Numbers, Numbers, Numbers!

Atticus has been doing pretty well the past couple of days. He has been digesting his mother’s milk on a continuous basis, which the doctors say is imperative to build his immune system. This is a great sign and hopefully it continues, as in past days they have had to stop and restart feedings as he had become backed up (some would say due to all the dairy, personally I seem to handle it just fine e.g. cheese!) *insert Wallace and Gromit comment*.

Additionally, one of two scenarios has happened in recent days: Either he has responded exceptionally well thus far to the Nitric Oxide (again, not to be confused with Nitrous Oxide, as the doctor repeatedly pointed out) which is intended to help the inflammation in his lungs, or it is simply coincidence that his numbers drastically improved once the Nitric Oxide treatment started.

Speaking of numbers, the nurses say we shouldn’t pay too much attention to his numbers. I have developed a hybrid approach: when his numbers are good, I pay close attention, when they are bad I blame it on bad batteries in the monitors.

Examples of important numbers:
1. CO2
then-was running mid-60’s to mid 70’s, this is not good
now-running mid-50’s to mid 60’s, while this is clearly high for you or
me, it’s a great improvement for him and more acceptable
2. Oxygen concentration
then-was receiving 55-66% oxygen concentration through his respirator,
this is HIGH and leaves him at high risk for chronic lung disease and
eye problems down the road
now-is receiving 45-50% for a vast majority of the time. again, while
this is very high for us (we breathe 21% Oxygen), it is a vast
improvement for him and shows the start of a good trend
3. Respirator Rate (rate in order to stay oxygenated)
then-55 bpm (that’s breaths per minute to all of you who don’t spend 80%
of your free time in a hospital room)
now-52 to 55 bpm, this is the category we’ve seen the least movement on,
but he only started the Nitric Oxide this past Friday, and the doctor
said we shouldn’t expect results until 3-4 weeks out, so we’ll take it

So that’s where we’re at currently. We can say all day long, “He’s doing pretty well”, or “He’s had a rough day”, but (outside of major heart-stopping events that happen like his respirator tube coming dislodged) when we say those statements these are currently the main things we’re basing our evaluation on, and I thought it would be nice for you all to have a baseline as well. Updates will continue often if not daily. We have to sleep/pump milk/eat/have time to somewhat resemble having normalcy at certain points.

-Jared

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