03 Sep '04 - 571 W - + 13 - 10 Updated schedule and other bits

It looks like he's scheduled for surgery on tuesday morning. They have decide to put in the shunt. The purpose of this is to provide another route for blood to take to go to the lungs. Once the shunt is in place, the PGE will be stopped, which will allow the ductus to close. (Kari descibes this much better in her post before this. The post is titled the whole download I think). He's the second surgery in the morning, which means that he will be going in about 10-11am. They say that the surgery will last about 2-3 hours. This surgery has me worried quite a bit more than the last one, as it will involve working on the heart. We'll meet with the heart surgeon on monday or tuesday, and he'll walk us through what's going to happen. Hopefully, once this surgery is done, and he recovers, they'll be able to take him off the respirator. There is no guarantee that they'll be able to do that soon, but I'm optimistic about it.

As this post is kinda long, just click on "more" below to see the rest.

After the shunt is put in, the plan is to let him grow. In this period, as in all periods, boring = good. There are no quick routes here. The ends of his esophagus must slowly grow towards one another, or be stretched towards one another. His heart and body have to grow, so that he'll be better equipped to handle the surgery that will  correct his heart problems.

On a lighter note, the nurse today let us do some of the parental things. Kari got to change a diaper and take his temperature, and I got to help clean him up a bit. These things sound trivial probably, but it really made Kari's and my day. We haven't been able to hold him other than the 30 seconds that I held him right after he was born, and often if we even touched him, he would get really nervous, and start breathing really fast, setting off alarms. We've both been feeling rather useless, as the NICU has basicaly been doing everything, so it felt really good to be able to help.

Alex has been in his own little tanning bed lately. As is common with many premies, he's suffering from jaundice a little, so he gets "light therapy". They put a UV light (or lights) on him, and he gets his own little sun glasses. Well, it's actually a sleeping mask, but they have a picture of sunglasses on them. It's terribly cute. By the time he's done, he's going to have a better tan than either of his parents, but I guess that's not really that hard.

I would like to appoligize to people if we haven't been prompt in replying to people when the contact us. Kari and I have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Well, running isn't actually appropriate to describe Kari, she sort of shuffles, but that's actually really good considering her stomach was actually inside out on Monday. It's amazing how busy we can be, while still doing very little to physically care for Alex. We're both exhausted, mentally and physically. I would like to say that we read and appreciate everyones posts and emails, so please keep them coming.

Your blog is so appreciated, and I know that that takes time and a LOT of emotional energy. You are surrounded with our love—wish we could do more.

Aunt Sheila () - 04 September '04 - 17:18

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