Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Closed Chest is a Happy Chest

Max has been doing extremely well for the last couple days. The surgeon came in and closed his chest yesterday which was a big relief for us because that helps reduce his risk of infection (which makes sense because now he doesn't have a Grand Canyon sized hole in his body).

I'm sure nothing can get in there . . .
He had a small rough patch last night but that was because his chest closure meds wore off and he hadn't been given new pain meds yet and the poor guy was hurting. Completely understandable considering he'd had a surgical procedure that afternoon and on top of it all, he had hiccups which had to be hurting his newly closed chest.

His night nurse quickly got him some meds though and he was able to rest. Jon and I decided to go home and sleep for a few hours and he was snoozing peacefully when we left.

When we got here this morning, our day nurse told us that he'd had a great night and his numbers were all looking good. We then met one of the occupational therapists who was checking Max out to see how his limbs were doing post-surgery. They're looking pretty good but she wanted to keep an eye on his wrists and build up their strength because he's been doing a lot of what Jon and I have nicknamed "raptor hands."

Like this, but cuter.

She also told us that Max's shoulders might be kind of stiff because he's been laying in his bed with his arms out so it's something we should be aware of and try and move his arms across his body (being, of course, very careful with his healing chest). We also might get to start holding him tomorrow which would be AMAZING and that will help him out because when he's in that holding position it's easier to fold his arms across his body. She also told us that she'd be working with us as well as putting us in contact with some other therapists and resources to make sure that Max is hitting all of his developmental milestones since he's having to put a lot of that on hold as a result of being in the hospital. Luckily, he's already doing really well and because we were lucky enough to receive a heart so quickly he really shouldn't have much catching up to do. But we want to be sure we take advantage of all the resources available to us so we can help Max in whatever way he might need.

After the therapist left, a respiratory tech came in with the attending on duty and our nurse and we had the big event of the day: his breathing tube came out!

I'm slightly obsessed with the little smile.
Max has been so happy to not have the tube in and he's been playing around with his lips and tongue to figure out what all he can do. He's also started to make little squawking noises which is awesome because the doctors told us that the more noise he makes, the better his lungs are working on their own. This is all pretty exciting for us because not only is it great to actually see more of his face, but we haven't heard his voice since he was first born because he's had to have a breathing tube this whole time so it's amazing to actually hear him.

The respiratory tech also set him up with a sound machine to play some background noise for him and it happens to be the same one we have at home. We set it to play ocean waves because that's our favorite and he was asleep within minutes--we'll have to remember this trick when we get to take him home.

Although it'll probably be a losing battle.

His blood pressure has been a little high but that's kind of to be expected since he had a big day. He is also taking epinephrin as one of his meds which is essentially a big boost of adrenaline to make sure his heart is pumping properly while it adjusts to Max's body. But then because he's on this med, he has to be on another one to balance out his blood pressure and he's basically on a big cocktail of meds that all do something specific and half of them are there to balance each other out. But his blood pressure is good now and our day nurse is confident that we'll be able to hold him tomorrow.

The surgeon also stopped by this afternoon to see how Max is doing. He was pleased to see the breathing tube had been taken out and he's hoping to take out both drainage tubes from his chest and the lines in his belly button out tomorrow.

Pictured soon: Max

He'll still need to keep a few lines in but I'm sure it'll be nice for him to have only a couple lines instead of several.

For now, our little guy is snoozing. He hasn't needed any serious sedatives or pain meds other than tylenol so it seems like things are going well while he heals from having his chest closed. He's taking a nap with his giraffe at the moment and seems very content. He was actually rubbing the giraffe's ear earlier which was super cute but, of course, as soon as Jon got the camera ready Max stopped. We'll try and catch it on film if he does it again.

Thank you for the continued love, support, and prayers! They're definitely working :-)

1 comment:

  1. I am in the middle of the snow storm on the east coast. I have more time than I know what to do with in a long while. Glenda has been keeping me up to date on all that has been happening with Mighty Max. Today I was able to read your blog. What a difficult and marvelous journey!!!! It is amazing that Might Max did so much rehab while you were carrying him. All the yoga and treadmill dancing will get him through a lot.