Slowing the Pace

Rudy had some challenges yesterday afternoon.  He began to struggle with his breathing more than the doctors wanted as the ventilator was progressively being turned down over a series of hours.  His blood oxygen saturation was consistently low and his digestion slowed significantly (an early sign of distress).  The doctors also discovered a thyroid deficiency and were also concerned about the level of fluid in his lungs (too much, so by late afternoon they decided that he needs to rest and gain strength for awhile.  They took him off breast milk and turned the ventilator back up to where it’s doing all his breathing for him and gave him time to rest.  So, he’s been on this course through last night and most of today.

The doctors have told us that they will always communicate clearly, especially if there are major complications, so we are trying to hear them very clearly that this is a setback, but not outside the scope of what they would expect in the treatment process.  It is a bit of a discouragement to have to re-adjust our timeline and realize we may be looking at a matter of a week or more rather than a few days to get him off the respirator.  So please pray for him to continue gathering strength and to give him comfort in this process–he’s continually more expressive and the soundless crying fits can be tough to watch.  There are increased risks of pneumonia for patients who are on ventilators too long, so please pray for protection from that and that the thyroid production would kick back in.  On a positive note, his kidneys continue to make good progress with the creatinine falling to 1.1 this morning.  This afternoon, they will do an Xray on his stomach to make sure that there’s nothing physiological interfering with his digestion.

I went to see Rudy at 6am this morning and since then we’ve been away from the hospital with the rest of our kids.  Please pray for them during this time.  Trish and I are trying to be wise in the way be balance life during this separation. The longer it extends, the more we will need to look at taking some trips home so that we aren’t just trying to cram time in with them on the weekends.  They are always eager to see us, but having to make the trip to LA too many weekends in a row could get old.

Two Weeks and Counting…

It’s so hard to believe that Rudy is two weeks old today!  The days have blurred together since we’ve been here and it’s amazing how fast time passes.  At week two, we find ourselves continuing to wait…to wait for Rudy’s kidneys to kick in, to wait for the ventilator to be taken out, to wait for all the numbers to be where they need to be.  They tried taking Rudy off the ventilator yesterday and he lasted about 10 minutes.  It was concerning to us but the doctors said it is pretty normal to make short attempts like that to exercise the lungs and make gradual steps toward getting him off completely.  It’s getting a little hard for me to watch the patients on either side of us come and go and not get discouraged but we keep reminding ourselves that this isn’t a race and Rudy is doing well for his situation.   

Rudy received his first toy this week…a gift from the Child Life Office here at the hospital.  He’s now the proud owner of a musical aquarium that we fastened to his monitor rig.  It bubbles as the little fish sway back and forth to classical tunes.  It’s actually quite soothing and I find myself getting lulled to sleep in the late afternoon right along with Rudy!  Ha Ha  He likes it alot…he was quite alert the day he got it and when we turned it on for the first time he began to kick and move his hands around and his eyes were fixated on it!  It was so fun to see him react to it!!!  So now his view is a little less sterile and a bit more fun. 

Rolf and I are doing well although I’m a bit steamed because he got mistaken for a UCLA student yesterday when we walked down to the Student Union to run a couple of errands and on Sunday I got mistaken for Max’s grandmother!!!!!!  NO FAIR!!!  I know I’m looking a bit haggered these days but come on…not to mention Rolf has alot more gray hair than me!!!!  Anyway, my ego has taken a hit but my postpartum body is bouncing back quickly.  🙂

Please continue to pray for steady progress and for our patience with Rudy’s timeline.  His kidney function is holding steady, but will take time to get where it needs to.  As he’s taking breast milk well through his feeding tube, the next milestone will be to get off the ventilator and have the breathing tube removed.