Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Evening update (Tuesday 12/2): Some relief

Max seems to have gotten some relief late this afternoon, finally having a series of BMs around 4:30 as we were changing his diaper: it was a 3-diaper event which was a real champion effort. After this, Max seems to be feeling better: no more As, Bs, or Ds; his breathing appears much less labored; and he seems to be resting more comfortably. At the peak of today's stomach distension, his belly measured 34 cm (almost as big around as his head -- more on that below). As of tonight, his belly is back down to 32 cm. The decreased pressure on his lungs seems to be helping out his breathing. When Andreas and I left this evening (around 7), Max was also letting out some healthy-sounding cries. For now, he is still just getting IV fluids. Maybe they will start feeds again tomorrow. The NICU team seem totally convinced that Max is not suffering from NEC.

The blood transfusions Max received today really made him much pinker/redder. According to the nurses, he was quite pale this morning. We hope the blood helps his anemia and helps him feel a little better.

I got to hold Max twice today -- once earlier in the afternoon for about 20 minutes, and once post-BM for about an hour. He seems to find it comforting (or I imagine so) to be held upright which decreases the pressure on his lungs from his stomach. Plus I like holding him.

And on the northern front: Max's head circumference is now stable for another day, still at 34.5 cm. So that is great news. We know from yesterday's ultrasound that the ventricles are still enlarged, but the stable head circumference even for a few days is welcome news. There are likely more LPs and probably other interventions for the hydrocephalus in the future, but no interventions on this needed today so that is good. If a shunt is ultimately needed, the surgeons will not want to install one while Max is still having GI issues (b/c the shunt would most likely drain into his abdomen). This means that Max's GI tract has to be working smoothly before they'd even consider a shunt placement. For now, the strategy remains LPs as needed and perhaps a reservoir.