Thursday, December 11, 2008

Always hold your plans loosely!

Like much in life, planning ahead is often a waste of time.  Today did not go as planned, well at least we aren't going home today anyway.  She just wasn't doing better this morning.  She had put on 4 oz in just over 24 hours and she was listless, breathing hard, coughing, and her exrays showed that her lungs were wet.  So plan B was started.

I got some great photos of her playing with her toys today, so I'll sprinkle them through this blog:

She got a new IV (the original one was put in when she arrived here and actually lasted 4 days, that's a record for her, but it came out this morning, bummter), but it went really well as far as IVs go - only took one try.  She then got a dose of Lasix via the IV and she went from listless struggling sick-looking baby to wide awake, cooing, smiling baby in less than an hour - it was a remarkable transformation!  Then she had her blood transfusion started and it has gone wonderfully.  She has had no reactions, the IV is stable, and she's almost done (just 30 minutes to go).  She stayed awake for over an hour, trying to hit her toys, talking to them, moving all the arms and legs, looking all around the room - so unlike what she's been since she's been here.

Both Dr Kemna and I felt she wasn't ready to go home - I really didn't like that weight gain, and the cough really was bothering me.  I just knew if she went home as is, she'd be back here in no time.  So Esther's getting another dose of IV Lasix after the transfusion, and then back to oral Lasix.  The transfusion should really help her to not overcirculate her blood and that will reduce her body's tendency to retain fluids.  So by giving her these two doses of IV lasix, that will remove most, if not all, excess fluids, and the new blood will reduce the stress on her heart and lungs, and she should be able to maintian her fluid levels with the oral doses.

But this does show that Esther's heart is needing repair.  They are going to schedule her for open heart surgery in early January.  If, for some reason, she show great progress when she comes back for her appointments, then they can cancel the surgery, but from here it looks like it is necessary to do it sooner so it can be done while her health is good - she could decline further if the surgery is delayed and then the surgery would be harder on her.

I'm bummed about delaying going home, but I really feel that it was the right decision for Esther, especially after seeing her turn-around after the IV Lasix, which they wouldn't have given her if she was going home.

In this photo you can see her new IV - and the lines are dark as they are delivering her new blood!

One other reason to keep her until tomorrow, is to see if her cough is just from fluid retention or if she is headed for bronchitis/pneumonia - both are possibilities if the cough is from the virus she's still fighting, but if it's just from the fluid retention, then it should go away quickly.

So far she has no fever, so that is a good sign - both for cough prognosis and for her taking the blood transfusion well.  I'm so pleased with how well the transfusion is going and it's such a relief to see that we made the right decision!  Thanks so much for all your prayers!

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