Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 7, Post Op Fontan (April 24)

To celebrate the one week anniversary of Eli's successful open heart surgery, he was sedated again.  This time to have a PICC line placed.  A PICC line is a long IV that can stay in for weeks at a time.  A regular IV is only about an inch or so long, but his PICC runs from the crook of his right elbow to his heart.  To place it they sedate him with IV meds and then place the breathing tube.  An ultrasound machine is used to find the best place to start the PICC, then the doctor inserts it and threads it to the desired area.  Then it's taped down, secured and they start waking him up.  It took about thirty minutes for the procedure then he was in recovery for about an hour before coming back to his regular room. 

Why does he need this?  Well, Eli was running some fever over the weekend despite being on Tylenol around the clock for pain.  Blood and urine cultures were obtained and the blood cultures came back being positive for staph aureus.  By the time the culture came back he had already been on two antibiotics (Vancomycin and Cefepime).  We're hoping those have already made a difference and we may not need to do more invasive treatment.  If we need to do more, then Eli will likely be hospitalized for several more weeks as he receives antibiotic therapy.  The reason for the PICC line is because it will last longer and provide easier access throughout the rest of his treatment (whatever course that may be).  The central line Eli had that was placed in surgery also tested positive for staph.  Dr. Abraham (surgeon) and Dr. Belcher (infectious disease doctor) both agreed it was best to get the infected central line out and to be proactive by placing a PICC.

That's pretty much what yesterday's big news was.  He was taken down to the cardiovascular lab at 10 and we got back to the room by 2.  After that he was groggy but hungry.  He was supposed to start his diet on clear liquids and advance as tolerated.  After two ounces of juice he demanded his 'bot' (which means milk).  We tried to put that off for a little while because we needed to make sure the juice didn't upset his belly after the anesthetic.  We didn't win that argument for long.  While we were waiting for his milk, Eli pointed at the menu hanging on the wall and yelled "meat!"  I guess the boy was hungry!  Again, we had to have him wait a while but a couple hours later he did get a dinner tray.  Of course he didn't eat nearly all of it, but he had several bites of chicken, mashed potatoes, and about 1/2 of a packet of pureed fruit I had grabbed on a WalMart run that day.  Think we'll pick up a few more of those!

His belly was very distended last night (which made his appetite quite a surprise to us).  He never pooped yesterday so we asked for a suppository for him.  It finally started working about 1am and again at 6am.  His belly is still distended this morning, but it's much better.  For breakfast he ate about five bites of omelet with ham and cheese, one bite of orange, and four bites of banana.  He was really cute eating the banana because he wanted to hold it and do it himself. 

He's pretty weak.  When we've sat him up in bed he can't hold himself up at all.  We have noticed that he's stronger these past couple days and have no reason to think that won't continue.  We're hoping to take him for a wagon ride today and possibly a bath this afternoon.  Some might think a bath would be more important than an outing, but we think a change of scenery (without getting another medical thing done) would be a huge benefit to him.  We can always wipe him down in bed if he's too tired for an actual bed bath. 

Does anyone have any questions for us about anything we've blogged or posted?  Or is there something we haven't touched on that you're curious about?  Some have asked us about laundry.  There is a washer and dryer available to us (first come first served).  It's actually next door to Eli's room so we can hear if it's available or not.  The hospital even provides some of their detergent, but it leaves clothes very stiff.  We bring some of the Purex detergent/fabric softener sheets in one and use those.  Anything else people want to know, whether it's about Eli, Zachary, us, etc?  We'll try to answer anything we can.

Thanks again for following.  We're hoping for good news today and some increase in his energy.  Eating some solid food and "meat!" has already made a difference!

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