This morning Dr. Clark gave Verity’s heart a chance to “fire” on its own without the pacemaker, but it didn’t pass the test. This condition is called a heart block. But she has a chance to try again tomorrow morning! Her nurse today said some drs. will wait up to ten days before deciding to implant a pacemaker.
Yesterday, during our first visit to her, Verity was already attempting to breathe on her own, although she is still on a ventilator. This is called “breathing above the vent.” This is a good sign of her spunk, but it isn’t beneficial to her yet, as she still needs to rest and preserve her energy for healing. In fact, as long as I was touching her and talking to her, she would stir, as if she was trying to respond to me, and her blood pressure would go up. Joe asked the nurse if my touching her was causing that response, and she said, “Yes, but I didn’t want to tell mom that!”
So, Joseph and Daniel, when you read this, please explain to Jane that right now I am having to love Verity by not touching her and not talking to her. Just like she had to love Verity by not coming near her with a runny nose. It is hard!
She was kept under sedation all through the night. As the nurse would see her begin to stir, she would give her the next dose of sedative. But they noticed that after each dose, her blood pressure would drop too low, so they decided to “drip” it into her through IV to keep it at a more steady level. Before that made its way into her, she woke up and her blood pressure started spiking too high. So the nurse gave her another one-time dose and turned on a music CD to help block out other PICU noise and calm her. This music is the complete Bach cello suites, played by Yo-yo Ma. It was a gift from my brother years ago, and has been our favorite baby-soothing music ever since, so Verity is already familiar with it. It worked–her blood pressure immediately went back to normal levels.
Verity’s right lung is partially collapsed, so in order to help inflate it again, they gave her a chance to breathe without the ventilator this afternoon. But she didn’t do so well there, either. After ten minutes, she was gray and her breaths were still weak, so they concluded that she needs to rest again and store more energy before they try it again. Still too tired out from her big day yesterday!
I had not explained this before, because I thought I might not need to, but Dr. Clark had prepared us for some of these setbacks prior to the surgery. He said that because she was on the young side, and was in poor condition going into the surgery, that she was more likely to struggle with some of the recovery as well. We are also prepared that her progress may be slow with eating when she gets to that point, and may go home with the feeding tube.
So we know that she has been and is still more vulnerable to some of the problems that may arise. But she has passed the two biggest hurdles, the surgery itself, and the first twenty-four hours. Her next big hurdle is to breathe on her own, and we’ll be praying for her to be able to do that within the 48-hour time frame. Until then, she will continue to have one-on-one nursing care. We are very impressed with the expertise of these PICU nurses, and so far, the day nurses are also very personable. We are concluding that maybe if a nurse doesn’t have people skills, she may be more likely to be assigned night duty. Hmmmm, our theory, anyway. <grin>
Got a visitor! I’ll tell you more later, but for now, we’re off to see Verity!