Sunday, December 19, 2004

Will is doing well tonight, but he had a long journey over the past 24 hours to get to this place. As everyone reading this is aware, he has a lot of fluid built up in his body from being sick this past week. In the past couple of days, they found that he also has fluid around his left lung. This is different from the other fluid, which is closer to the surface and is pretty standard for a sick infant. This fluid around the lung is more concentrated in the area directly around the lung. This could be caused by any number of things, including the fact that they had to move that lung around when they did his PDA surgery two weeks ago. When we last talked with the doctors about this yesterday, they were content to wait to see if it would resolve itself, saying they would do something only if it was compromising Will.

Last night, he was having real trouble breathing, needing higher oxygen levels than usual. An x-ray showed that the fluid around that lung was moving it off to the side, pushing the other lung and his heart with it. Because this was compromising his breathing, they decided to tap the area, sticking a needle into his side to pull the fluid out. They took out about 14cc, which doesn't sound like much, but one of the doctors said that would be the equivalent of a liter in a full-size person. By this afternoon, the difference was easy to see. He was back down to needing about 40 percent oxygen (as opposed to 80-100 percent last night) and just seemed more comfortable. He also is peeing out some of the other fluid he has been retaining -- he lost nearly 200 grams between Saturday and today -- and is on the mend in that regard as well.

Long-term, there still are new issues brought about by the fluid around the lung. It could be related to the PDA surgery, or a sign of something else to watch. They sent what they drew out of him to the lab for testing to see what it is and what it might mean. As with all of the hurdles Will has faced, the doctors are quick to see things and even quicker to take action if need be. And through it all, Will just keeps going, oblivious to the mad scramble of doctors and worried, sleepless nights of his parents that each new hurdle elicits.

So, once again Will has faced down another tough 24-hour period and emerged with little more than the need for a good night's sleep to show for it. We're hoping he continues to recover from all of this over the next couple of days, getting back down to his real weight and having the chance to eat again. Neither of us would argue if that meant we could hold him again, either.


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