Markers for a new infection

5/4, late afternoon, erin

I held ickle Breen on Sunday, after several days of delays, but we didn’t have long before a roommate needed to have another sterile procedure. Which means no moms allowed. Holding him was frightening, but we all needed to do it after Jon’s horrific event last week.

Even off the jet vent, (turns out) it’s still an arduous procedure getting the small bear situated and his breathing tube balanced on something. He did fine, just a high heart rate for a bit. But he soon settled into a deep sleep in my arms, and his TCM (carbon dioxide measurement) dropped 5 points! When they were getting ready to start the roommate’s picc line, our respiratory therapist came to help pop Breen back in bed.

However, down the hall, someone called a code blue. Oh, no. Breen’s nurse was on the code team that day, so she sprinted away. Another nurse came to check that Breen and I were okay/ we hadn’t started moving him yet. She cheerily said, “Hey, now you get to hold him for a little longer!” Nauseated, I said that’s an awful reason to feel glad.

When our nurse returned she went straight to Breen’s bed and finished tucking in his linens. (Are you okay? That seemed fast…) Breen was good on his commute and settled well. I suddenly felt completely sapped. I fell asleep when I got home. I felt exhausted the entire next day. Like they say of the premies when they have trouble bouncing back, I just had nothing in the tank.

No reserves.

But I skibbled up to the NICU this morning while Jon and Nora slomped off to the park. Let’s all scoop up that sweet baby Breen and hold him to our heart! For longer!

“Well, this other roommate is going down for surgery pretty soon and when he returns no one is allowed to be here. But it should take a while, we can get Breen in your arms soon and you’ll be okay for a while.” Rush to pump, rush to get situated.

Huge desat.

O2 drops into the 60s. 50s. 40s.

Nurse asks Breen, “Am I gonna have to bag you?!” RT returns as he’s climbing back up. She is sure it’s the secretions. He’s had a lot of secretions in his lungs today, a big mucous plug came out, and they caused some bad desats. She tries this fancy technique that expands the lungs and helps empty them further, while nurse does a series of suctions. They get a LOT out. She uses the suction thing in the tube to get him to cough, and she gets even more out.

RT requests they order a chest X-ray. I have already disrobed to rush into skin to skin. So um, wait to hold til after X-ray tech comes? His vent settings are quickly changed by the RT and he responds well.

We call NP. NP wants to run the battery of tests to check for infection. We call the MD. MD wants that chest X-ray too. Chest looks worse than it did on Friday. Let’s delay holding. They suspect pneumonia.

He’s back on antibiotics. They hope it’s not sepsis, and they think it’s not in fact an infection from his breathing tube… Checking urine. Checking central line. It will take a few days to get all the blood cultures back. You may remember. Sometimes nothing grows.

They said he’s been feeling better since the vent changes, he’s had some alert time, and he isn’t showing any other infection markers except the immature white blood cell number. C Reactive protein is a little elevated but not crazy. Starting a diuretic (lasics) to help clear some of the lung congestion.

Please may he be well.

We are waiting by the phone.

As we do.

Will check back if we learn anything.

Parents of Breen and Nora.