Dottie started on a feeding tube today. Previously the nurses were injecting glucose and other minerals that she'd get from food directly into her bloodstream. Now Dottie is consuming 1mL of Alisha's milk per feeding and she's fed roughly once every 3 hours. The nurses are checking if Dottie accepts the food. If she does, then they'll gradually increase the amount she consumes. This milk consumption will help her add fat and increase her ability to keep herself warm.
Dottie needs to be able to maintain her body temperature in open air within a week so that doctors can put in a PICC line. You may remember that Alisha had a PICC line put in a few weeks ago. A PICC is a tube that's inserted into her vein that follows the vein all the way to her heart. Once inserted, it becomes an IV that can be re-used for up to 6 months. Since Alisha is now nearing the end of her hospital stay, hers was removed. I yanked it from the trash and snapped this picture so she'd remember how long it was. The T-fitting at the bottom end was sitting on her forearm at the entry point to her vein. The rest was inside of Alisha (*dry heave*):
As they pulled out Alisha's IV today, she remarked that today was the first time in 3 weeks that she hasn't had either an IV, PICC line, or both stuck in her arms. She was relieved to have normal use of her arms back.
Keep praying that Dottie will be able to put on enough weight to maintain her body temperature and that the PICC line insertion will go smoothly! Alisha and I have been overwhelmed with all of the prayerful support we've received from all over the country and friends-of-friends. God is performing a mighty work before our eyes!