Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quick update by request

Originally posted June 16, 2009

Some of you have requested an update after Luke's chest closure.
Yesterday, Dr. Mendeloff closed Luke's open chest. The surgeon left Luke's chest open after his operation to allow Luke's heart to expand and swell as it adjusted to the changes that were made. We were told that this is a common thing to do on babies like Luke, and he would likely have his chest closed between 2 and 7 days after his operation. Because of Luke's body swelling caused by his kidney disfunction, they were not able to close his chest sooner. By yesterday however, his swelling had reduced enough to make it possible. The proceedure took about an hour and a half and we were able to go back and be with Luke about 2 hours after we left him. Luke's incision is now sewn closed and his sternum is closed back together with wires. He'll have scars to match his mommy :).
Meanwhile, Luke is a little more swollen today than yesterday, even though he peed over 120 mL in 24 hours yesterday. YAY! They are continuing to pull fluid off his body through dialysis. To get off dialysis, we've met the first goal of peeing 1 mL per kilo per hour. This has to be done consistently over several days. Luke's creatanin (sp?) and BUN (no idea what that stands for) levels must also return to normal, and we have quite a ways to go on that front.
Luke's leg is doing much better, though they are continuing to attempt to reduce the swelling with warm packs on both legs. Apparently warm packs on his left leg will encourage the blood vessels in his right leg to dialate and reduce the swelling.
Luke's returned to taking some medications that he had been weaned off of, but the nurses say that's common for a brief period after chest closure. He is being slowly weaned off his ventilator settings. He's taking quite a bit more breaths than just those that the ventilator is giving him, so that is a good step in the right direction. They have begun feeding him 2 mL of mom's milk per hour. They are starting very slowly to allow his digestive system to slowly wake up and not be overloaded. Also today, he is less sedated, so we've gotten to see more of his beautiful eyes.
David and I are much more at peace yesterday and today to see him doing so well. His nurse last night commented that she expected he would be back down in NICU by the beginning of next week. That's far from the final word, but we're excited that these medical professionals keep commenting that he's doing so well.
Continue to pray. Getting off dialysis seem to be our last hurdle before going back down to NICU to learn to eat. Please pray for a fast recovery. We're so ready to be back home.
Thanks for your prayers. We love you,
David and Rachael

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