Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The other kind of PDA

Our boy isn't walking yet, but yesterday he took a few steps backwards. He did NOT have a good day. Doctors noticed that his heart rate drops and oxygen levels continued to get worse, so they slightly supplemented the air he was breathing with oxygen. Based on the instability he's shown lately, they did another EKG and listened to his heart. They found a heart murmur, which is an indication of a condition called patent ductus arteriosis (PDA).

PDA is a condition where a small bypass valve in his heart hasn't closed, but it should have. Instead of circulating all of his blood out to his organs, some of the blood is going back to his lungs for re-oxygenation. This makes his heart beat faster because it has to work harder to get the same amount of blood out to his organs. The doctor said that current research shows this condition can sometimes be remedied with fluid restrictions. The doctor said that he'd gained a 6oz of weight, but that number was from memory so the number might be high. Also she said that recent blood transfusions would increase his weight artificially. While on fluid restrictions our boy will probably lose weight, but hopefully it will reduce his blood pressure enough to let the valve close. If the valve doesn't close then our next option would be surgery.

Last night at 6pm while Alisha and I visited him he had a big heart rate drop. It's very nerve-racking to sit there when he has problems like that, knowing you're powerless to help him with breathing, blood circulation, or anything else that he truly needs. However, it makes you look at yourself as well: how much power do I have over my own circulation or breathing? If my heart or lungs want to stop, then I am powerless to make them work again. I can feed them and take care of them, but that can only go so far. Standing in front of an infant really helps me see how powerless I am over my own basic functions. Just like with my little boy, my only power lies with God himself choosing to sustain my life.

Last night at 9pm the doctor called and said they'd re-inserted his breathing tube. Apparently after we left our boy had another severe drop that was even worse. The doctor said that from what he's seen over the past few days, our little boy might have an infection. They said that infection will cause high heart rate and heart rate drops like they've seen with him. By re-inserting his breathing tube it gives them more control over his breathing and oxygen levels, to keep stress off of his lungs. They also started him on antibiotics to counteract any possible infection.

The video below is from Saturday afternoon or Sunday night (I forget which). It shows me taking his temperature by placing a standard digital thermometer under his armpit:

Please keep our little boy in your prayers. He's now dealing with a possible infection and PDA which are fighting against his health. Pray that God is willing (we know he is able) to keep him healthy and resolve these issues as our boy matures and grows.

Today he reached the 31-week mark!

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