Thursday, January 29, 2009

Evening update (Thursday 1/29)

Max's day started at 8 a.m. sharp today with an exam by the neurologist who was looking at his tone, reflexes, etc. and who later would read his MRI. The doc said Max looked "good" but we don't yet know the official word. Next up, physical therapy with the rarely seen therapist C. We stopped his feed so that he could have physical therapy because he was awake and alert (physical therapy is less effective on a sleeping baby, although we still do it so as not to reward Max for his habit of "playing possum"). In hindsight mixing eating and exercise may have been a bad idea because he vomited up whatever had gone into his stomach just as C. was starting the PT routine. But after that he seemed fine and had a successful PT session, showing some headlifts, turning toward voices, reaching (ever so slightly) toward toys, and stretching, and kept good respiratory control throughout. After that exhausting morning, much of the rest of the day was spent snoozing (AND keeping his vitamins down) until about 5 p.m. when his eyes popped open.

The NICU team were unphased by Max's vomiting and bradys yesterday evening. They see this as just part of the process; they have come to share Andreas's crackpot view that Max is a "slow learner". After spreading his feeds over 2 hours throughout today, tonight they have compressed them back to 105 minutes. They also started Maalox to coat his stomach and esophagus with the goal of reducing pain from reflux.

In other news, the pediatric surgeon, Dr. C, stopped by for a preliminary eval in case Max needs a G-tube and fundoplication. This is the same doc who, a month or two ago, threatened Max with a rectal biopsy unless he had a bowel movement , after which Max did in fact decide to get his bowels moving. Dr. C had a very stern talk with Max at the bedside today (actually Dr. C is an incredibly kind person) and so maybe that will do the trick. Dr. C is not keen on rushing into surgery as long as Max seems to be making progress on the current course of treatment. He was going to recommend that some Xrays be taken today (which they were) to make sure there wasn't anything evident that was causing the recent daily vomiting and discomfort. Max will probably also have a barium study next week to look at his stomach, esophagus, etc. to see if there are any abnormalities.

Finally, Max took a road trip and moved back to the Big House (aka the primary NICU, not the step-down) late this afternoon, just before waking up. No changes in Max's condition. The staff were just consolidating the two units because business is slow (the NICU has a total of 15 patients). Max is back to his position by the window, and also by one of the nurses' stations where we hope he will get lots of attention. One of the nurses told me earlier this week that if she were 27 years younger, she would like to be Max's girlfriend.