Tuesday, December 7, 2010

IMCU 11p

As I alluded to in my last post, I wasn't too happy when we first got transferred to the IMCU. First let me preface by saying I'm a bit sleep deprived at the moment, so my emotions are heightened and I'm probably more sensitive than I normally would be. But within that lens, here's what's transpired today:    I had mentioned to the nurse that I thought Matthew's breathing sounded strained.  She came in to listen and dismissed me saying that his lungs sounded clear.  Having heard this same sound at 3am and knowing that Matthew really started to struggle at 8am (requiring the breathing treatment), I went back out and told her I'd like to have him looked at again. She had the respiratory therapist come in and paged the Dr. T's resident.  The RT came by and dismissed me as well.  Finally the resident came in...and dismissed my concern as well. 

I had other concerns that I brought up to the resident.  Would the 2 anti-inflammatory meds be okay with Matthew's one kidney? Our nephrologist typically doesn't want Matthew taking Motrin, much less Motrin and another med in the same class.  That concern was dismissed.  Matthew's heart rate has been irregular, is that of concern?  Nope, only if his blood pressure is low (though they only take it once every 4 hours).  I just felt completely dismissed.  I know I probably sound paranoid, but Matthew's history makes me feel like I need to be vigilant.  I don't want anything overlooked but I was made to feel a little like a crazy mom.

After voicing all of this to Darren, he picked up the phone and called our nephrologist (Dr F) to get his opinion on the meds. I'm so glad he thought of that!  Dr F approved the meds and just knowing that, I started to feel calmer. 

Then Dr T (Matthew's cranialfacial surgeon) came by.   I didnt have to say a word to him about the situation.  He said he had heard I was concerned about Matthew's breathing so he came over to make sure he was okay and was on the pulse oxygen monitor.  He also talked with the charge nurse to make sure they understood Matthew was not a typical cranialfacial patient, he was unique and my concerns should always be addressed. He apologized to me that my concerns weren't addressed properly.  He set up Matthew with the pediatric team (to handle any of my concerns tonight) and the pain management team (who came up with a medication plan to make sure we don't have a repeat of last night).  Before today, I was a huge fan of Dr Ts and his actions today made me president of his fan club! 

Dr T is still encouraged by Matthew's progress today.  Matthew has been asleep since his last morphine dose at 7pm but has been making sure we don't become too complacent.  His heart rate is still irregular at times, and a bit low (between 70-90 instead of 120s yesterday). His pulse oxygen level is down (as it was this morning before the breathing treatment).  And a recent development is that Matthew's temperature has now swung the other way...instead of running a fever, he is too cool (95.7 degrees).  The nurses bring in warm blankets and his temperature is very slowly rising.  Reminds me of the few hours immediately after his birth when we fought the same thing.  I'm hopeful that his sleep will continue to be restful and healing. 

We cannot thank our friends and family enough for the support you have given us during Matthew's entire journey and especially this latest episode.  Every note, text, phone call, post, prayer, well-wish, and positive thought bring our hearts comfort and propel us forward.  We are very blessed.  Thank you! 


  1. Katie,
    Speaking from experience, don't ever let the nurses and doctors dismiss your opinion. You know Matthew better than anyone. If I had become complacent, I wouldn't have my Elizabeth with me still. We are continuing to pray for Matthew and your family and are encouraged to hear that he is making progress. It won't be long until you are at home ready for the holidays.

  2. Katie,
    I agree with Rebecca. Every patient needs an advocate! You are his mother and YOU know him best. Even in your sleep-deprived state, you are moving mountains - really. Hang in there! Both Darrell and I are praying.

  3. Dismissive doctors and nurses ought to be dismissed as in terminated. Or at least reprimanded. Too bad there aren't enough of them to go around. Thank God for Matthew's sake you are not a woman to simply be dismissed. Praying for you all. Know that even if I don't post or write, I'm keeping tabs and thinking of you lots.