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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Whitney's Small Surgery

Whitney has been doing pretty good and the doctors, surgeons, and nurses all still agree that she is improving and getting better. Another sigh of relief! One nurse in the NICU commented that Whitney was having a miraculous recovery, another nurse had commented that we (the parents) had an unusual level of optimism that she rarely saw from parents in the NICU. The doctors and surgeons both are no longer too concerned about her breathing now as much as they are concerned with getting her to feed.

They finally took the arterial line out of her belly button as it was getting old and now they needed to find a different way to deliever her medicine and nutrients. Over the past few days they had tried maybe two or three times to insert a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) inside of her in order to deliver her food and medicine, but Whitney was still edemic and puffy and they just couldn't find a vessel. They gave up on the PICC line, and decided that she needed to have a Broviac catheter inserted surgically because they needed to get a line into her blood soon. And so whitney needed to have another surgery. This isn't a big surgery, they make a small cut, find the needed blood vessel, and then thread in a long tube. They did the surgery yesterday 8/4 in the morning. Then they took some X-Rays to look at the placement of the catheter to ensure it was properly situated. The X-Ray apparently showed that the Broviac catheter decided to take a detour down one of the renal vein. This basically means that they had to do the surgery all over again. So last night at around 9pm, they did the surgery again and this time they got it placed better.

While lately there hasn't been much drama, there was a tiny bit of drama two days ago while Alicia and I were with Whitney. A couple days ago Whitney had an arterial line put in her foot that they used to draw blood and check blood pressure (since they had just taken out her umbilical lines). The nurse there was helping us change her diaper, but I guess Whitney just didn't want her diaper changed because she was kicking her legs the whole time. Consequently, she kicked the arterial line right out of her foot. was a bloody mess. Our nurse was trying to salvage the arterial line and was calling for help from the other nurse on staff. The nurse called for the help of the doctor. The doctor came in, looked at Whitney's history, looked at the arterial line that was barely hanging out of her foot, and then said for the nurses to just take it out because Whitney's blood pressure was consistently looking good that it wasn't needed any longer. Our nurse looked relieved that she didn't have to salvage the arterial line. In order for them to check the blood pressure, they'll just do it periodically the old fashioned way: putting the pressure band around her arm just like they do with healthy people. However, poor Whitney wasn't very happy after this ordeal, she was crying/screaming (no sound coming out) and Alicia and I tried out best to calm her down. They gave her some morphine again and she eventually calmed down.

On Tuesday 7/3, I went back to school for the first time in a week and a half. I didn't miss much, thankfully. However, I have two projects due tonight that I will be working on all day, and then our final exam is this weekend (online final exam). Then I get to take a break for about a week or two before Fall semester starts.

Given Whitney's improving condition, Alicia and I decided we were brave enough to move back home. We've been staying with a friend who lives 10 minutes from the hospital, but now we are back home, only 30-40 minutes from the hospital. Alicia commented to me last night that the last time she slept in her own bed, Whitney was inside of her. So now that she's not pregnant anymore it feels so strange.

I haven't posted many pictures of Whitney recently, so I'll probably get to doing that here soon. But right now, I need to work on my school projects.

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