Monday, June 12, 2006

Back in the NICU, You don't know how Lucky you are

Okay, this story has some tense parts but everything is okay at the end, I promise.

I am writing this from the pumping room in the Children's NICU. yup, I am that comfortable witht he hospital world that I go while Abby pumps and do other stuff. The nurse wonder what the deal is with this guy.

So here is the latest installment of today's story:

This afternoon, Abby and I finally made it into the PACU (Post-Anesthesia Care Unit) and spent an hour or two with a groggy but with-it Ellie until she showed the nurses that she could do well without oxygen and was generally okay for a baby who had just had surgery. Okay enough to go back to the surgical care inpatient floor anyway.

Around 5 we made out way back upstairs to the plush penthouse private room and met my parents. They had patiently waited all day to see Ellie and my mom and dad had some time to see that she was doing okay. Their original plan was to spend the night in Boston and head home tomorrow after seeing Ellie in the morning. I suggested that they go home since she was doing so well and we were settled in for the night. We didn't have to ask my dad twice and off they went around 6:15. Babies in the hospital are a long way from his comfort zone.

All was good until 6:30 when i made the mistake of ordering dinner from the spectacular Thai place down the street, Brown Sugar. I hadn't hung up the phone when the nurse said to Abby that Ellie looked sleepy and that her monitor was showing a low heart rate, around 75 beats per minute, when it should be around 125 and the shape of her heart rate was funny.

In the next twenty minutes we had 11 nurses, 2 respiratory therpists, two pain management doctors and a partridge in a pear tree in Ellie's room, looking at our girl and trying to get her to wake up, cry, screm, whimper or anything lively. We simply couldn't get her get into gear.

It turns out that in addition to her epidural pain medication, Ellie got a dose of Morphine today. The morphine was taking abit too much of the edge off of her pain and leaving her pretty dull.

After tense few minutes with Abby in the middle of things (I swear she is going to get a job offer in a few days), someone alertly pulling out the resuscitaion mask, my eyes getting wide like pie plates, and a trip to get the take out that I had ordered, we had Ellie loaded up for a tip downstairs to spend a few nights with the nurses in the NICU and a bag full of really good thai food. Ellie came first. The thai was till good cold.

They have given her Narcan to take away some of the dopey parts of the Morphine and she is doing much better, crying for us as the new drug are taking effect.

She should be here under the watchful eye of the NICU nurses for a while now, which is just fine with us. Considering the relatively serious surgery that she had, having a dedicated set of eyes watching her will amke us sleep a lot better. Also we both will slepp full nights while she is in the NICU which may be a welcome chance to recharge our batteries, come to think of it.

She is on the mend nomatter where she is and we aren't going anywhere soon, just on the mend in a new place with a new team of docs and nurses.


Unknown said...

Wow, thanks for the update. You have all been on my mind today (of course) and I'm glad to hear things are wrapping up ok. You're part of a great team, all on Ellie's side. And there are lots of us "Team Ellie" folk who aren't there with you but have you all in our thoughts. Sleep well, Brogan family.

Martha Brogan said...

If I had been alone when your call came last night, I'd have made a u-turn on the Maine Turnpike but you and Abby had our hotel room and I knew that there were no available rooms in BeanTown.
I'm relieved that Ellie is in the NICU with her own nurse- her color was getting better but she was so sleepy-
Hope that you got some sleep, after a meal of cold Thai.Love to you all.

jack said...

What she had was a hangover. I sort of noticed that when she arrived at the room. I was thinking she should have a bloody mary, but they don't do that in hospitals.

I was happy with the care she received. I'm more and more impressed with that huge hospital, and how the doctors and nurses make the care a human to human connection.

Nurse/Doctor Abby and Gib, you both are part of the team. It's a great team.

I hardly ever see babies as looking like anything but wizened old men. Ellie doesn't look like that. She is a really beautiful baby girl. She's tough too. What a day she came through yesterday.

I'm hoping this is the beginning of the recovery.

All of you make me proud.

Barbara Krause said...

You know, it's a little intimidating to comment on this website. You all have such wit to begin with, and that you can maintain it during such a rough stretch is just plain amazing. Ellie is a lucky girl.

I was at my first "Cabinet" event just now with the big kahunas here at Skidmore. The president's wife asked about the pink bracelet on my wrist, so Ellie is now revered in Saratoga Springs, too. It wasn't quite like the old guy in the shower at the Y, asking Jackie about his pink bracelet. But I was glad she asked.