Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gracie Lou: "Honeymoon" ended tonight; reality begins to strike . . .

Jonelle and I went to the hospital tonight. Others had spent many hours earlier in the day.

We got there just as the respiratory therapist was completing a transition to a new ventilator for Gracie Lou. She hadn't been doing well enough on the "regular" ventilator they had had her on. So they put her on what they call an "oscillator" that kind of vibrates air into her lungs (I am over-simplifying and not accurately stating exactly how it works, but . . . it's kind of like that) rather than "simply" providing an extra push when she might need it.

The night nurse was also helping to rearrange her bedding and get her resettled.

Here, the respiratory therapist is holding her up while the nurse rearranges the bedding.

I was astonished at how calm she was through all the jostling. Her numbers on the screen continued in a normal range:

Here, from the other side:

Finally, Momma Jonelle got to touch Gracie Lou:

The whole event felt almost holy: a "laying on of hands." . . .

But then things started to go haywire, it seemed. An alarm sounded. A red light flashed. Gracie Lou's heartbeat went up (in the photo below it is at 181), and her oxygen levels began to fall (77). . . .

After another 15 minutes, we had seen her heartbeat rise into the upper 190s . . . and, at least for a few moments, her oxygen fell as low as 60.

Not good.

We spoke with the doctor.

"I don't want to be discouraging, but this is really very common. She is really very sick. . . ." And so we got the details.

The ADP vessel has not closed. She may need surgery tomorrow if it doesn't close. That may be part of what is causing the oxygen problems.

On the other hand, she has been through a very stressful day, what with the one tube (of two) being removed from her umbilicus and being replaced with an IV in her left arm. And the new ventilator. And it appears that the upper portion of her right lung has collapsed a bit. . . .


The reality is beginning to settle in.

Jonelle asked me to post so you could pray: "God doesn't have to let her go through all this!" said Jonelle. "He can close up that vein so she doesn't have to go through surgery. . . ."

Thank you for being there.
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