Monday, October 6, 2008

46 Hours and Counting

I never imagined 46 hours could feel like a month but it certainly can. Yesterday was rough. Alaina's platelet count was still low even though she'd gotten multiple transfusions and out of nowhere, her glucose levels fell. The doctors started giving her what they call pushes of glucose, which are basically straight doses of sugar to boost her levels, but the number wasn't going up. To test the glucose level, the nurse pricks her heel, puts a drop of blood on a test strip and uses a monitor to get the glucose reading. It all takes about 3 minutes. By the end of the day, we started to feel badly for Alaina's nurse because every time she took a reading, DH, my mom and I would sit there with bated breath waiting to hear the result and when the nurse would tell us it was the same or had fallen, it was a huge disappointment. Glucose is extremely important to all of the vital organs and if they aren't receiving the amount they need, they'll start to break down protein and other elements to replace it with. But no one could figure out why the glucose she was being given wasn't increasing her levels. Leave it to little Alaina to become a medical mystery.

Finally at around 7:00, we got some good news from her nurse practitioner. Alaina's platelet levels doubled! They were also going to take her next glucose level from a vein in her leg instead of pricking her heel in case the blood in her heels wasn't giving an accurate reading. We all piled into her room and waited while the NP tried to find a vein to draw blood from. If I were editing one of my shows, I would have added heartbeat sound effects to show how slowly it felt like time was moving. Sure enough, when her reading came back it was 77, which is perfect. To say we were relieved would be the biggest understatement ever!

By midnight, she was doing well enough that we felt okay about going home to get a few hours sleep instead of spending another night on the couches in the NICU conference room. Alaina had gotten some morphine for her pain so she was sedated but when she heard us say goodnight, she kicked her little legs and opened her beautiful eyes as if to tell us not to worry.

This morning, her glucose is a little low again and her platelets are down but the doctors say that's normal since they stopped the transfusions and pushes yesterday after her levels came up. I really hope today will be a good day.

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