(I started this post this morning and I am just now finishing it – about 12 hours later).
I arrived here to be with Jack a little while ago and after getting the run down from the doctors and nurses, and then calling Adam (who is with Megan this morning), I am now settling into my daily research.
When I walked in, I thought that his numbers looked really good. They tell us not to rely on the numbers (the monitor above his bed tells us his heartrate, his oxygen levels, blood pressure, etc.) but really that’s all we have to tell us how he is doing. A newborn baby should have a heartrate ranging from 100-160 beats per minute. Jack’s heartbeat usually ranges from the high 170s to an occasional 200 or above. Yesterday it mostly hung out at low 180s. I saw it hit 169 once yesterday and I was so excited. When I walked into today, it was at 158. And since then I have seen it as low as 149. It seems to be hanging out around 158-165. Which is great. Although again, it doesn’t really give us a good indicator of how he is really doing – but I know for a fact that to be in the 190s or 200s would be a bad indicator, so I am going to take the low rate as a good sign all I want.
The other thing that I like to keep my eye on is his oxygen. Right now he is on a ventilator which is providing him with 100% of his oxygen. As he utilizes this they way they want him to, they will slowly take down the percentage they are providing him with. At Blank, they had him totally off the ventilator at one point, but since then the lowest the have gone is about 95%. He is just not ready at this point to be weaned from the oxygen, and they base that on how well he is using the oxygen they are giving him: which is another percentage. Usually that number has been pretty good. I don’t think I have ever seen it below 80%. Usually it’s about 88%. Right this second he is utilizing 94% of the 100% that they are giving him. I have seen it at 100% this morning. I think that as long as it stays about 90% or so for the next couple of days, they will begin the weaning process.
So the two numbers that dance around my head all day and all night are the heartrate and oxygen usage. Adam looks at a couple other numbers to tell him how Jack’s doing, so we combine our numbers and we try to take what we can from that.
It is now the evening as I write this, and Jack seems to have stayed stable throughout the day. His heartrate is a little higher than it was this morning, but the numbers are still okay (170 range). It has been a long day, but I was grateful to once again spend some time with Megan. It is just about time for us to take the last shuttle of the day back to where we are staying so we are getting ready to tell Jack: “see ya later.” We have learned that we no longer say “goodbye” in this family.