Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just Breathe

I keep telling Alex that all he has to do is keep breathing...

That's a little harder for him to do now that he has fluid inside his lungs. The "pleural effusion" they drained yesterday was fluid between the lung and the chest wall. We weren't happy with the fact that draining that stuff out didn't result in a marked improvement in his oxygen saturation levels. Dr. O'Mara ordered a full contrast CT scan to see what was up inside our boy. We found no blood clots, no internal bleeding, and no abscesses. What we did find is that he now has fluid inside his lungs, a.k.a. pneumonia. Now, this fluid doesn't necessarily have any bacteria growing in it, yet, but its presence does make it harder for Alex to breathe and oxygenate his blood.

They can't suck the fluid out because the procedure is more invasive than his present oxygen saturation levels can tolerate. So the best we can do is give him an antibiotic known to kill the bugs most likely to want to grow in his lungs, give him a blood transfusion to help replace the blood they draw daily for tests, stop the blood thinner he was on when we worried about clots, and rock and roll him in his bed to get the fluid to break up and shift. Once it has broken up, he'll be able to reabsorb it into his system, like a sponge sucking up water instead of trying to suck up jello.

All of this will take time. Once his oxygenation levels are better, we can think about doing the tracheostomy and start waking him up and weaning him. But his system can't handle the shock of a surgical procedure, even a minor one, right now, so we have to let his body kick this thing.

The good news is, his heart is still strong, his kidneys are still working, his digestive system is kicking in, and his fever this afternoon was the lowest it's been since this whole thing began 3 weeks ago. This guy just keeps on fighting. He is double-tough.

Alex's brother Martin, who went through a horrendous accident and equally horrendous recovery, says that "Every thought is a molecule." Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.


Patricia Griffin said...

I keep checking in to read good news and was happy to read that the fever is going down. That's gotta be good. Sending lots of positive molecules your way.

cookingwithgas said...

I will think of you both often today and send as many good thoughts as I can.
I know we only know you through the blog, but the blog community gives such great Strength!

Alex Solla said...

Thank you! I agree that the blog community is a great one, full of kind souls and stout hearts. Thanks for the positive molecules!