God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
(2 Corinthians 1:3b-4, NLT)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Progress, and the "T" word

Wednesday, February 25
Well, I'm happy to say that some progress has been made since my last post. Faith no longer has the tube down her mouth to keep her stomach empty, and is getting 4 ml's of breastmilk per hour down by feeding tube. And, I finally got everything put away at our house, so all that's left to do there is the actual real cleaning that's been neglected for the past 5 months...
They stopped feeds on Saturday night, because her output from the OG tube (the one down her mouth) had increased, so they interpreted that as not tolerating feeds. They gave her a couple of days of rest, but her liver numbers for this week were still pretty bad (although not quite as bad as they were last week).
Over the weekend, the GI doctors came to see Faith, and for some reason they decided to mention that if things don't turn around soon for Faith, she might need to be listed for a small bowel transplant. That would mean first going to Pittsburgh to be evaluated, and then transferring to a hospital that can do a small bowel transplant (the closest one is Omaha, although if it came to that, I think we'd rather go to Boston, because at least there it would be more likely that we could get her on Omegaven for her liver). Pretty much everyone thinks it was WAY premature for them to bring up the "T" word, though. There are still a number of options that haven't been explored, not to mention Faith has pretty much acted like she has short bowel syndrome (aka "short-gut"), and not all short-gut kids have to get transplants... So we don't seriously think that will happen.
On Monday Faith went to fleuroscopy (where they do the Upper GI studies) to have them confirm the placement of her feeding tube, and advance it past the area they operated on, so that they could re-start feeds and get her off the TPN. I wish they would have taken her down there a week ago! I was looking forward to seeing it, to see what her intestines look like now that they tapered them (does that make me weird?). Well, pretty much as soon as they put the barium down her tube my spirits lifted. It was neat to see her intestines all nice and narrow and the same size, and we could see the staples where they did her tapering. And right away we could see that what they had assumed the whole time about the feeds and her intestines was completely wrong!
Assumption #1- The feeding tube was in the part of her intestine that they operated on. Which led to Assumption #2- The part they operated on wasn't working, or was actually working backwards. Assumption #3- Since the feeding tube is transpyloric, the pyloric sphincter (the opening from her stomach to her intestine) can't close all the way, so the milk they fed her through the tube could easily go backwards into the stomach, where it was being sucked out by the OG tube hooked to suction.
Well, everyone knows what they say about assumptions, and it has rung true yet again. In reality, we could see right away that the feeding tube was doubled in her stomach, so they thought it was quite a bit farther than it really was, and it actually was just barely past her stomach! I immediately got a million times happier, because suddenly everything made sense. The feeding tube was just past her stomach, so it made perfect sense that the milk would come back up the tube into her stomach that was hooked to suction! And what little bit of milk that was going through when they were doing the feeds was coming out as perfectly normal breastfed baby poop! Once I saw that, my mood changed dramatically and both Jan (the nurse) and Rose, the CA (clinical assistant), could tell that all I wanted to do was see the doctors and tell them they were wrong!
As soon as I saw Dr. Sandoval, that's what I did, and I told him I wanted the OG tube put to gravity, and that they should re-start feeds. He agreed to put it to gravity, so then Jan convinced him to just take it out. They re-started continuous feeds at 2 mL/hr through the feeding tube. Then he took some tissue samples from her rectum for them to biopsy to rule out Hirschsprung's disease.
Last night, they tried to increase her feeds to 4 mL/hr, but she got really fussy so they backed them to 3 mL/hr. Then at noon today they put them back up to 4 mL/hr, and they will continue to increase by 1 mL/hr every 24 hours. They are taking it extra slow this time to really give her intestines the chance they need to get used to working. She threw up one time last night, just a little, as Joanna was doing a diaper change and moving her around. She hasn't thrown up since then. As long as she doesn't throw up tonight, I told Dr. Sandoval today that I want to be able to try to feed her by mouth tomorrow and see what happens. If it works, we'll have them take the feeding tube out and work her back up on oral feeds.
Faith has grown quite a bit over the last couple of weeks, and is now about 9 lbs. She's starting to outgrow her newborn-sized clothes, especially her sleepers, so we brought down a bunch of her 0-3 months clothes. I really didn't want to, but it makes more sense to have her wear them here than it does for them to sit at home. I hope that she will still fit her going home outfit when that time comes...
We are hoping and praying that maybe this time feeds will work... I don't know that we'll make it home for St. Patrick's Day (the next holiday on the calendar), but we are really praying that maybe we'll be there for Easter, which to us is the next REAL holiday... that gives us 46 days...

1 comment:

Keough4 said...

Hello - We've been thinking of you and praying for you. I hope you make it home by Easter too, but either way I've got some great 0-3 & 3-6 baby girl clothes with bunnies on them :-)
- Kelly

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