Saturday, September 7, 2013

no news is good news?

You could say there's been both a lot and a little going on with Calder lately. He's pulled out his feeding tube at least three times in the last week and his ET tube once, too, so he's had to be reintubated. He recently tested positive for gram negative rods (bacterial infection), and they're still waiting to figure out exactly which strain so that they can treat it effectively. In the meantime they have him on what is essentially penicillin. For the last week or so he's been low on potassium, with a level ranging from about 2.5 to 3, when normal levels are at 3.5 to 5. His depletion is probably a result of multiple doses of a diuretic and can lead to GI issues and other undesirable symptoms. Potassium replacement isn't always so desirable itself, so it's something they've been watching carefully but not actively addressing. Calder was being fed my breast milk and donor breast milk in turn, both fortified with extra calories via a special formula, but as of a couple days ago, they stopped using the donor milk entirely and have switched the additive formula to one with fewer calories but more potassium. He's gained a ridiculous amount of weight, putting him at 1860 g (just over 4 lbs), but much of that is water weight. In the past they'd give him a dose of lasix to help him release some of that (which helps get the liquid out of his lungs, too), but because of the low potassium, they've been holding off on the lasix and are only still considering a diuretic that works more gradually.

Whew! But ultimately, all this feels like small potatoes compared to anything related to his breathing or eyesight, and in these areas, we're still more or less in wait-and-see mode. Calder has been making big-time progress on ventilator weaning, still at his lower PEEP of 7 (rather than 8) and dropping in pressures from 17 to 13. Way to go, buddy! But his oxygen requirement had been creeping up and up, and last night was as high as 68%, which only increases my concern for his eyeballs. But as of this morning he was requiring 50% -- not as good as we've seen him but obviously a huge improvement from 68! Maybe the antibiotic is doing its thing. Fingers crossed that trend continues and that on Tuesday his eye exams bring positive news, too.

The plan is to try to extubate him again on Wednesday. Dun dun duhhhhn. They are hoping that because they've already brought his settings down lower than the last time, and because he's older and bigger, that this time will be more successful.

In other news, because we want Calder to have a room other than a closet, we decided to move down the street (read: this is why you haven't heard from us for a while!) When we planned this move for September 1, we thought we were being fairly generous on timing, with seven weeks to go until Calder's original due date. Assuming I'd be as big as a truck and thus not interested in loading one, Kraemer had agreed that we'd hire help, he'd manage the process and it'd be easy as pie.

We all know things don't always go as planned. Realizing there was no way we could complete a move in a weekend, and with both sets of grandparents raring to help (yay!)*, we scheduled our leases to overlap by two weeks and have spent the better part of the last seven days making trips between the two places. Now our new home looks like a disaster area and every time we go to cook or even dress ourselves for work we're faced with the reality that the pot we need or every other article of clothing we'd like to wear is probably at the old apartment. It's fun. We're starting to get to know the folks at all our local take-out places pretty well.

We left a camera for the nurses a couple weeks ago and just recently remembered to check the photos. The result was, among other shots, the series below of Calder sans all his gear (with the exception of the feeding tube), surely following one of his self-extubation stunts. Calder will probably groan someday when he sees #3, but it cannot be helped. I love it.

*Heather and Brian, Mary Ellen and Tommy, thanks for your numerous offers to help too! If we were with it enough right now to coordinate any kind of plan, we definitely would have loved to have you join us in this fiasco we call a move.


  1. I've been wondering when we'd get another update on DC's cutest new bachelor! :) Hope the move is going well...don't worry, we can't find stuff and we've been here a month! Nothing wrong with takeout :) Love you T! :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jenn!! You know, just before you posted I'd been thinking about you guys. It might be awhile before we're back in town, but hope we can connect then. Miss seeing you all and would love to meet the little ones!

  3. So happy to see and update. He looks great!

    1. Thanks, Clare! Glad to know now that you have blog - I'm enjoying checking it out. When do you find the time?? Your daughter is adorable. :)