I don't even know were to begin. Gabe, Shannon and I have been through a pretty rough couple of days to say the least. We thought we might lose Gabe last night and we are still not out of the woods just yet. We are extremely scared right now and need all your prayers for little Gabe.
I will try to sum everything up as best I can without getting into too much detail. Over the past couple of days Gabe has become increasingly more puffy. Gabe was doing one of his normal oxygen de-saturations and needed to be suctioned. It was at that time that Gabe's left lung collapsed and he has been struggling to recover ever since. Last night things were not looking good and the NICU suddenly became a scene of chaos around the little man. I called Shannon and she arranged for the grandparents to drive up and get our sleeping daughter at 11 pm at night, so she could be with Gabe.
Gabe was having an increasingly difficult time breathing and his CO2 levels were climbing to a dangerous level. At that point the doctors took Gabe off of the ventilator and put him back onto the oscillator again. This was a huge step backwards for us, but at this point we really don't care as long as we keep Gabe alive. Gabe's head had also become very puffy and was not swelling in proportion to the rest of his body. They decided to do another chest x-ray and a ultrasound of his neck. This ultrasound was to look and make sure blood was draining from his head, which it was. But by chance they found a bunch of fluid around his right lung. They then decided to place another chest tube in his right side to drain the fluid that could be causing some of the collapse. Then there was the vascular access problem that we have been having for an untold amount of time. They have tried many times with many different doctors to get an arterial line placed with no success. Doctors tried late into the night with no success. We desperately needed this line to give blood products and to draw blood gases from, so that we may make adjustments to his ventilator and watch for trouble. Gabe would unfortunately not get this line until the following night. Gabe's puffiness reached what we thought was about as puffy as he could get. But we were definitely wrong about that.
We came in this morning to Gabe even puffier than he was the night before. We were very scared at that point. He was not looking good at all and his wonderful nurse "L" was working hard to keep him comfortable and breathing. Gabe's oscillator had to be turned up pretty high to keep his lungs inflated as they are being crushed by all his edema (puffiness). This increased pressure was making his right lung so over expanded that it was also pushing into his left lung cavity. Not good. The other scary thing was that Gabe's oxygen level that he was being given was already as high as they could go, 100%. But his body was only achieving 80-85% saturation. They were pretty much maxed out for what they could do for Gabe with the oscillator. This caused great fear for Shannon and I, because at this point there is not much left for them to do and some tears fell.
Throughout out the day Gabe has continued to put up a fight. Getting even puffier but never quitting. His lungs are starting to look better on x-ray and his oxygen supply was cut down to 76%, which is better than 100%. His oxygen saturation is now sitting about 91-93% before we left tonight and his CO2 levels are in a great range. While Shannon and I stepped out to finally eat Gabe was busy getting some new vascular access. Earlier in the day the anesthesia team came by and looked at Gabe and said that they would be unable to place any sort of line in Gabe since he was so puffy. But late in the day the cardiac surgeons would come by and give it a try and succeed. They were able to place a deep venous line in his left armpit. They were shooting for an artery and got a vein, but we will take it. Now Gabe no longer has to be poked in the foot every time they need to check his blood gasses. Our wonderful nurse "L" noticed Gabe had not been peeing as much as he should and placed a catheter in and that seemed to help. It appeared that Gabes body swelled so much that he couldn't even pee. Poor little guy! Thank you nurse "L". Gabe is getting a crazy amount of pain meds, enough to take down a small rhino I think. He is also getting a large amount of steroids to help him combat everything going on. Then there are the blood products and Lasix which were increased to help him get rid of all this fluid on his body. Hopefully we will come back tomorrow to a slightly deflated baby. They were also worried about infection, but he tested negative for any type of infection. But to be safe they went ahead and gave him the two most powerful anti-biotics that they have.
Shannon and I had to pull ourselves away tonight, literally. It's hard leaving him when he is in this state. But we are very comforted by the fact that he is with his wonderful nurse "B" tonight, who loves him like he was her own. As we left, nurse "B" was cleaning Gabe up and getting him ready for another breathing treatment with our wonderful RT, "J". He does a wonderful job keeping Gabe's airway open and has gotten Gabe's lungs inflated before and know he can do it again.
Please keep Gabe in your prayers. He needs it so much right now. Thank you so much.