Monday, November 4, 2013

Timing is Everything

Sometimes, timing is everything. After an encouraging day at church yesterday, Alisha and I dropped off things at home and then went to see Roscoe. Usually we'll go straight from church to see him, then go home afterwards but this time we changed it. With that little change we got quite a big scare that we wouldn't have seen otherwise.

We walked into Roscoe's room and his SpO2 measurement (the amount of oxygen in his skin) level was in the 75% range, which is well below the 85-100% normal range. In this example below (taken weeks ago when his heart rate was high) you can see the blue number "94" for his SpO2 measurement. This is the number that had dropped to 75%:

When the number goes outside of the target range, a mild alarm goes off to get the nurse's attention. At the time we walked in, the alarm was going off and the nurse was already looking at him and trying to resolve the 75% issue. While we stood there we watched his numbers drop (over the course of about 5 minutes) into the 60% range, then 50%, then 40%, then 30%. At that point the nurse called for help from another nurse in the room, and called the respiratory expert into the room. Roscoe's oxygenation continued to drop to 20%, then 10%, then eventually down to 1-2%. Roscoe was rather pale at this point. Alisha and I stood by and prayed together, then prayed separately in our minds.

They lifted the lid to his incubator and hooked up a hand-operated ventilator and turned his oxygen up to 100%. The nurse kept squeezing the rubber bulb and his oxygenation gradually came up to the 50% range. They called a doctor into the room and after looking at the results she determined that a ventilator change they'd made earlier in the day had led to Roscoe's lung collapsing. The doctor called for the ventilator settings to be restored and Roscoe returned to stable numbers.

Apparently Roscoe's blood results were looking so good that at 7am on Sunday they'd reduced his breathing support by about 20%. Roscoe's lungs were too weak for that drastic of a reduction, so his lungs eventually weakened and one or both of them collapsed later in the day just before we arrived. Alisha and I were just fortunate enough to arrive to see the culmination of his problems.

Perhaps this was Roscoe reminding us that he's still a preemie or it was God reminding us that we still need his help. Either way, it was a scary time to stand by and feel completely helpless. Watching Roscoe powerless on that table reminds me how we sometimes get into situations where our only hope is God. Sometimes, timing is everything.

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." -Romans 5:6

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