Friday, February 27, 2015

The Altitude Test

Yesterday was a pretty good day for Max. He seemed more like himself and spent the bulk of the day just playing and hanging out. His favorite game in the hospital is to see how many lead he can pull off to make the monitor beep so we played that. A lot.

                               

His nurse found out Max loves balloons so she got him a heart shaped balloon to make up for the fact that she had to draw blood from him in the morning. Max was thrilled with the balloon and he forgave the nurse . . . for now. 

Yesterday's big event was the altitude test. In order to simulate Max's body's reaction to the thinner air at a higher elevation, they put him in a plastic box and pump in the modified air. Initially, when a respiratory therapist stopped by to talk to us, she told us that the test would take six hours.


Have you ever seen a baby sit quietly still for six hours without needing food or a diaper change? Because I sure haven't. They said they'd try to do it at night while Max was sleeping which would help but we also weren't excited about the idea of Max falling asleep cuddling up to one of us and then waking up alone in a weird plastic box.

Fast forward to about midnight. The night shift respiratory tech came by to start the altitude test. Beccause he'd only taken about a half hour nap in the afternoon, Max was very deeply asleep which made it easier to slide him into the box. When I initially heard about the test, I thought the sides would be a harder plastic but they're not, they're more like the thick, clear plastic packaging that bedsheets come in. Or, as I first thought, it's made out of the same stuff as all the packing materials that are usually stamped with warnings that say, "Don't let your baby play with this!"

Max made it through about two and a half hours of his test before he woke up and started to get really fussy but at that point, the doctors said that was good enough and they felt like they had a good enough idea of how he'd react at altitude. Max passed the test jut fine and in their assessment, respiratory said that he should be fine but if he needs it, we have a tank of oxygen and we can put him on 0.1L but they don't expect him to need it. Jon and I feel much better having the tank just in case something unexpected happens again.

        

At the moment, Max is kicking his feet and playing with his balloon while we wait for rounds. Once they come by, we'll have a better idea about whether or not we're actually getting discharged today but so far, it's looking good. Of course, Flag is supposed to be hit with epic snowstorms this weekend so if we're discharged too late in the day, we might try to stay down here and then drive up in the morning. But we'll see how it goes. As of yesterday, everyone seemed motivated to get Max out of the hospital so fingers crossed that we're heading home!

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