Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pleural effusion

We've had a good day so far. Benjamin is a little more alert but hasn't been allowed to eat anything b/c he has a pleural effusion, which is excess fluid in his chest cavity. They're giving him extra Lasix (diuretic) to try and get rid of it. He will be getting another chest x-ray in a couple of hours to determine its status. If it's worse or not getting much better, they will have to give him a chest tube to get it out. This pleural effusion was most likely caused because earlier today (or yesterday), they were unable to give him his Lasix b/c it would lower his blood pressure, which was already too low. So there was most likely a fluid build-up, and this is where it chose to collect. It's not the worse thing; it would just be one more hole to heal.

His pacemaker has been turned down a little bit to allow his heart to help more, but he still has a complete heart block.

His chest drainage tubes are doing well. They may be removed today. Our nurse said that the older children who have this surgery say that the chest tubes hurt the most, so once they're removed, he should be in less pain and be more comfortable.

I know all of this seems a bit overwhelming, but I am trying to remember what my online friend Amy told me about being in the hospital (her son Zach had heart surgery in July):

Ray and I had a "motto" that we could never get too excited about any news we received about Zach, nor could we get too disappointed. This came from learning how quickly things can change, and how differently a "team" of medical professionals can assess something. Your team will most likely give you contradicting information at times, but know it is a process that is fluid depending on how Benjamin is doing. They will eventually all get on the same page, but that sometimes takes a day. . .maybe even two. Remember it really is a good thing to have many people assessing how Benjamin is doing. get better care with more eyes assessing different things. Just try and be patient as it is so hard to sometimes watch and wait.

So we are trying to remember that as we watch and wait. It is very easy to get your hopes up by some news, or to get discouraged by opposing news.

Here are some *adorable* pictures.

Getting a bottle yesterday

Much more alert today! He is focusing more on toys. Here is one of his favorites from Namma's house. (It was also Andrew's favorite.) Its name is "Ladybug." We're quite original around here.

"I'll be excited enough for both of us..."

Oh my goodness. I. Love. This. Picture.

Asleep. Less than a minute later. Just like a baby. A sedated one. :)

A few minutes ago (it's taken me awhile to get this post completed) they came and did his chest x-ray. I wasn't in here (pumping duty calls...) but Matthew said it was not fun. They had to place Benjamin on a board, and he was not a happy boy. He was wiggling and grunting as is his nature when he's uncomfortable. But he evidently wore himself out b/c he's sleeping peacefully right now. As you can tell below:

While I was uploading the last two pictures, the doctor came in and said that the chest x-ray did not look good and that it, in fact, looks to be worse. So they are going to line up a chest tube to be inserted soon. Sigh. All of this is here to help him and get him better. It's just so much for his little body. Good thing it's not too much for our big God!


Melissa said...

Angela - He looks so good to have gone through surgery!! I am still praying for a quick and easy recovery. Stay strong little man.

Mary Jo said...

I agree he looks great considering all he's going through! He looks so alert in the one picture. Getting well after surgery is such a long process but he's getting there. Sometimes I guess getting well will be 1 step forward and 2 steps back and other times it will be 2 steps forward and 1 step back. But soon it will be in leaps and bounds. I truly believe that!
LOVE and hugs - MJ
PS - The little "message" from Andrew was so cute! Glad your parents are there with him.

Anonymous said...

I don't think he could get any cuter. Really. Hang in there. He is in good hands.

Anonymous said...

Angela- I am still praying! I wish I could do more for you all. Take each step as it comes and continue your incredible faith. The photos are absolutely precious - what a happy little trooper he is!!
I am at my sister's house in Nashville so I would love to be of some help if you need anything at all..even just a quick visit from a friendly face (that would be mine) but of course I totally understand if you're not up for visitors. I can't remember my google password which is why this is under "anonymous" but it's me- Susan (aka Suse!!)

Anonymous said...

My sisters want to know who is the doctor that did his surgery? They are good friends with Tom Doyle who does heart surgery there.
:) Suse

Amber said...

He looks great Angela! Keep updating so we know what to pray for...stubborn lungs :)

Stephanie said...

Is it bad that I think he is cuter than my own kids!?!?! He is so stinkin' cute, Angela. Love the name Benjamin Braveheart. Everything about him makes me happy...
Except those tubes!!

Praying, Praying, Praying!!
You are one incredible momma.

"But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds." Jeremiah 30:17

"The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness." Psalm 41:3

"O Lord, I called to you for help and you healed me." Psalm 30:2

"You are my help and my deliverer. O my God, do not delay." Psalm 40:17

Erica said...

I completley agree with MJ. I also think he looks like he wants to smile at the ladybug so bad but just can't. Hope to see your smiling face soon Benjamin. Hang in there buddy....another week and the hard part will be behind you. Lots of love.....

Lillie's Mommy said...

Angela you are such an amazing Mommy. Benjamin is a very lucky little boy to have such wonderful parents. I'm still praying for Benjamin. Thanks for using your blog to keep us updated about his status.

Branton Family said...

Hang in there. Brings tears to my eyes remembering this process. Zach had pleural effusion as well, and had to have the chest tube. It's not fun, but after recovering from each of these set backs Benjamin will begin smiling before you know it. He is precious. . .stay strong and take care of yourself too! Amy

Amanda-The Family News! said...

He is such a beautiful baby boy. I am praying for you all.

Kara said...

He is so beautiful. He is so lucky to have parents like you with such strong faith. I know I'm a broken record. Anyway, I hope things start going more smoothly and that he's feeling lots better soon. Poor little pumpkin, he is so adorable I just want to kiss him.

Anonymous said...

This is your anonymous mother! :)Andrew, Dad, and I had a wonderful week together and are looking to week number two! I know hemust really miss you and Daddy, but how nice it is that he can go about a regular day and night and not see to. I am so thankful I can be here to spend these days with him! No one could go anywhere and have a better fall break than I am going to have! Each time I read your blog I have to sit here and cry because you and Matthew are able to handle all of this so well. I am as a proud to be your mother as I am thankful you have such a strong and wonderful partner in life like our Matthew! I couldn't admire the two of you more! What a testimony you are to everyone that your faith in God has made all of this not only manageable but even enjoyable at times. Thank you for your courage and endurance. You both are awesome and I am honored to be your mother! Andrew and I will enjoy looking at these cute pictures of handsome
Benjamin together. Tonight Michael and Edie came over after bathtime so Uncle Michael took him outside to sing "Twinkle Star" to the few stars up in the sky at 8:15 Love you three more than you know! Love, Mom

JaybirdNWA said...

Angela - sorry that I have been out of touch for about a month. It is good to see these pictures - he does look good and it sounds as though he is receiving good care and prayers. Be sure and take care of yourself now while he has this great supervised care; he will need you later. Our prayers go out to you and your family.

Stephanie said...

How is the bravest boy in the world this morning???

Mary Jo said...

OK now your mom made me cry too! Now I can see where Angela got some of her strength and compassion from. MJ