Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lucky seven

Little Bryce continues to blossom with the help of our new friend Elecare. He crossed the seven pound mark this morning, and has been doing great all week! He visited the retinologist again on Thursday, and we're pleased to announce that his eyes are both fully mature and "architecturally sound." We'll have to wait a few months before she'll be able to give us some idea about how well they function, but we do know that he tracks light and sees something in mirrors worth staring at. By week's end, we were both feeling a lot less overwhelmed and a lot more optimistic about the future.

Unfortunately, we couldn't get through the weekend without a little bit of drama. Bryce's sharp-eyed followers may have noticed that he has a small umbilical hernia (see the bath picture from 8/23 -- it's the little bubble where his belly button should be). This type of hernia is not unusual for a preemie, and typically it is painless and resolves without treatment. At 10PM last night, while I was changing Bryce's diaper, I noticed that the hernia had taken on a purple hue, and that it was firmer than normal. Christie agreed with my assessment, so we decided to play it safe and called his pediatrician. We were dismayed to learn that Bryce's symptoms were suggestive of a serious condition involving misplaced bowel, which would require immediate attention. The pediatrician advised us to bring him to the ER, so we packed our bags, hopped in the car and headed back to Children's.

Our ER visit turned out to be yet another good news/bad news affair. All of the staff were extremely friendly and well-versed in preemie care protocol, but we felt like we were in a war zone for the ten minutes we spent in the waiting room. I longed for Bryce to be able to take refuge in some sort of private hermetic bubble as I listened to sick kids hacking away while their parents described flu-like symptoms to the admissions nurse. When we were finally moved to a private room, the nurse's well-meaning reminder of how critical it is to keep Bryce healthy didn't help matters. I've never been a germaphobe in the past, and I don't particularly like feeling as if I have to choose between isolating my family from the world and endangering my son's life.

Thankfully, the hernia thing turned out to be a false alarm. However, we did discover that he had blood in his stool again, which means more sleuthing to figure out what caused it. Is it the Elecare? Did Christie accidentally ingest some milk or soy protein? Or is it something else entirely? Little Bryce can't give us the answer, so it seems it's time for Dr. House to rally 'round his apprentices and go back to the whiteboard. Print this post

1 comment:

  1. I have never understood why Peds offices and ERs don't have separate waiting rooms for sick vs. injured.

    You-all are doing great, and congrats on the big 7!