Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday's update on Nathan

The little man is sleeping soundly beside me once again and hasn't had to encountered any needles today. The Dr. came in a while ago with a little more information, but nothing that is a sure-fire diagnosis yet. Today, they think that Nate may have some sort of virus causing his breathing problems and elevated heart rate. Of course, they aren't sure of this, but it is the best guess at this point since all of the other tests are coming back negative.

His hematocrit levels are still a bit low (showing that he has a little anemia), but not low enough to really cause too much concern. The Dr. said that it may be a virus that is causing his bone marrow to not work as efficiently in producing red blood cells right now, which could be causing the low numbers in that blood test. And he may just be responding differently than most babies do when they get viruses...instead of getting a runny nose or cough, he gets a high heart rate and has signs of respiratory distress (without actually being in distress). His heart murmur could also be caused by this virus, but it could also be a completely innocent murmur that isn't causing any problems and he may keep it for life or lose the murmur over time.

Since they think that he may have some sort of virus, the game plan is to wait and watch. The Dr. said that if that is indeed what he has, he should show some signs that his symptoms are getting better over the next couple of days. They are definitely not getting worst, but we can not say that they are getting better either since he is still retracting as much as he was when we got here and his heart rate is still high. We pray that he shows us signs of improvement over the next day...if that is the case, the Dr. said that we should be able to head home tomorrow night.

She also said that if this is indeed a virus, he should stop retracting when he breathes all together over the next couple of weeks. If this does not happen, we will have to have more tests run to try again to figure out why his body is working extra hard to breathe. In the mean time, we will be followed by our pediatrician closely with regular checks of his O2 levels, breathing patterns, and heart rate.

To be on the conservative side, the Dr. asked a Pulmonologist to come and take a look at Nate this morning. He said more of the same...yes, he is indeed showing signs of respiratory distress, but he is not actually in distress. Every Dr. who comes to see him is incredibly perplexed by this, as are we. The Pulmonolgist said that he was going to talk to another Pulmonologist and see if he will come and take a look at Nathan tonight, but he is thinking that we are going to just have to do the same as the other Dr's are saying...wait and watch. He did say that if he doesn't stop retracting in the next few weeks, we will have to be referred to the Lung Clinic to get some tests done of his lungs. But they aren't too concerned right now since his O2 levels are so great and he is not grunting when he breathes or flaring his nostrils like he did when he was born.

Since the little dude has wanted to be held for most of the day today, this post has taken me about 6 hours to type. A new update as the day has gone on: I am beginning to believe the Dr's prediction that Nate does have some mysterious virus that is trying to run it's course. Throughout the day, I have noticed a couple of instances where Nathan is breathing normally...he goes back to retracting after about 10 minutes of breathing normally, but it is good to see his chest rise and fall like it is supposed to in these short periods of time. This is a good sign...maybe he is starting to get better. Yes, he is still retracting most of the time, but at least there is some sign that this may be getting a bit better. The second positive marker is that his heart rate is considerably lower this evening than it has been over the past 4 days. While he is sleeping, his heart rate is more in the 130-145 beats per minute range, rather than the 150-165 beats (during sleep) that he has been experiencing through the duration of our stay here. When he is awake and active, it is mostly under 180 beats per minute, whereas he was almost always above 180 beats per minute previously during his awake times, sounding off the alarm on his 02/heart rate meter for the entire time he was awake. His heart rate dropping to a more normal range this evening is such a comfort to us. It does look like he is getting over whatever has plagued him over the past 4 days.

I am also comforted by everyone's messages and phone calls saying that you have been praying for Nathan. We have felt your prayers, and I believe that they have worked. Just a few short hours ago, Nate was showing NO signs of improvement whatsoever, and the Dr. was a little reluctant at telling us that we could possibly leave tomorrow. Since then, he has started making a very fast turn around, and I am almost certain that we will be able to be released tomorrow and head home to our own beds. Your prayers have been answered...our prayers have been answered. Our God is a merciful God. We are truly thankful.

Our pediatrician called me this morning. She has been following Nate through a computer linked to this hospital's stats and talking regularly by phone to the doctors seeing Nathan. She told me over this morning that she has been praying fervently for Nathan and our family; that she has lost sleep over his case and has woken up in the middle of the night searching for answers as to what could be the problem with him. She quoted this verse to me over the phone this morning:

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Not only do we have incredible family and friends who are constantly lifting our son up in prayer, but the Lord has blessed us with doctors taking care of Nathan who are also lifting him up in prayer. That thought and the words from our precious pediatrician humble me to the point of many tears. We have been blessed beyond measure in so many ways. I feel so unworthy. But I am indeed thankful.

I will try to update more as we get more answers. I am praying that Nathan will continue to improve and that his breathing problems will cease all together over the next few hours.

Thank you for your continued prayers. We love you all dearly.

10:15pm update: The senior Pulmonologist came by this evening and was just so great. I was nursing Nate when she came in, so she just sat down and talked to me for 20 minutes about what they have found and what they are looking for. Nathan's CO2 levels are low, so that may be one of the reasons that he is breathing faster than try to bring his levels back to normal. They have also seen something in the top of his lungs in the x-ray they took a couple of nights ago. The Pulmonologist was going to get a Pediatric Radiologist to take a look at Nate's x-ray tonight to see if the findings are something that they need to be concerned about or if it is just an error in the way the xray was given. She said that he could possibly be aspirating into his lungs or there could be some sort of viral infection camped out in the top of his lungs, but hopefully it was just an error in the reading or the way it was taken.

Since Nate's CO2 levels are low and he is still quite a bit jaundiced at 3 weeks old (his jaundice still goes from his head to right under his knees), the Pulmonologist said that it may be something with his liver creating too much amonia or he may not be able to maintain the Ph level in his body. She ordered a blood gas to be performed either tonight or tomorrow morning to see what his Ph levels were. We are hoping that they will be able to get an accurate reading from the capillaries in his heal, rather than getting the blood gas arterially, which would be a lot more painful.

So, we are still hoping that he has a virus...though I am hoping that the virus is not in his lungs. His O2 sats are still great, so the Dr. said that if it is in his lungs, it is probably in the early stages. We are off to bed to get as much sleep as we can between feedings, vitals, antibiotic hook-ups, and tests. I'll update more when we know more.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, sweetheart. We love you "five" very much.
- Dad

Jill Chandler on March 15, 2008 at 7:39 PM said...

So glad to hear nathan's ped. is praying for him. God be with you all.
Love, Jill

Ashley on March 15, 2008 at 9:13 PM said...

We have been continuing to pray for you guys. Mom and Daddy are also praying for you. (I keep them updated upon hearing from Wanda or reading the blog.) Please do not hesitate to contact us if you guys need anything. I pray that when we have children that we are able to find a pediatrician that shows the same faith that your pediatrician has shown in this whole ordeal. We love you all very much!
Ash and Phillip

Emily on March 15, 2008 at 10:24 PM said...

Uh no, poor little man! I hadn't been checking, assuming you would not be posting while you had company. Seeing something that longed typed out I knew something had to be wrong. Hopefully it does not turn into something serious and just goes away. Nothing is a mystery to God and it is all in His hands. I'll keep you in prayers!

Dani on March 15, 2008 at 11:00 PM said...

Just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you, Little Union is praying for you, and little Nathan is on our prayer list on the blog.

We send our love as well as our prayers.

Danielle and Gary

momof2princesses on March 16, 2008 at 12:01 AM said...

Continued prayers coming your way! It sounds like you have an awesome group of doctors working on your little man. HUGS to you all!

Doris on March 16, 2008 at 9:27 PM said...

Oh that we all could have such Godly doctors.

I know you want to get your family home, but you all are in the best place for now, sweetie.

Continuing in prayer...

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