So we are not quite 48 hours Post-Op, and Oakes is still stable and strong. Not much has changed from yesterday as far as Oakes condition. He is still paralyzed, sedated, and on a line up of pain meds. As with previous surgeries the doctors and nurses continue to tweak and adjust his meds as his numbers change a little. We have mentioned this before, but it is a delicate balancing act. Both once last night, and then again this morning, Oakes began to wake up, he was mad and his numbers jumped around so they gave him a little more of this, tweaked that, ran labs quickly and then reported back to me that everything looks great again.
The big event yesterday was the plasmapheresis. This is where Oakes' blood is cleaned then pumped back into him along with "clean" donor blood. We were told weeks ago by the Pulminologist that Oakes would need this after transplant because of his super high antibody levels, and we were told that the process can be very hard on babies this little. Greg and I both planned to be here for the treatment and were a bit tense as they set things up. The Pheresis nurse rolled this large machine into the room. It looks a lot like a machine out of a Dr.Suess book. Tubes twisting and turning, knobs, lights, and in the base of it is a drum that spins and pulls the plasma out of the blood. The machine was made in the 80's and it kind of hums and sounds like a machine made in the 80's. It took quite awhile to set things up for the Pheresis, and once they where ready to start the room filled up with with lots of bodies. Attendings, fellows, residents, nurses, techs, and Greg and I holding hands in the corner. Lined up at the foot of his bed were about a dozen different medicine filled syringes in case the doctors would have to support Oakes during the process. All eyes were on Oakes' monitor as the exchange started. We were told the first few minutes were the most critical, and those minutes came and went with no significant changes. At 20 minutes his stats were holding steady and the room had pretty much cleared out. Too boring to hold an audience. Thank goodness. The Pheresis lasted almost 2 and a half hours, and went smoothly. Oakes' blood pressure fluctuated a bit, but that was to be expected. He temp also dropped but that was expected. The donor blood that he received came right out of a refrigerator so he was wrapped in warm blankets and over the 2 1/2 hours his temp adjusted. All was well in our little room. Huge relief.
Once Oakes was unplugged and settled back in, Greg and I headed home to have dinner with Isla and my family before we put Isla to bed. It was a mini celebration for a few good days.
I am back in Oakes room writing this post, Greg is at swimming lessons with Isla, and the Foxes are all heading back to Oklahoma today. Our Pherisis nurse just rolled the Dr. Suess machine into the room, so here we go again.
As I have been writing this I have heard the hospital helicopter land and then take off again. I get goosebumps when I hear those blades humming. I can't help but wonder if a child is being brought here or is leaving or could it be an organ coming? Either way, please expand your prayers not only for Oakes but for all of the babies, and family in this hospital and others! And hug your babies and family members extra tight from now on.
Our love vortex is still swirling. It may be the best kind of medicine in the room right now. Much love to all of you. Becky
Setting up for Pheresis.
The Dr. Suess machine.
You can see the lines of blood wrapping around the face of the machine then up to Oakes bed. He was wrapped to keep him warm as the cold blood entered his tiny little body.
This was at the end of treatment, the large hanging bag is full of Oakes' old plasma.