Rough Day, Then a Snuggle
Jon here again.
They tried the dye test on Breen’s lower intestine yesterday afternoon, and they ruptured his intestine as they inserted the dye tube. A perforation.
They’re not sure how bad the rupture is, and it’s hard to see via x-ray. All they can do is monitor him for symptoms, and he’s been fairly stable since the incident, over 24 hours now.
They think his intestines were just too immature, too fragile to handle the dye test. We’re unclear why they felt it was the right time to do the test, it’s obvious now that they made the wrong decision.
He has been strong since then, and doctors have expressed their confidence that this incident won’t be too big of a complication for Breen. They think the most it will do is setback feeding that lower intestine for the time being. This is slightly deflating as feeding the lower intestine is the best way for Breen to absorb nutrients and grow, but he clearly wasn’t ready for that. As Erin said yesterday, he shouldn’t be a human yet, he should still be inside!
Breen is in a much better place than yesterday when they were talking about the possibility of operating on his abdomen to repair the damage. That’s still not totally off the table, but doctors think that had the rupture been significant, they would’ve seen evidence of it by now. We’re not out of the woods with this yet, but we’ll take today’s cautious optimism over the dread and anger we felt yesterday.
They feel confident enough to continue feeding him breast milk, and because his upper intestine isn’t connected to his lower intestine, this won’t affect the injury. Breen still gets some nutrition from these feeds, as well as benefits from the antibodies, microbes, and probiotics.
The other huge news is that they moved him off the Oscillator to a Jet Ventilator. They saw preliminary evidence on an x-ray of mild lung damage caused by the oscillator’s high settings, and felt they needed to transfer him to the mellower jet vent in order to limit injury that could hamper him in the long run.
Long time readers of this blog may remember that the last time he was on a jet vent for a couple days, he had his coding event. So Erin and I are a bit on edge. We understand the thinking behind the change, and so far he’s been tolerating the new ventilation like a champ.
Also, because the Jet Vent is less complicated, it allows for skin to skin contact with parents! Between that and his recent “stability” (a relative term in the NICU), the Nurse Practitioner has given her OK for Erin to hold Breen skin to skin! This is perhaps the best news we’ve had in 8 weeks!!!
Since only one parent at a time can be bedside, I skipped out as Erin skipped in to hold her son for the first time. The son she almost didn’t get to meet, now they get to hug skin to skin.
What a miracle.
An exhausting, brutal, and devastating miracle.
Maybe that’s how all miracles are.