Sunday, April 13, 2014

Not Ready Yet

Yesterday Alisha and I got some time with a doctor to ask questions about why Roscoe's CO2 numbers have been going higher as he's been on more breathing support. My hypothesis (it makes you sound smart if you use words like "hypothesis" around doctors) was that the added incoming pressure was making it harder for Roscoe to breathe out, therefore making his CO2 numbers higher. The doctor said that there was a difference between CO2 residing in his lungs (not breathed out) and CO2 in his bloodstream (lungs not fully functional).

The doctor let us look at his historical CO2 numbers and we were surprised to see them range from 68-75 all through the previous month. The last time the numbers looked really great was for the first week of March when they were in the 53-55 range. On March 6th his CO2 was 55 and on March 12th his CO2 was 70 (and had stayed ~70 since). We looked at more data and saw that right around the time his CO2 numbers shot up was when his vapotherm pressure was reduced from 4.0 to 3.0 to 2.0 over the course of a few days, and then he was put onto the nasal cannula on March 11th.

The doctor said that CO2 levels of ~70 means that he has very little reserve, so a simple cold could put him back into the hospital. The future plan is to take another blood test on Monday to check his CO2 levels, and adjust his breathing support accordingly. They said that next time they wean him from the higher pressure vapotherm, it will be slower and in smaller increments. It appears that Roscoe (and God) were not yet ready for him to come home just yet, and it will be at least a little while longer.

"Rejoice in hope,
be patient in tribulation,
be constant in prayer."

- Romans 12:12


  1. Does this mean that when he comes home he will no longer need the oxygen support? Or will you two need to administer it periodically when he is home?


    1. He'll still come home on oxygen support, it will just take longer to get him home. We'll still be responsible for keeping him at the right oxygen level, once they wean him safely back down to the level he was at a few weeks ago.