Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Afternoon update (Tuesday 12/16)

I just spoke with Carolyn. She feels much better about Max. Shortly after she and I spoke earlier today, Max's breathing became easier and his sats stabilized. Carolyn's theory is that Max had had a stressful morning, with speech therapy, faster feeding, an eye exam (more on that below) and of course the inimitable Dr. M. looming nearby. She held him for two hours this afternoon and he did really well.

In today's poop journal entry: Max produced a couple of moderate-sized stools. Interestingly, he tends to produce them as his diaper is being changed. This is either remarkable timing or shows devious planning; more likely, Max simply needs a little jostling to get himself moving.

Premature infants can suffer from retinopathy of prematurity, where abnormal blood vessels grow into the retina, leading to damage to the retina. All the NICU babies are checked for ROP weekly. So far, Max hasn't shown signs of ROP, but there's still time. However, the ophthalmologist said that Max's response to light indicates that his IVH/hydrocephalus hasn't directly affected his sight. Eyes are just parts of the brain that grew towards the light so they're really closely connected with the main part of the brain, and problems such as hydrocephalus can be detected in the eye as well. However, the ophthalmologist said that he didn't see any signs of pressure from the brain at the back of the eye.