How old am I?

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tale of 2 Days

We knew the extubation today was going to be a big challenge, but neither of us could have predicted how the day would unfold.  When we first called into the PSHU (Pediatric Surgical Heart Unit), as we do first thing every morning, they told us they had already extubated Jonah.  He was doing just fine, and they were watching him very closely.  Relieved, we left for the hospital happy, confident and excited to finally see our son without a breathing tube down his throat.  However when we walked into Jonah's room, one of Jonah's favorite nurses told us he was doing just "ok".  Immediately we could feel the tension in the room.  As parents we are constantly dissecting the energy and body language of the doctors and nurses, and it was obvious the nurse felt things could be going better.

After getting the scoop, our previous confidence and excitement had been replaced with fear and anxiety.
  1. His lactate level was elevated and climbing.  This acidic buildup was causing unwanted stress on the heart.
  2. Blood culture results showed bacteria, a strong indication of infection.
  3. Jonah's temp reached 101.5, which caused us concern the infection had started a fever.
  4. The bandage site from where the chest tubes had been removed continues to "ooze" and was seeping towards the chest incision and central IV.
  5. Jonah's overall color was very pale, indicating his heart may not be delivering enough blood to his entire body. He reminded us of a sick E.T.  :(

To say the least, we were very, VERY worried.  It was the first time we had seen him really struggle.

But to the credit of the PSHU staff, they were on top of everything.  It's incredible how prepared they are and how quickly they can respond and treat these heart babies.

  1. Dobutamine was given to help relieve the stress on Jonah's heart
  2. They increased the oxygen fed through the nasal cannula
  3. Antibiotics were administered
  4. A new peripheral IV was put in his right foot
  5. A blood transfusion given
  6. Cleaned and redressed the central IV
  7. Changed Jonah's sheets and blankets
As all these activities initiated, we thought it would be a good idea for us to take a break, get some fresh air and de-stress. 

When we returned to Jonah's room, the cardiologist and nurse were just wrapping up with all the above proceedings.  The tension was gone and they were smiling.  Jonah was doing GREAT!  His lactate level was much better, the fever was gone, the color pink had returned to his body, and he was sleeping "like a baby".  He looked so comfortable and at peace.  After a daunting afternoon, the warmth of Jonah's healing heart had revived our spirits.

Breathin on my own!


  1. such a beautiful picture of jonah - just love his adorable little face. keep pushing forward buddy!!! So glad you are getting mommy's milk to help you get stronger (way to go stac!!)

    Lots of love,
    Erica and Anika

  2. Jonah looks great...and it sounds like he's taking his recovery by leaps and bounds!! What a fighter! Thoughts, prayers and love...

  3. What a scary little hiccup - but with a great ending. It is so wonderful to see Jonah's face. He is such a handsome boy! Our prayers continue with you both and Jonah for continued above-average results!