This morning, Garrin continued to be living off of 100% oxygen. Even on pure oxygen, his blood saturation level was fluctuating between the high 70s and low 80s. It was extremely difficult to watch the numbers and know that all I could do, as his mother, was pray and wait.
The healthcare team rounded this morning and the doctor that has been on this week came in to visit about the agreed upon changes in his standard, dreary tone. He decided to make a small change on the ventilator, one that he called counterintuitive, trying to allow Garrin’s immature lungs more time to move the CO2 out of his blood. Surprising to all of us, Garrin was able to wean down significantly on the concentration of oxygen he needed to saturate his blood by this afternoon— more than 40%. What a miracle!
Of course, every step forward in the NICU is generally accompanied by two steps back. Today those steps came in the form of other extremely immature glands and organs underperforming. Garrin’s thyroid gland and kidneys are not currently doing the work that they need to do. Unfortunately, the systems responsible for urine excretion were sort of stalled, causing Garrin to urinate very little today. Because of this, his potassium level rose significantly, and the decision was made to stop his feedings and make a whole slew of medication and fluid changes aimed at decreasing his potassium levels. Good news tonight is that the most recent labs indicate that Garrin’s body is responding to the changes and things are moving in the right direction.
Everyone on the healthcare team is pleased, albeit surprised, with the progress Garrin made today. The NNP just came in to say that the doctor had called for the second time tonight to check on Garrin. After sharing the news, she said that she thought he’d get some better sleep tonight. The level of investment that these doctors, NNPs, and nurses have in their patients is second to none and greatly appreciated by this worried mommy. It helps knowing how much they really care about my son.
While doing cares this evening, my sweet little boy opened one eye about halfway. No, I didn’t get to hold him today as he was doing so well weaning down on oxygen that we left him in his isolate, but instead I got the first glimpse of his precious eyes. Like everything else, his eyes are extremely premature, and I doubt he could see me, but it seemed like he looked at me for a couple of seconds and then closed his eyes to go back to sleep knowing I was close by. What a special moment!
It was a good day — prayer is so powerful! There is no telling what tomorrow will bring, so we are embracing now. This experience has reinforced for me the importance of living in the moment. Those of you that know me know I am guilty of looking ahead to the next thing. Garrin has helped me to remember that the future is not guaranteed. “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” ~Eckhart Tolle