Monday, January 5, 2009

Late night update (Monday 1/5)

Max had quite an adventure today: He took a bath in his spa, but, after his bath, while his head was still covered in shampoo, Nurse M. took him out of the step-down NICU to the staging area between the critical-care and step-down rooms where there's a deep sink with a warm-water tap. She rinsed off Max's head in this sink, where he attracted a lot of attention from his former neighbors in the critical-care room, who were able to see him through the glass walls.

Max also had an echocardiogram, which is a sonogram of his heart. It turns out that, several months ago, the NICU team had found a problem with Max's heart. We had forgotten all about it: there was a lot going on at the time and it was tough to keep track of all of Max's issues. Today's echo showed that Max's original problem has evolved into something less serious; the NICU team expect it resolve by itself. All of the technical terms flew past us, but this seems to be the upshot of today's test.

Max also had his regularly scheduled head ultrasound today; they were prepping him for it when I left at 7:00 PM. No word yet on the results.

Nurse B. was holding Max when Carolyn called a few minutes ago. While they were on the phone, Carolyn could hear Max cooing in the background. Nurse B. reports that Max was sucking heartily on his pacifier. This is something a lot of the night-time shift tell us, but that we don't get to see ourselves. Either they're better at getting Max to take a pacifier, or he's a nocturnal user. Carolyn did say that during the echocardiogram, Max was yelling and thrashing about until given a pacifier, which seemed to allow him to calm himself.

The NICU team took Max off of his cannula yesterday at noon, so he's been without respiratory support for almost a day and a half. He continues to keep his oxygen saturation levels steady in the mid-90s, with occasional but brief dips into the 80s or high 70s. The plan is to keep feeding him via a tube into his duodenum for a week to give his lungs a break from Max's habit of bringing up his stomach contents and breathing some of them back in. Next week they'll start working with Max to learn how to control his esophagus.

When I was at the NICU this evening I noticed that Carolyn had put another page from Where the Wild Things Are in Max's crib for him to look at. The first page Carolyn put up showed Max (the character) on a boat, travelling to the land of the wild things. You'll recall that Max lands on their shore:

And when he came to the place where the wild things are
they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth

and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws

till Max said "BE STILL!"
and tamed them with the magic trick

Carolyn added the page where Max commands the wild things--despite their terrible roars, teeth and eyes--to be still.