Monday, August 01, 2005

Rollercoaster Ride

This past few days has been a real rollercoaster. The last update I sent out said Emma was back off the ventilator. The very next day she had to go back on the ventilator because her throat is swollen and she wasn’t able to get air through it on her own. Over the next couple of days she was doing well on the ventilator again, so they decided to take her off again on Saturday. Well yesterday, she started having more problems. Several times during the day she stopped breathing and her heart rate dropped. She was also very low on blood because of all the tests. It was the first time I was actually scared during her short life. It was hard to see her stop breathing and gasping for air so often. There was nothing we could do for her as parents. They ordered a blood transfusion to fill her back up and had to put her back on the ventilator one more time. She was also given some steroids and antibiotics to reduce the swelling in her throat. After the treatments she is doing much better. She was peacefully sleeping throughout the night and she hasn’t had any more episodes.

Now for the good parts. Emma is not on the ventilator because of her lungs. They are doing just fine. It is because of her swollen airway that she keeps getting put back on. I asked the nurses why they keep taking her off and then putting her back on. They told me that there are risks to keeping her on it for longer than needed because it can irritate her throat and lungs, which we have seen. In the past they left preemies on the ventilator longer because their lungs weren’t developed enough. With the new medicines and steroids that they can give today, the lungs develop much quicker. I was also concerned about her stopped breathing and dropped heart rate having permanent damage. I wanted to make sure that her brain was getting enough oxygen. We were assured that she hadn’t stopped breathing long enough to have damage.

I want to thank all of you for your prayers and e-mails. Please keep them coming. I am sorry that I cannot respond to them all individually.

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