Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Steroid Era

Welp, we had a slightly better day today, though it didn't start off that way. Jane was on 100% oxygen all night and much of the morning, and the doctor Tom spoke with in the morning before we left the house admitted that they're concerned about her. But when we arrived, they had just started her on another, longer steroid course. This time, instead of the five day short burst, they're doing seven days with a more gradual easing-off. One of the theories being floated is that Jane was taken off the last course too abruptly, so they're going to try again with that in mind. You'd think they'd want to go easy on a preemie with this stuff, but what do I know? I'm just a parent. (Also, interestingly, the same doctor Tom spoke with this morning also suggested that what Jane is dealing with may be, in her words, "their fault", as far as their manipulations to keep her lungs inflated enough without overinflating go.) Anyway, within half an hour of her first dose, her O2 needs went from 100% to 70%. Let's just hope this doesn't show up in her future Olympic drug-testing. I hear they're getting pretty sophisticated with that stuff.

The doctors, frankly, have no idea what the hell is going on, so they swabbed and sampled pretty much every fluid and orifice Jane's got to see what, if anything, grows from them. I don't think they messed with her ears, but I'm pretty sure they got something from all of the rest of her. She's on the nitric that was so helpful yesterday, steroids, three antibiotics and an antifungal (just in case, since, like I said, they don't know), plus she's back on the fentanyl (the sedative) to help keep her calmer. So she's got two IVs in, one of them in her scalp, and four (or was it five?) pumps pushing the goods into them. Poor smidge. But Tom called down before dinner and Awesome Nurse Michael said she's still doing well, and he'd got her down to 60% but then turned her and had to go back to 65%. But he's hopeful that her lungs are opening back up. [News flash: Tom just called, she's still at 65%, and the night nurse said she's doing just fine.]

The doctor did say she's encouraged by Jane's appearance. She just doesn't look or behave like a sick preemie. Her color is good, she's moving around and opening her eyes, and she's still eating well. Also, she'd had a good blood gas right before the steroids kicked in. The night nurse mentioned she's getting a break tonight from additional testing. They can be compassionate sometimes.

I just want to say to you, invisible readers, how much we appreciate how supportive you've been. This isn't easy stuff to read (especially these last few days), and you'd be getting a somewhat sugar-coated version if I were speaking directly to you. So I hope you keep sticking with us through it all. I don't know when it's going to be all rainbows and unicorns around here again.

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