He looked really good this morning. Today is his three-month birthday.
He is continuing to move and to respond to external stimiuli. The neurologists seemed very encouraging. The only frustrating thing is that very little specifics can be given--we have to wait and see. He was unable to breathe totally on his own without the ventilator, but was continuing to breathe over it when they turned it down. That is because the swelling in the brain is continuing to keep many functions suppressed. Lower brain functions like reflex and response to touch or pain are reacting more strongly each day and the breathing (which is a higher brain function) is doing better also, which makes me think that as the swelling goes down more and more progress will be revealed in all areas--high and low. Other hihger functions are things like tracking with the eyes, recognizing faces and voices, smiling, displaying other social skills--he didn't have that many to start with but they are things like returning vocalizations, imitating noises we make, laughing during interactions. He had just started doing those things at home. He had been smiling consistently and returning smiles and sounds for about 2 to 3 weeks. So, I hope to see the return of his smile soon. But it will take patience and just waiting for his brain to heal. It will be impossible to tell if there is any permanent damage (which I don't believe there is) but doctors won't say anything obviously until all the swelling is down--which is happening, but slowly. There are still no seizures which is very good. He is only on the phenobarbitol now. The dilantin should be completely out of his system. This minute, they are removing the central line from the right groin and moving it to the left side since there was a clog in the line creating leaks around the site. Becuase of this, they upped his sedation meds for the procedure so he will probably be very groggy for a while afterward.
No pathology report yet, and really, that is still fine with me. I have enough to be thinking about right now without the next layer piled on. We know some further treatment will have to occur, but it can't happen anyway until all the swelling goes down and he remains stable.
I am having a little more anxiety today. I started taking reglan, a drug for stomach problems, ulcers, reflux, etc., but which has a side effect of increased milk production and lactation. I don't want to run out of milk while this is all going on and when he can nurse again, I want to give him all I can. In the meantime, I have been pumping and freezing the milk, but the amount I can pump has been slowly decreasing day by day. I can see an increase having just taken the medication for one day. But the medicine also has a side effect of increasing anxiety and feelings of restlessness and also drowsiness or dizziness--some people who take it can show signs of basket-case NOS, a little known clinical term (not really). I'm sure my circumstances don't help any. So to counteract, I have a script of ativan. I may stop taking the reglan all together--I only started yesterday--But I just really want to be able to give him something when I have the chance. We're also a little stressed about what will be happening with both our work situations and the longterm benefits (insurance, etc) and financial outlook. It could be a very long road.
Please do keep us all in your prayers for comfort and guidance--but mostly for little baby Theo's recovery. The nurses call him Mr. Theo! I do have a very positive feeling about him and I know he will be healed and will come out of all this whole and just as beautiful and bright as ever. Thank you again--I can't say it enough--for all your wonderful support, your emails, your prayers, your love, your encouragement, all the wonderful gifts of spirit and love--also for those of flowers, chocolate, food, pet care, house watching, baby blankets, balloons and stuffed creatures of all sorts. We love you all. Keep watching for the next installment.