Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Update and Pictures(yes, I'm running out of post titles)...
The little guy looks different in just about every picture.
They have the lights on them to help jaundice and some other stuff(don't ask me), so they have to wear the coooool shades to protect thier eyes.
She loooooves the limelight...and the binki...and Mama...
The neon light is kind of like the big spotlight, but from underneath...I think...
I don't know what this is, but Amy said to put up a picture of it. Actually, I'm supposed to tell you what all this stuff means...riiiiiight. This is the ventilator, and that's all I know.
The left number is oxygen--anything over 21% is supplemental oxygen being provided by the machine. Last week Dawson was at 90%(bad), and now he's at 21%(good). 21% is what we all breath, so when he's at 21%, that's all him(good). The right number is Nitric-oxide(or something like that). It expands all the vessels in the lungs to promote better oxygenation. Both babies used to be on a lot of it(high number), and are now pretty low. We're shooting for 0 on this one.
This is the magical screen of colored numbers. The green one(that's the top number for all you color-blind folk out there, and I know there's a few of you) is the heart rate. 140-180 is a good range. The red number in parentheses(second down) is blood pressure. Somewhere in the 40's is good. The blue numbers(third and fourth) are the oxygen saturation levels in the blood. The dark blue(post) is the level coming out of the lungs, and the light blue(pre) is the level going into the heart. In the 90's is good, and they should both be pretty close to each other. When Mama talks to the babies, the 'post' goes up, meaning the babies are excited, and thier lungs are working good. The white number(bottom) represents respirations. This doesn't mean much while they are on the ventilator, but when they are breathing on thier own, it tells you how many respirations per minute they breath(a respiration is considered one full breath in and out). 40-60 is normal for the babies, 12 is normal for adults. When the babies respirations get much higher than 60, they worry that the they are wearing themselves out. There's no need for the babies to wear themselves out breathing on thier own when the ventilators can breath for them. This allows them to direct all thier energy towards other things, like recovery. So--there you have it. It's quite possible that I'm all wrong, but I think I got most of it pretty close. If anyone knows any different, feel free to inform me so I can get it right. When I was saying before that 'good' means that the nurses are having to do less and less to get the numbers looking good, and 'bad' means the nurses have to do more and more to get the numbers looking good---these are the numbers. They are almost always in the good range, but the babies status depends on how much stuff they have to give them or do to them to keep the numbers in the good range. Wow, that about wore me out.
Jake wanted me to take pictures of EVERYTHING. This one made the cut(just because he was in it).
So this is what Amy had to say to the Doctor today, albeit not to his face: "Okay Mr. Doom and Gloom, take your little rain cloud and go somewhere else."--laughing all the while. It's interesting to be hearing bad news from the doctors and nurses in one ear, and hearing that things will be just fine and not to worry in the other ear. We've had that experience more than once in the last 10 days(yes--it's been 10 days). The doctor told us today that Mallorys' brain scan came back showing that the grade 3 bleeds she had previously are getting a little worse. There is a little swelling in the ventricles in her head, and--like Dawson--they just have to watch it and see what happens.
They've decided that they need to do surgery on both of them to fix the Pulmonary Valve issue, and that will be later this week they think. They've said not to worry, that it's a pretty common procedure, but in the same sentence they've also prepared us for the worst. One thing that the doctor said that I thought was kinda funny: "Thier tough as nails, I'll tell you that--both of them!" He's not a real funny guy, so he was dead serious when he said it. I started laughing out loud. In my mind I was saying "You have no idea how many people are pulling for them--they'll be just fine."
We both continue to feel and 'hear in the other ear' that everything is, and will be, just fine--don't worry about it. What that means we don't know, but we don't have to know.
Mallory was a bit more calm today. Yesterday she was a little upset about everything, and she let everybody know it. Today Mama sat down and gave her binki to her, and she was in heaven. It's funny to watch her with her binki. It was so nice for Amy and I to see the babies for a few hours alone today. Amys' brother Clint, his wife Abby, and thier three cute kids are letting us stay with them during this whole thing, which has been wonderful. By the way, I think I've thrown out the word 'cute' more these last 10 days than the entire rest of my life. But I'm okay with that.
Abby took Jake today for a few hours, which was extremely nice. Sibling visiting rules are two visits a week, 15 minutes each. They haven't really been keeping track, so we figure with two babies, he gets four visits a week. Even with four visits a week though, we're up there twice a day, so I usually sit out in the waiting room with Jake while Mama visits, then we switch. It was so nice to just spend time with the kids together, with no pressure.
Anyway, that's the skinny for now.
Ryan & Co.