Rudy had a strong day today. His numbers held well and we heard few alarms. One therapy that seems to be working well is the prescription of T3 for his thyroid deficiency. You might recall that his thyroid function shut down a few weeks back, which would impact his overall vitality. Having tried some other approaches yesterday they started T3 dosages which, along with the other medications, seem to be slowing the chest drainage. Yesterday we had 120cc over 12 hours. Today we have 90cc during the same period. When I left on Monday it was somethingin the range of 240cc, so we have made clear progress. Dr. Reemtsen has Rudy in the surgery queue for Monday, but we are praying the trend will continue so that we can cancel this one as well.
In the meantime, we have made progress on sprints off the ventilator. Yesterday and today, he cruised through two one-hour sprints each day, so thanks for your prayers and please pray that this trend will continue. Nurses Filma and Denise got a bit carried away doting on Rudy today and ended up putting him in a “snuggle-up” and propping him way up so he could look around. At first he seemed a bit dizzy, but it grew on him. Now he looks regal; propped up a bit in a bit of a throne.
It’s 7:15 and Trish and I are going to drive up to SB tonight (yes, I wasn’t joking–our anniversary reservation is at Chick-Fil-A in Oxnard). It will be fun to all be at home for the first time in a month. We’re looking forward to a quick visit tomorrow from Trish’s mom. In light of Grandpa’s radiation starting this week, we’re glad Grandma Jo can steal away for a couple of days to meet Rudy.
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.