Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The Ups and Downs of the NICU
One minute your flying high, the next minute your right back down again. The cycle seems to be never ending. While the nurses and doctors at the NICU are wonderful people, it really is a horribly hard place to spend any significant amount of time. Hurting families are constantly coming in and out, life has just suddenly been changed forever for many of them. Babies are being diagnosed as vegetables on what seems like a daily basis, and yesterday the nurses pulled the plug on a 2 lb baby who would most likely have had to be on constant life support. Its especially hard to see young mothers in there with absolutely no one there supporting them whatsoever. It's just a place that I almost wish I could forget about completely, but as far as I try to run I almost know that I am doomed to become connected with someway somehow in the future.
Last night he got half way done and decided to break free from his straps and rip his IV out. Tonight they knocked him out with a sedative to get er done. We should get the results back tomorrow, they are looking for any brain damage and also checking on his ventrical hemmorhaging. Then he gets a vision screening thursday that is looking for retinal and nerve damage, and then a series of hearing tests to assess if any damage has been done there also. After those two tests, we actually may be able to take him home Friday! However, if they find brain or eye stuff we pretty much have to start with the glanciclovir treatments, but we most likely wont do the treatments just for his hearing.
Every year there are 40,000 children born with CMV. Out of those 40,000 there are roughly 4,000 of them that ever show any symptons of having the virus. These are the ones whose mothers contracted the virus while pregnant. If you get CMV before you are pregnant, than your child will also get the virus, but will be just fine. Here is the scary part: of the 4,000 that show symptons, 3200 of them suffer significant mental, vision, and hearing disabilities; 400 of them actually die; and 400 of them are just fine with very minimal longterm side affects. Drake's Neonatalogist is very encouraged with how he is doing and thinks he is going to be just fine. The tests will just give us a baseline to know where he is starting at and give something to compare to if the virus decides to start acting up in the next couple years. He is much more optimistic and I think that may be due to the fact that he spends some time with Drake, whereas most of the specialists just spend time with his charts.
I don't really know what is going to happen over the next couple days, but we do know that God still has a plan for Drake! As much as this is all super uncomfortable and somewhat scary all the way around for Brook and I, we know God's plan is divine.
Justin and my mom spent the day with Brook and I down at the hospital. It is great to have company down there to help pass the time. We took turns holding and hanging out with Drake and met with several more doctors. Some doctors are great at encouraging and building hope and some not so much. Anyhow my parents and brothers and sisters all found babysitters for the evening and came down to eat dinner with us and hold Drake Dawg. Brook's parents have been watching Mae and Noah for us at our apartment.
Michelle and I think that Amy is really starting to get the baby itch, she wont admit it, but I would bet there is going to be another baby Plattner in the works soon. After dinner Brook and I went down to the MRI and then decided to head home early tonight. We just were both falling asleep and couldnt make it up for the last feeding of the night. Mae and Noah were glad to see us home right before they went to bed and now we get to get an extra couple hours of sleep and do it all again tomorrow.