Tag Archives: mobile

reminiscing about seeing the future of mobile with a danger sidekick while sitting in the neonatal intensive care unit.

day 57: eric IV.  the mobile edition.

scott knaster, now at google wrote a nice post about working at danger in the early days where he notes, “The Hiptop (in product form as the TMobile Sidekick) was my first indication that people would soon be getting lost in their phones.”

in fact, the sidekick was the first time i saw the future that would take a long time to become fully realized. i remember the thrill of ssh’ing into a server and instant messaging with friends in january 2004. FROM A PHONE! and a little later, the sense of what the world would soon be like after posting to the blog. FROM A PHONE!

but the real thrill and sense of the future would hold came while sitting in the neonatal intensive care unit with odin and kris, looking at pictures i had taken on the sidekick and socialize with folks following odin’s adventures on flickr. bringing together mobile and social and photography was going to mean lots of people would be getting lost in their phones. but it wouldn’t really become a seamless thing until the cameras on phones could begin to become “good enough”. working in motorola r&d labs in new business development and strategy we all could see the hardware maps and knew it would happen around 2007. the year the iphone was born ( danger was co-founded by andy rubin who went on to start android which it now owns along with motorola mobility ).

in a funny bit of timing, i just realized i wrote this a day after the iphone was first announced in 2007 and i suppose i should say i didn’t have anything to do with the infamous motorola rokr E1.

the eric update – day 88: colorful crib! weight gain (finally)! gut tube?@!

day 88: colorful crib

since it looks like we may or may not be having an extended stay at the new nicu, we decided to spruce up eric’s crib with artwork made by eric’s cousinds that we brought over from the old nicu. the artwork is color coordinated with his mobile, no?

other than sprucing up his crib, it was a relatively quiet day in a good way. after days of not gaining much weight, he weighed in a 4 pounds 14 ounces or 2215 grams, which means if he keeps the reflux under control he should hit the five pound mark quite soon. perhaps on his lucky 13 week birthday? also, he’s been displaying signs of being very hungry after his feedings, so after some advocacy on my part, they increased his feedings from 40 cc’s to 45, which amounts to about a whole extra bottle of milk over the course of a day. it’s a tough balance, i think his doctors are wary of giving him too much milk at once since he’s refluxes so quickly, but it’s also not fun to watch him suck on his fist and smack his lips after each meal. everyone will be watching him to see if the increase in volume, exacerbates the effects of the reflux. indeed, after two and a half days of no alarms, he had an apnic episode in the evening, although it’s impossible to know to what degree the increase in feeding volume contributed to the alarm, if at all.

day 88: upper GI medical notes

it’s still not clear if eric’s neonatologists believe that the hiatal hernia and nissen surgeries are inevitable. one can learn a lot by learning to decipher eric’s neonatologists’ medical notes and amongst the scribblings we can see that they are discussing the results at a radiological conference, which i take to mean that they’re gathering opinions. if you look at the notes you’ll see that they specifically refer to a GT/nissen procedure where the GT refers to a “gut tube”. with a gut tube you feed your child by popping off a cap on their abdomen and pouring milk directly in their stomach. as with the nissen surgery, it’s been my understanding that GTs were done as a last resort on kids with very obvious esophogeal damage to give the damaged tissue time to heal, but eric doesn’t display any signs of obvious damage. one nurse commented that they the GT was actually necessary to help the esophagus heal from the nissen surgery itself and not preexisting damage from reflux.

if they do decide that he needs the procedere, i think we’ll be getting at least a second opinion, because it sure seems like quite an invasive procedure given that eric seems to be doing so well with the barley feeds. but then again, perhaps they’re seeing something ominous in the upper GI scans? if so, they’re not saying anything directly to us. i’ll wait a day, or two or three before starting to press them to clarify what’s going on behind the scenes.

the eric update – day 87: waiting. a fistful of paci. barley feeds. mobile.

day 87:  a fistful of paci

after eric’s neonatologist’s consulted with pediatric surgeons this morning about his hiatal hernia and possible nissen surgeries, they’ve decided to hold off making any decisions to see if non-surgical management will help improve the reflux. while that’s great news, they’ve also decided to delay his inguinal hernia surgery so they can do it when and if they decide non-surgical methods are no lnoger working to control the reflux at which point they’ll do everything at once. since his neonatologist last night said that they had already had a hunch that he’d need the surgeries eventually, but that the pediatric surgeons didn’t like to do them before a baby weights 2,500 grams, i’m guessing that from their perspective we’re playing a waiting game – they wait for him to hit 2,500 grams, while letting us try less invasive treatments in hopes that something might work.

day 87:  barley feeding. I.

to that end, they finally gave orders to start supplementing his feedings with barley which helps to thicken them and will hopefully help to keep the food in his stomach where it belongs. remarkably, after we added the barley, he almost completely stopped spitting up his food! even more importantly his blood oxygen levels remained stable after eating, which means there’s less reflux in his esophagus stimulating the nerves that initiate the cascade of events that lead to an apnea. he’s still showing signs of reflux, such as pursing his lips and making chewing motions with his mouth, but he responded quite well to the barley and appears to be much more stable; in fact, he hasn’t had any alarms in over 24 hours! whooohoo!

day 87:  barley feeding. II.

sometimes after adding barley to the milk, micropreemies have a more difficult time drinking their bottle, but eric doesn’t seem to mind at all and drinks it as quickly as ever.

do the remarkable results of adding a little barley to his feedings mean that he won’t need surgery? it might and it might not, depending on the results of additional upper GI series ( we don’t have any sceduled yet ). it’s possible that the barley is helping to make eric more stable, while masking esophageal damage that will gradually result in feeding problems, which we certainly would like to avoid. but the barley might, just possibly might, help to stabilize eric enough to allow us to bring him home while he gains weight and we to see if he really does need surgery or if things will gradually get better as eric matures. eric’s neonatologist said that he would let him come home with an unrepaired inguinal hernia, as long as everything else was under control. i’m guessing that if we see two or three days of no alarms and no significant “desats” after feeding, we might be talking about going home sooner rather than later – not that we’ll ever tell him that, mind you.

day 87: yet another bath. I.

so, while we wait, wondering if little odin will be coming home in one week or six, life in the nicu hums along; today, eric actively grasped and held his paci for the first time ( motor coordination! ); we gave him a bath and got a great tip from a nurse about how draping eric in a wet cloth diaper will give him a “bundled” feeling, making baths a lot less stressful. micropreemies often will get agitated when they lack the boundaries that were familiar when they were in the womb. he loved it. if we removed the diaper he’d start to fuss, but as soon as draped him in the diaper, he calmed down quickly.

day 87: yet another bath. II.

he’s hungry, so he decides to suck on the web diaper that we’ve draped over him

day 87: developmental mobile

and we brought in a mobile that will supposedly encourage his development and vision. i don’t know if the claims are about stimulating development are true, but it seems like a good idea to have something familiar around when we finally get to go home.

the eric update – day 57: a nice, quiet day. but liver problems looming?

day 57: wide-eyed wonderment

today was a relatively quiet day, with nary an alarm and only the occasional, normal “desat” ( lowering of the percentage his blood oxygen, which is associated with bradycardia and apnea ) that he seemed to be able to pull out of all by himself. he put on about an ounce and tipped the scales at 3 pounds, 4.7 ounces or 1495 grams; also, he’s an astonishing 41.5 centimeters or about 16.33 inches, which means he’s added over an inch to his length since the last time they measured him, and he’s over 4 inches longer than his birth length!

unfortunately, we discovered that eric’s conjugated or “direct” bilirubin levels are rising, which is cause for some concern and eric will get increasingly jaundiced, if the cause is not discovered. it might sound like eric is just having another bout of the physiologic jaundice that all babies can get which can be fixed by phototherapy, but unfortunately things are not that simple.

the two types of jaundice have different causes and different treatments. the good news is that we’re probably seeing the result of eric’s liver getting “sludgy” ( the neonatal nurse practitioner’s term, i swear ), which is not too uncommon after switching back and forth between intravenous feeds and breastmilk ( which is what has happened to eric ); if the cause really is eric’s sludgy liver then we can expect the issue to resolve itself after he gets back on full feeds. but there are also many other less fun things that can cause higher levels of conjugated bilirubin and they are currently trying to rule those out. he’ll have an ultrasound of his liver sometime during the night and they drew a bunch of blood for a panel of liver function tests, but we won’t know the results of those tests for a couple of days.

if it’s not one thing, it’s surely another in the nicu.

in most of the pictures of eric, there is an overhead light on that provides the ambient light. however, 99% of the time there is no light on because micropreemies like things dim and quiet. normally i try to time the pictures around eric’s regular interactions with the nurses, so i don’t have to turn on the light more than normal.

although having the lights on allows for easier picture taking, it will cause eric to squint in many pictures. but most of the time, he’s not squinting, but rather is looking around with big, round eyes.

today, the x-ray viewer was turned on, which provided just enough ambient light for me to catch a shot without eric quinting. he is relaxing and has is hands behind his head ( e.g. like here ) and is looking around with a look of wonder.

day 57: eyelashes

eric has enormous eyelashes, which me most certainly got from me. when i was young, i had a teacher that was convinced that i curled my eyelashes and wore mascara.

nope. no makeup was required, just the right genetics.

day 57: eric IV.  the mobile edition.

thanks to the fine folks at flickr and my sidekick, i have a really good answer whenever people on the street ask me how eric is doing and if i have any pictures in my wallet.

while i don’t have any in my wallet, i do have over 200 “in” my phone 🙂

( don’t get me wrong, the original sidekick sucks in every other possible way and shouldn’t be used if you want anything resembling a reliable phone. but i guess i can’t say anything about the new model ).

perhaps you have never had the occasion to try out the site on the small screen, but a lot of hard work has obviously gone into getting things to work quite smoothly.

incidentally, cell phones are banned in the nicu, but i believe the banishment is for social and not technical reasons, since you can often hear civilian’s cell phones going off ( i.e. someone in the area probably always has a phone on and it doesn’t cause any problems ) and some of the hospital staff ( respiratory techs in particular ) take calls on cell phones while they are in room. so, while i don’t take calls, i’m usually available for instant messaging or answering flickr photo comments.

day 57: i come in peace.  and bearing ( ahem ) gifts.

i forgot to take a photo yesterday of some of the nice gifts sent by my sister that we gave to eric on his second lunar birthday. the bear makes a wooshing womb sound that is supposed to be soothing for babies. and he’s wearing necklaces with the symbol for “odin’s knot”, which is quite appropriate since eric is otherwise known as odin. she also sent a couple of blank postcards with the the original odin on the front. oh, and there was also a pair of vans. it might be awhile before he fits into them, but we’ll surely keep them around and get a picture of the event.

you can hear the sound the bear makes by watching this movie.