep that positive energy coming Ollie’s way. He really does still need all the help he can get.
We are trying to avoid visitors at this time, at least till we are out of ICU, but get well emails, funny stories, or interesting websites to distract mom and dad are always appreciated. We watched Big Bang Theory last night, and I had enough hope that Ollie was improving that I was actually able to laugh at the show.
“Living” in ICU is a little lie living in a fishbowl. The nurses need to be able to see what’s going on at all times, so they are always looking in at you though the window. Also, the people walking by can look in at you. As I walked the hallway the other day, I was surprised at how much “scared shitless” looks the same on everyone’s face. I passed by a room with a young child, still in diapers, laid out, looking like a bigger version of Ollie in his room. The look on the woman’s face, well, I knew as soon as I saw it that it was the same look I’d been wearing for days.
Bobby and I did get to see Landon for a little bit yesterday, and between that and the good news about Oliver currently improving (even if the improvements are tenuous and slow) have lifted our spirits some.
I have hope now, and it’s a good feeling. I’m starting to think when people say, “it will be alright,” that it might, actually be alright. I think I’m gonna be sitting in the hospital with Oliver for at least a week longer, maybe two or three, but that he’ll be healthy and home before Christmas, and if we are very lucky, maybe healthy and at home for thanksgiving.

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