"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good,
His love endures forever!"
Wow, it's Monday again already! It is hard to believe that only one week ago we learned the news of Tyson's heart conditions. It seems like so long ago, and yet at the same time it seems like only yesterday. Time is passing slowly but at the same time, our days are full of activity. It's hard to explain. For those of you who have been here, I'm sure you know what we mean.
Tyson has had an AWESOME day! When we saw him this morning, both his chest tubes were taken out. (These were the ones that drained extra blood from around the heart and extra fluid from around the abdomen.) They gave him some more morphine and muscle relaxants for that process because sometimes it can be quite painful for them to have the tubes removed. But at least when he comes around, he won't be as uncomfortable because the chest tubes won't be around to irritate him. It's amazing how much better he looks now that those two drains are gone!
The swelling that naturally occurs after a surgery has gone down a fair bit. Yesterday his hands and feet were quite puffy but today he appears much better. The nurses keep assuring us that Tyson's amount of swelling is very minimal compared to what they typically see after a baby has heart surgery. Often times the entire chest and head are swollen to twice their normal size. We are thankful that his swelling is minimal and that he still looks like a normal newborn, chicken-legs and all!
They have upped his intake of breastmilk from 5 cc's to 8, to 10, to 12, to 15 cc's every three hours (I think this is the same as 15 ml) but he didn't handle the 15 as well. They skipped a feeding at lunch time so that he could digest the leftovers from his previous feed. This milk goes directly into his stomach via a feeding tube that is in his nose. The nurse thinks that the reason he couldn't tolerate the 15 ml as well is because they gave him a bit more morphine before taking the chest tubes out. Sometime morphine can interfere with their digestive abilities.
Today during a routine echocardiogram, they couldn't get a good enough look at Tyson's pulmonary artery so they did a TEE (TransEsophageal Echocardiogram) which is basically an internal echo done by a tube that goes into his esophagus from the throat. They gave Tyson a sedative so that he wouldn't be uncomfortable during the TEE, so as a result he has had another sleepy day. The reason for this TEE was to make sure there is no blood clotting around his heart as a result of the shunt that the surgeon put in during his surgery. The TEE results came back good and there doesn't seem to be any problems with clotting so far. Another reason to give thanks!
As far as the ventilator goes, Tyson is still relying on the ventilator but they are slowly weaning him off of it. He averages about 30 resps per minute, with 12 of them being initiated by the ventilator. In the morning, the ventilator was initiating about 27 of those 30 resps per minute, and by the end of today they had the ventilator turned down to 12, meaning that 12 times the ventilator initiates his breathes and the other 18 times he is initiating them himself! So he is slowly learning how to breathe on his own again and if he continues making this kind of progress, he will be completely weaned from the ventilator in no time! A reason to rejoice!
All in all, Tyson spent a majority of the day sleeping but we are VERY happy with the amount of progress he is making and his day nurse today stated that if they can remove chest tubes and reduce his ventilation all in one day, this is considered an excellent day! We are happy with his progress and praise God for His goodness once again.
It is still a long road ahead, and I am definitely very anxious to hold my son again (it's been almost a week now since we've held him) and it is so wierd watching a nurse change my son's diaper....but soon enough we will be on our way home, the Lord willing.
This morning Rev. Kampen came to visit, Mom and Dad Kottelenberg came for the afternoon, and Gerard and Joc came for the evening. It is a great blessing to find comfort and support in the communion of saints. Thanks for your visits and prayers.
We hope to post some more pictures in the near future, as soon as Tyson's breathing tube comes out.
Have a good night!
Brian, Mel and Tyson