Teeny Tiny Truman

This page is all about Truman, born Aug. 8, 2006 to Kara and Ben.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sick and Back on the Ventilator

Truman has had a tough weekend. He is clearly sick. His blood count yesterday shows that he's fighting something, so more blood cultures were ordered. On Friday, his blood count was only slightly "shifted," and those blood cultures haven't grown anything.

After doing fairly well on Sunday, he had a big Brady/Apnea episode during the early afternoon and was clearly struggling to breathe during our afternoon visit. We arrived right after the episode, and spent the whole visit rubbing his back or annoying him in other ways to make him breathe.

During the dinner break, we got one of the dreaded calls from the NICU. He had had his worst Brady yet and had to receive chest compressions to get his heart rate back up this time. His lungs were also bagged during this episode, which lasted a few minutes, to keep him breathing. Knowing that adults don't receive CPR unless their hearts have stopped altogether, I assumed this is what happened, but we later learned that preemies get chest compressions when their heart rates drop below 60. Truman got into the 30s during this episode. Thinking his heart had stopped was a very scary time. He also got a shot of epinephren during this episode, so his heart rate was very high when we arrived at the hospital soon after.

He was re-intubated during this episode. He's back on the conventional ventilator and was completely "riding the vent" (letting it do all the work) last night, which is actually a good thing because he is so exhausted from trying to fight this infection and breathe at the same time that he really needs to rest. Preemies just don't have the energy reserves that the rest of us do. During the episode his O2 saturation dropped to the 30-percent range as well, and he had been fighting low oxygen saturation and episodes of stopped breathing all day.

The docs and nurses think he just got too tired trying to fight an infection and breathe. He was awfully small to be on the C-PAP anyway, and we had been told most preemies fail the first time they are extubated. He just took a long time to do so. We still wonder whether he could have continued doing well on it if he had not gotten sick.

During the night, he's had trouble with low blood pressure, so he's back on Dopamine this morning. He also had a blood transfusion this morning. They ordered more blood cultures because they think the infection is bacterial, but neither of the first two cultures have grown anything. He's been put on three broad-spectrum antibiotics in the hopes that one will do something. They were doing some blood tests this morning to see the "peaks and troughs" on the antibiotics to tell whether they are at the right amount and whether they are doing anything for him.

Before yesterday's episode he was down to one IV, but overnight last night he had another IV put back in as well as an arterial line, so he has only one free limb now.

Breast milk feeds were also stopped yesterday while he recovers from this illness. They don't want him to start rejecting milk just because he's sick, and Dopamine makes it hard to digest things.

I guess there's a reason they call it the NICU roller coaster.



Anonymous Chris & Jeri Gerlad said...

It is good to hear the calmness in your thoughts. Yes this is a rollercoaster, but we knew that it would be, and Truman has done so well. You all continue to be in our prayers and on MANY prayer chains in this part of the country, and by the blog, all over the world. It is wonderful that you are getting the quality care down there, and have the loving and careing staff. Just try not to get too excited on the good days or too down on the others. We love you, and remember to make time for each other.

Chris & Jeri

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Truman,

Get well soon!

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truman has been doing very well, and I have confidence he will overcome this hurddle! My prayers are with Truman and his family, that you all find the strength to get through this illness. God Bless.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog, and want you to know that my thoughts and prayers will be with you and little Truman. I'm a mom of 2 preemies, and my youngest was a micro, born at 27 weeks at 1 lb. 9 oz. I remember very well the NICU roller coaster, and reading your blog entries brings back so many memories. Hang in there, and we will continue praying for Truman, his doctors and nurses. Miracles do happen!

11:15 AM  
Anonymous heather said...

I will keep Truman in my prayers! He will get through this; he is such a tough little guy! Heather from Dec EC

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Awww I hope he gets better soon! Try and relax, I am sure he will be better in no time, I am still pulling for you guys!

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that I have you and Tiny Truman in my prayers. I learned of Truman's early arrival and your struggles with him from a friend of yours, Amy S., who works with me. I check in regularly and am praying for all of you. God's peace be with you, Rebecca T.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Brian and Heather Tankersley said...

Makes you thankful for those boring, uneventful days! I am not surprised but a little saddened for the set back. I am glad to hear your strength in the blog. Hold on to that strongly! Hold each other even tighter!!! All or love!

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Maggie said...

My PP&T's are coming your way. Sarah was also a baby that went back on the vent after CPAP. Please stay strong!

Maggie (IV Preemies)

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Maria said...

I am also a mom of a micro preemie,1pd.13 oz.- Isabella. We have been home for 2 weeks after almost 90 days in the NICU. She was on the vent for 2 months and 11 days. I thought I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel. She also has had countless blood transfusions as well as 3 infection scares that they never found the real cause of. Her bands were always elevated. I also have a 2 year old. I can feel your pain and understand your ups and downs. When Isabella FINALLY did come off the vent she went to a cannula and did very well. Everything happened so fast after that. She came home with only caffine and zantac. Trust me everything will eventually work out in the end. I'll be praying for you and your family. Maria

10:11 PM  

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