Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Winston Churchill once said that "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." With all due respect to the late prime minister, Russia is a piece of cake compared to Will. He did great last evening; his nurse was about to turn his oxygen down to 35 percent as we were leaving. Mary called at 6:30 this morning to see how he was doing and found that he had another rough night, needing increasing amounts of oxygen and just generally being restless. We fully expected to come in and find him with a chest tube. So what does Will do? He somehow recovers, and was again sitting at 35 percent oxygen when we came in later in the morning to see him. They took a chest x-ray and found that his lungs look much better than yesterday. Yes, he still has a little fluid build-up around the left lung, but it is a small amount. His x-ray was so good that his doctor, when seeing it for the first time, said (somewhat for our benefit, I'll admit), "Is that really William? That looks great!"

We'll take this for what it is: momentary good news. Even if it means that the fluid problem is resolving itself, they'll still keep watching it for the next week or two, and while they do so they won't feed him breastmilk. I'm not entirely clear on the concept - health professionals should feel free to weigh in with clarification in the comments section below - but the fluid has something to do with his lymph nodes, and the fat in breastmilk can somehow exacerbate the process that leads to the extra fluid. So, as long as that is a concern, he's on a low-fat (read: no breastmilk) diet.

And if this is just a short pause that will be followed by more fluid build-up? Well, then the possibility of a chest tube is still out there, and he would be without food for even longer. Some kids with this condition can go weeks without resolution. So, Will might not be happy with what his soon-to-be-favorite cartoon bear, Winnie the Pooh, would call a "rumbly in the tumbly," but he'll need to deal with it. Yet again, the best advice for the little guy is to tough it out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's better for Will if he models himself after Newman on Seinfeld: "A mystery wrapped in a Twinkie."

-Claire Zulkey

12:18 PM  

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