we spent a lot of time at the nicu today, just keeping an eye on eric. he’s had a few more “a’s” and “b’s” than normal over that past few days and his oxygen levels have been turned up ( room air is about 20% oxygen and after a long stint of not having any supplemental oxygen, he’s getting anywhere between 25 and 30%. the bloody goo problems are continuing and it’s raising the background level of anxiety as we’re spending more time tapping his butt or rubbing his back to try and get him to breath. we discussed things with his nurse practitioner and from her perspective he’s still doing really, really fantastic. and concurred with kris’ observation that the bloody goo problems and the cpap mask are part of a vicious circle. the air in the cpap mask dries out his throat and the suction catheter makes the irritated parts bleed. it just comes with the territory. here’s to hoping it doesn’t continue for too much longer, because at this rate he’s not going to want anyone to touch every touch his nose after he gets out for a very, very long time.
we also didn’t get much ‘roo time in today as the only chair that fully reclines was in use and if we try to do the ‘roo while sitting upright, we find that his neck muscles can’t keep his head in the rights positions to get him a steady supply of air. so instead, we just hung around his bed and kept him company.
kris talks with eric a nurse beth does her regularly scheduled nasty things to him. he’s moving his head around looking at all of us as kris talks to him and holds his hand.
he’s just had his cpap mask taken off and you can how the cpap regime makes his eyes red and swollen. this time it’s not too bad, but sometimes it looks quite uncomfortable. he’s on the cpap mask for 4 hours and the nasal cannula for 4 hours. hopefully soon, he’ll be off the mask entirely.
[ update: much later in the day ( o.k. maybe it was technically early, early the following day, i did get to hold him for awhile; the nicu was abuzz with reports of a possible ’22 weeker’ being admitted, but as our nurse said, everyone is hoping that they can delay the birth, since – as she put it – “22 weeks is not really, well, compatible with life.” it’s odd to look at eric and know that there’s just two short weeks between their birth gestational ages. a lot of biology must happen in those two weeks. ]
while i normally hate pictures of myself, and would typically despise pictures that featured by ear prominantly, i think i’ll make an exception with this one. there’s something i like about the composition of the ears and my hairy head with his not-so-hairy one.
and i i can blame all my gray hair on eric. see, it’s not that i’m old – people with black hair go gray prematurely. and having a 24 weeker doesn’t help the situation.
glad i cleaned my ears that morning. and no, that’s not a mullet. honest.
with all the commentary about it, i realized that i hadn’t taken a photo of the cpap machinery. it looks innocuous, no?
i don’t think you understand just how difficult it is to take an interesting shot of a cpap respirator.
he’s on his belly, but that doesn’t mean he doesnt want to look at you.