Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Dreaded Ventilator

So, as many of you follow our blog, you know the horror stories of Emma and her bouts with being extubated and then reintubated.  Well, tonight as I type this, I am not going to share a horror story but rather an update about her current condition, which involves the ventilator.  Right now Emma's heart and nutrition and about everything else are going good, or as good as would be expected.  But her current struggle now has been with sedation and the dreaded ventilator.  As you may recall, we thought Emma would be extubated at the beginning of this week.  Well, we had several set-backs which involved her sedation.  When switching her from IV pain/sedation meds to by mouth pain/sedation meds, she went into a semi-withdrawl period which caused the doctors to up her pain/sedation by mouth medications.  Well these medications are very long acting and so when they did this, she got a little to sedated.  Sedated enough that she was not breathing over the ventilator, which was only giving her 10 breaths a minute.  This caused her to not be getting the oxygen she needed, as well as not exchanging CO2 and oxygen in her lungs like she needed to.  When this happened, they had to increase her ventilator settings by quite a bit to be able to sustain her through this period of over-sedation and what is called respiratory depression.  Over the last couple days, the doctors have been weening her down on these medications, but the effects from the weening will not be seen for days.  Thus, Emma is still quite sedated and not breathing much over the ventilator.  So a week that looked promising for extubation turned into a week of chasing after pain/sedation meds and trying to get them at the appropriate level.  But, each day we are seeing a little bit of change as the drugs start to be eliminated and she starts waking up a little bit more.  So yes, we are still on the ventilator and don't look to be coming off of the ventilator any time soon.  I guess you could look at it as a set-back, or I guess you look at is as another part of this journey we are on.  Other than this, Emma is doing well.  She is going to be taken out of her Giraffe Omnibed ("grow-box") tomorrow and put in a crib.  This will be neat as we will be able to decorate and make her crib a fun environment for her.  We will also be able to touch, sing, talk, take pictures, etc. of her a lot more, which is great!  Some more good news, they tell Sarah she will be able to hold her again on her birthday which is tomorrow!!!!!!  She is super excited!  So, there is an update on our sweet little child.  As always, we are so thankful for all of the thoughts, kind words, encouragement, and prayers that all of you give us and Emma each and every day!  God bless you all!
I also want everyone to be praying for Emma's sweet little friend Ella.  Amy and Jon posted on their blog that Ella was having some problems with oxygen saturation and possibly her shunt.  Please keep this family in your prayers as they go through this scary time! 

Some specific prayer requests:
1)  Pray for Emma to become less sedated and be able to breath like she needs to to maintain appropriate sats and blood gases.
2)  Pray for her heart to continue to function great!
3)  Pray for the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, etc.  that take care of Miss Emma.  God bless them and their efforts!
4)  Pray for Emma to tolerate being out of her "grow-box" and to keep growing more and more each day.  We thank God that she is up to 7 lbs and 3 oz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)
5)  Pray for Sarah and I.  That we will continue to have the strength and courage that only comes from God!

As always, God is good, all the time.  And all the time, God is good!

Thank you all again for remembering us in prayer and for all of your thoughts and encouraging words.  It truly means so much to us, you have no idea!  God bless all of you!

Daddy Scott


  1. I will be lifting all of you up in prayer! So sorry to hear about the ventilator/sedation set back. Happy birthday and what a special birthday present!

  2. Praying God will help her to be able to get off the vent and breathe on her own. I pray for all it will take to achieve this. Thankful for growth and heart doing well. Praying for you guys and the strength needed for each and every day this journey takes.