Wednesday, March 11, 2009

3 Week Update: Big Progress!

We have a lot to be excited about this week. Eli has finally started making significant healing progress! So many positive things have happened this week. Last week, his white blood count had increased, presumably due to some infection. He received antibiotics, and is doing well now. The primary focus for this week was to battle his edema problems, the fluid swelling. All his kidney numbers are finally down to normal, and the kidneys are finally starting to process fluids like they're supposed to. The largest of his chest tubes was removed this week, as was the drainage catheter from his abdomen. He is now left with only the two small tubes in his chest. Yesterday, he had a net loss of 150ml of fluid, and the day before was over 360ml of fluid. In the last two days, he's lost over a half a liter fluid more than he's taken in! Not bad for such a little guy! He's also gained significant weight since he entered the hospital. He came in at 7.9lbs (3.6kg) and was measured at 12.7lbs (5.8kg) this week. Keep it up, Eli.

Today, he also started receiving mommy's milk! They're starting slowly, 2ml/hour, and it's fed through the yellow tube in his nose. Once he's off the respirator, we'll begin teaching him how to eat. This will include teaching how to latch to a bottle, how to coordinate the suction action with the swallow reflex, and so on. He'll have to be able to accomplish that before we can take him home.

They relocated the IV in his thigh to his left hand. This is slightly saddening, because now both hands have IVs, are all taped up, and we can't hold either one. The fenaldopam was stopped this morning, as well. As we understand it, this drug was used to assist kidney function, but he no longer needs it. In fact, his furosemide (diuretic to encourage elimination of fluids) has been re-started now.

On the human side of the equation, we were excited to see Eli's eyes wide open today. They were bigger than we've ever seen them. It also appears he's beginning to focus and track. Even as sedated as he is, he would turn to look at my fingers when I used them to get his attention. He also made long, consistent eye contact with both Tanya and I today, as seen in the photo above.

I've been back to work, and it's a little different now. I find I have more patience and less of my intolerance weaknesses. I tend to be a perfectionist, and push very hard on my field crew for the same. A shift in priorities has made that less important to me than it used to be. Not every hill is worth dying on, after all. So many things aren't nearly the big deal they used to seem.

We're back home now, as well. Overall, I think it's a better situation. It's nice being so close to Eli, certainly. At the same time, living out of a suitcase in a hotel for weeks at a time can really drag you down. And we still have Paige to take care of. She's been so awesome throughout this whole ordeal. We couldn't have possibly asked for a more perfect little kid to go through this with us. Every night, she prays "Jesus, please make Eli's heart much better. Much better. Much better. Amen."


Kristine said...

Wow what great news to see little Eli doing so well God is Good!! Amazing he is weighing 12lbs already. If you ever need a place for Paige to go or come play she is always welcome. What a sweet prayer from Paige she is an amazing big sister.
Love You Guys
Kristine Johnston

Amy said...

What precious photos! Jason I think he is speaking to your soul through those eyes! We are so blessed to hear about Eli's progress. God is so good. We are also so thankful that you two continue to accept the Lord's shaping and molding of your hearts. What beautiful times and beautiful lessons learned! We love you all so much and are so proud of you too!

michele cabiness said...

We are so glad to hear such great news! You guys are amazing!

Rebecca Parker said...

That picture is priceless. He looks like he's saying spirit to spirit, "I love you Daddy." Praise you God our Great Healer for little Eli's healing and thank you for the changes in Jason's life.

Anonymous said...

He looks SO good! Those big baby blues are just like Paige's eyes. They could be twins :) So happy to hear such great progress.

Auntie Sarah

Tamara B said...

The first thing I noticed is that he was making eye contact. I love that! I'll pray with Paige cause simple is good... Please Jesus make his heart better, much better!

Bonnie said...

We are back in the bay area for another conference. It was just three weeks ago that we traveled home to join you as Eli came out of recovery. We praise God for Eli's continued improvement. Three weeks - what a trooper! And so good looking - what a blessing to have him bonding with you both.

Thank you, Jason, for sharing how this experience is already transforming you into a man who is more patient and understanding.

Give Paige a big hug from Tony and Bonnie! Praying and loving you from Oakland . . . again.

Moore Family said...

It is so wonderful to see Eli looking so bright eyed. We continue to pray every day!


Nathan, Jennifer & Sophia