more of the same today, by which i mean gagging on the vent endotracheal tube. hopefully he won’t have to put up with it much longer, although the staff is being a little cagey about when they might take him off. the party line is that it might be tommorrow, or maybe the day after that. so it’s time for another exciting round of The Waiting Game. of course, there’s not much to do in this round because being on the vent means he doesn’t have many alarms since the vent is doing all the work, and there’s no holding or kangaroo care to be had. apparently some nicus allow some ‘roo time while babies are on the vent, but ours isn’t one of them, because of the risks involved of moving an such a little thing around while being intubated. watching him as he tries to launch the tube out of his throat, i can see how they might come to that conclusion. eric is still gaining weight despite being only on intravenous fluids; tonight he weighed in at 1040 grams or 2 pounds 4.7 ounces, although it’s tough to know how much of that is “fake” weight due to the transfusions and water retension.
they are taking a lot of blood out of eric to track his progress on fighting his infection, which means lots of blooding of his blood and pricking of his foot to get blood to test his sugar levels.
in one of those small pieces, loosely joined moments, i was reading susan dennis’ post on how she had become so enthralled with following eric’s progress ( or lack thereof, as the case may be ), while also reading An Innocent, a Broad by ann leary, who happens to be dennis leary’s wife. as soon as i learned that the book is her account of having an micropreemie while on a business trip in london, i knew that i had to run out and immediately get the book to help me pass time while playing The Waiting Game. jeez louis. we managed to get to page 11 before kris and i broke into hysterical fits of laughter complete with tears rolling down our faces, as ann and dennis try to come to grips with the fact that she’s just has a premature rupture of membrane ( PROM or, simply, her water broke too early ).
“It’s true that at times like this we learn of what we’re really made. I used to think that if I were in a major disaster – say a plane crash or an earthquake – I would be the one to take charge. While the weak-willed people with the small brains ran shrieking into the burning wreckage, I would be the one to stop them and lead them to safety. In my mind most people were handwringers, unable to take action, while I was a doer, the who could coolly Heimlich the choker and tourniquet the bleeder. It was easy to hold these beliefs about myself, as I had never actually been involved in any kind of real-life crisis. I identified with the heroes and heroines in literature and felt sure that I would have been able, for example, to deliver Melanie’s baby in Gone With the Wind or rebuild a plantation with nothing but my bare hands and razor-sharp intellect. It never occured to me that nobody sees herself as Prissie the useless slave girl, and that it’s easy to feel brave when the most immeninent threat is an overdue cable bill. So it came as a bit of a surprise that afternoon in central London to learn that I am, in fact, the shrieking, running-into-the-burning-wreckage type.
“Maybe you just peed your pants, “Dennis offered hopefully, between my wailing cries.””
it’s hard to remember exactly how i held up on the day that this all began. i think i started off as more of the calm, cool and collected type than even i thought i was capable of, but slowly as the day wore on, i’m fairly certain i transmorgified into the shrieking, running-into-the-burning-wreckage type. luckily, at that point we were already surrounded by a cadre of trained professionals and not standing on the corner with nobody to turn to but dennis leary 🙂