Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Good news: Will's PDA is closed. We took a long path to get to this point today, but the fact that the medicine did what it was supposed to do and that Will can avoid surgery is very good news.

Mary and I went in this morning to find Will's oxygen up and his ventilator settings higher as well. We asked about the echocardiogram and the doctors told us they would take one this afternoon and that, once it likely confirmed that the PDA wasn't closed, they would schedule surgery. This was quite a turnaround from the past couple of days, and put us back on that rollercoaster to grapple again with the thought of Will going through a procedure. The doctors were candid about their changing point of view, saying that his continued trouble breathing seemed to point to an open PDA.

Once again, the echocardiogram proved otherwise. If there is a downside to this (and it's minor, of course) it's that the problems remain, but can no longer be blamed on the PDA. Some of his trouble stems from being so young and having rather underdeveloped lungs (and for being a boy; they have more trouble as premature babies than girls for some reason), while some of it is a result of having been on the indomethacin. Over the next couple of days Will is going to be given a diuretic to help him get rid of the fluid that built up during those treatments. This will relieve some pressure on his lungs and help his breathing. He also will be given Ativan, a sedative. This will help him to relax a bit and to not use so much energy fidgeting. The hope is that he'll use that energy instead to do more of his own breathing. These things should, with the PDA now closed, help him to improve over the next several days. By Friday, he may finally be able to eat again (though we've told the poor guy that before). He is still getting nutrition through his IV, just not the milk that will really help him to bulk up.

So, it was a tense day with a happy ending that left Mary and me a bit drained. We left Will early tonight to let him sleep, hoping we can get some, too.


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