Sunday, November 17, 2013

Infection has Returned

Here are Roscoe's main issues in the order they'll hopefully get taken care of. Prayers in these areas would be greatly appreciated. Read below for details.
1. Infection - Roscoe has an infection that's causing strain on his lungs.
2. Lungs - Roscoe's breathing tube is causing damage, but his lungs are too weak to function without help.

Yesterday the doctor informed us that Roscoe's previous staph infection has returned. You can read about the previous infection on this blog post. She said that most likely what happened was that the antibiotics killed off most of the prior infection, but that some of the bacteria "hid" in Roscoe while the antibiotics killed off the rest. Once the antibiotic treatments stopped, the bacteria came back out of hiding. At this point the bacteria has been detected on the surface of his lungs and in a sample they took from an IV insertion point, so she is fairly certain it is in his bloodstream. The doctor said that she is hoping the bacteria doesn't get into his bones or joints, because it is much harder to eradicate. She said she hasn't seen any external evidence of bone or joint infection (puffiness around the joints), so that's a good sign.

The treatment for the infection will be mild antibiotics to start. The doctor said that they don't like using harsh antibiotics initially because it gives them some "big guns" to bring out later, if needed. She also said that they need to be careful that the bacteria doesn't adapt to the antibiotics and form a super-bacteria that is then resistant to the treatment.

Once the bacteria (staph) has been treated, the doctors will take some steps to get Roscoe's breathing tube out while keeping him stable. The longer the breathing tube is left in, the more damage it can possibly cause to his vocal cords and lungs (even though it's there to give assistance). To supplement Roscoe's lungs they plan to give him steroid shots. These steroids will weaken his immune system, so they can't give steroids until the infection is eradicated. Another treatment the doctor mentioned was Viagra, which had its origins in reducing high blood pressure (hypertension). The Viagra would reduce the blood pressure in his lungs.

The doctor wants to reduce the blood pressure in his lungs because it is causing strain on his heart. She said that this strain may cause heart failure if left untreated for an extended period. Not only is Roscoe's heart now having to pump against high pressure (like trying to blow air into a full balloon), but also the higher pressure causes his PDA valve to open which reduces the oxygen that's getting out to the rest of his body. She said that if the pressure gets high enough in his lungs, it can cause the blood flow to even reverse and flow back from his lungs into his heart. This isn't an immediate danger, but that's why she's wanting to start so soon on the infection treatments: so that it doesn't become an immediate danger later on.

Here's a video that I took on Friday of Alisha comforting Roscoe by putting light pressure on his head. It makes him feel contained like he's still in the womb, similar to tightly swaddling a baby. After she did it for a little while, he woke up and started looking around like this:

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