Sweet Zoë » Jan. 17, 2008

Jan. 17, 2008

We had another one of those steps backwards during the night, so Zoë is being switched from the vent that she’s on to the jet respirator.  It increases the number of breaths per minute while lowering the pressure.  Daddy and I are hoping that since she has been panting over and above the vent that the higher breath rate will be more comfortable for her and maybe she’ll take a break and just relax.

There’s also some concern that she might have an infection of some sort.  Her blood sugars were a bit elevated and apparently that, combined with a less than ideal white blood cell count can be an indicator. So, it’s a good thing that the PICC line is still in. Looks like that potential need became a reality. She’ll have blood drawn for testing and they are going to go ahead and start her on (hopefully) prophylactic antibiotics since it can take two days to really confirm an infection. Better to have the drugs in her system now, then wait and see.

Her doctor is concerned, but not overly worried. He told us that this stretch from two weeks to about five weeks is usually when you see things like this. She’ll slide back some, plateau, we’ll treat it, she’ll grow and eventually start to improve. There is some small reassurance in knowing that she is fitting the expected pattern. It’s when she goes bushwacking off the known trail that things get truly frightening. Doctor N still puts her in that medium level of concern, just slightly closer to the large level than she was two days ago.

Her room at the NICU was empty enough that she got moved further away from the wall where the construction is. It’s quieter at that end, so the earmuffs came off. Today, she was hatless as well and we got a good peek at her full head of dark hair! Zoë definitely does not like noise. While we were there, a large group of people involved in the renovations came through talking in outside voices and clumping around in either high heels or heavy work boots. Zoë’s stats kept going up and down the entire time they were there. Parents visiting the NICU are instinctively quiet. No one told us to use soft voices, it’s just what feels right when you are in there. I guess that instinct doesn’t carry over to people who don’t have babies in there. Even the nurses were agitated by the amount of noise this group was making. I know they were just doing their job and I realize they weren’t being abnormally loud, just louder than we’re used to in there, but it took all of my control not to snap at them every time Zoë’s pulse ox alarm went off.

We’ll be calling to see how her transfer to the jet went in a couple of hours. I’ll update you all then.

UPDATE
Zoë’s transfer to the jet went very well. Her first blood gas came back great and they tweaked her settings. The adjustment sort of overshot where they wanted to be and her second blood gas came back “ok” so there’s a bit more adjusting to be done. Her oxygen percentage* has been lowered, which is good and she has a third blood gas that should be done in about 20 minutes.

*This gets confusing because we look at a couple different stats regarding oxygen. The percentage of oxygen has to do with how much pure oxygen Zoë is being given. Room air is about 21% oxygen. Too much oxygen can cause damage to her just like too little oxygen can. If she’s having a rough time, they increase her percentage, but we like to see her in the 40% or lower. Her oxygen level is the amount of oxygen in her blood. This number changes with each breath. If she pants or has a bit of apnea, this level drops and sets of her alarms. The goal is for her pulseOx to be between 82% and 93%, I believe. Too high and too low both have risks that could effect her vision, her brain, etc.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    0000xxxx said,

    January 17, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

    sweet zoe…sleep and rest…have sweet dreams tonight…you are working so hard….we love you so….

  2. 2

    Stacie said,

    January 17, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

    Poor little angel. I’m glad she is doing better.

  3. 3

    kate said,

    January 18, 2008 @ 9:59 am

    I hope that she doesn’t have an infection and i am glad that the transfer to the jet went well. I’d be happy to donate blood in Zoe’s name but i am out of your area…but i will be checking the blog so just put up the Red Cross info when you have it… like what to do etc.

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