Tonight was a tough night in the PICU. But before I write about that, Judah is doing well. He has had his share of bumps in the road today, but his overall progress is good. His goals for the day were comfort, clearing out the fluid/clots in his lungs, keeping his heart rate steady, and improving his perfusion. The biggest issue he has been having is something called a super ventricular tachycardia or SVT. Essentially, his heart rate skyrockets (230s-250s) out of the blue and he needs to be paced electrically or with medication. His blood pressure isn't affected by this, which is a good thing, but of course he can't stay at that rate. The theory is that part of the heart was injured during surgery and is sending out the signal to his heart to speed up really fast and that this will stop as his heart heals. We are encouraged because the last time he went into SVT he actually came out of it on his own without the pacer or medication.
He also has a lot of fluid and clots on his lungs, particularly on his left side. They are able to suction it out a little at a time. His nurse changes his position regularly which also helps to loosen everything up.
Because of the amount of fluid on his lungs and his random SVT episodes, the doctors have decided not to extubate (remove the breathing tube). In addition, they probably won't remove his drain tubes until after the SVT problem clears up. This is because the little probes that can be used to electrically override his SVT rhythm are attached to his heart muscle through the same openings as the drain tubes and they don't want to disturb those until they are sure they won't need the pacer anymore. Hopefully we will be able to extubate sometime tomorrow afternoon or evening.
To us, Judah is looking good. His color is improving and his pulses are nice and strong all the way down in his feet. He is starting to swell, especially on his face and chin, but that was to be expected. He has woken up a few times and even looked at us occasionally. The other cardiac families tell us to expect more bumps along the road to healing and we are trying to be prepared for any setbacks that might come. But for tonight, we are just thankful for the improvements we've already seen.
So I mentioned that tonight was a tough night in the PICU. When we returned from dinner a lot had changed. We have become friends with many of the other families up there and we are all rooting for each others' kids. The two families that we know the best have been through a lot. One family has been in the hospital for over a month and their son was finally extubated this morning, only to be reintubated tonight because he kept having episodes of apnea. The other family has known for some time that their son had such serious complications that he might not make it. He died tonight while we were gone. Please pray for Cutler's mommy, daddy, brother and sister. He was 9 months old and his parents have been so encouraging to us in the midst of their own loss.
We met another family as they waited for their son to come out of open heart surgery today. We also talked with a mom and dad who we met in the NICU who are facing their 1 week old son's open heart surgery tomorrow. (It is a very busy week for our surgeon!) We keep joking that the cardiac families are taking over the PICU.
We are so grateful for all of the love and support we have. Please pray for us to know how to share that love with the families we are getting to know in the PICU.
Thank you and goodnight,