Friday, October 30, 2009
His speech therapist has come twice and will probably not come again since he is doing so well. Occupational and physical therapy come tomorrow. He is doing better and better and even ran a few steps tonight.
He is a fighter and we are so proud of him.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Great news! The doctors cleared Nathan to come home today. He is almost back to normal and his rehabilitation therapy will continue on an in-home basis. He is no longer contagious with the flu and has not been for days. He still isn’t talking very much but everything else is going fine. The doctors advised us to have the other two kids get the swine flu vaccine as a precaution, but not because of anything to do with Nathan.
Sarah and I really appreciate your well wishes, love, and concern. Thank you very much.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Loranna and Daniel enjoyed their bath tonight.
Nana and Papa Blanchard together with Nathan on Saturday afternoon. Nathan has a car in his mouth, which he thought was pretty funny.
Shelly paid a visit to Nathan Saturday night as well. That was sure nice of her.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Sarah was told today that his MRI showed encephalitis, or brain swelling. This might explain the neurological problems that he has been having. I did some research and found that four kids in Texas who had swine flu in July got encephalitis as well. They had similar neurological problems to the ones that Nathan has, but they all fully recovered. This seems to be a somewhat rare side effect of the swine flu, but it was good to read that they recovered! We have faith that Nathan will do so as well.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
- Nathan slept really well last night
- He is sitting unassisted now for minutes at a time
- He has been upgraded to a "mechanical soft" diet, meaning that he can eat both soft and pureed foods
- He paid attention when I read him stories and watched some Playhouse Disney shows this morning
- He is talking less than last night, which the speech therapist said is normal (frequency goes up and down). However, he has said a few words today, like George, snake, and puppy (while I was reading him Curious George)
- The pediatrician said that cases like his have been seen in Texas recently and have been attributed to lingering effects from swine flu
- Starting Monday, he will begin in-patient rehabilitation here in the hospital. This will involve several hours per day of intensive speech, physical, and occupational therapy. I have no idea what occupational therapy means but I will ask.
- He laughs when I tickle him and when I play dinosaurs with him.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Both OT and PT came this morning and did an assessment with Nathan so they will have a baseline. While PT was working with him he sat himself up and stayed in the position for about 10 seconds and he made eye contact with me, I said to him "good job Nathan, mommy is here" and then he lunged forward and let me snuggle him. We stayed that way for about 5 minutes but my knees started to hurt and the phone kept ringing so I finally had to move. Oh how it warmed this mommies heart to feel like my sweet Nathan knew who I was and wanted me. Between this and his comment from last night "my mommy here, mommy here," I am finally feeling like he knows who I am and it's the best feeling in the world!!! Yesterday Jarom held Nathan in his lap and read half a story to him before he started fidgeting. Today I was able to read 2 and 1/2 books with him on my lap before he started fidgeting. We are so happy that his attention span is increasing.
Lastly, I just went with him for his swallow test and he did awesome. It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. They sat him in a chair and did an x-ray of his throat while the speech therapist fed him. His throat is looking wonderful and functioning perfectly now. I was able to watch the pureed food and drink on the x-ray move down and it was amazing. He was so hungry. So they don't have to replace the feeding tube that he pulled off last night, yeah! We are so excited for his improvements, feel that we are moving forward and pray that it will continue.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
They did find out that his PICC line was growing bacteria and that is why they suspect that he has had a low grade fever for the last couple of days. They have removed it and put in an IV in his hand for liquids and blood draws. It took them 3 tries to successfully put the IV in, which was sad to watch. However, during the process he yelled out loud for the first time in 2 days and is being more responsive. He still doesn't seem to recognize family members. Speech therapy is coming to evaluate him today and he is still having respiratory treatments for his lungs.
We are grateful for the improvements. Suzanne, one of the doctors, told me that we will watch him overnight and his team will meet in the morning to discuss his changes. Thank you again for all your love and concern, we love you all!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The doctors ordered an EEG scan to check for seizures. The scan was negative--no seizures. He ate another popsicle tonight. His feeding tube is still in. He's off the of the supplemental oxygen. His lungs are clear, but he still has some stuff in his throat and chest that he's trying to clear out. He's still not talking either--he said "ouch" to one doctor who was poking him this afternoon and that was it.
Nathan was moving around a little more tonight. He got up on all fours briefly (twice) in the three hours that I was there tonight. He rolls around quite a bit, almost as though he was trying to get comfortable. He is still not sleeping much, though he was looking pretty tired when I left tonight.
The plan tomorrow is for him to have an MRI scan and a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). The MRI is to check his brain for swelling and damage. The lumbar puncture is to check for infections that may have developed since the antibiotics were stopped.
Obviously we are in anguish over this turn of events. Please continue to pray for him.
Nathan is not progressing as quickly as we would like. He’s not talking, not sleeping much, and can’t sit up on his own yet. He doesn’t recognize Sarah or me yet either. A neurologist will probably examine him today and he may get a CT scan. The ICU doctors say that this is abnormal behavior.
We’re not out of the woods yet. Please continue to pray for him.
Nathan's still not recognizing us or talking yet. This is a somewhat common side effect from Versed, the sedative that he was on. It usually wears off after 24-48 hours. We got some pictures to post now that he looks a lot better. It was fun to see him eat a popsicle.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Before I left his room tonight, the nurse told me that the doctors may decide to remove his breathing tube tomorrow and continue to decrease his medications. We sure hope they do this since it will allow his throat to start healing and him to communicate verbally.
Hope you've all had a great night. Another update will show up tomorrow, hopefully with more good news! Again, thank you to all of you for your faith, prayers, and well wishes.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Several nurses said that we should expect him to recover fully from this ordeal, for which we are so happy and grateful to Heavenly Father. Please continue to keep him in your prayers for his big day tomorrow! We love you all and are so grateful for your continued support (prayers, fasting, well wishes, phone calls, and emails).
--Jarom and Sarah
Sunday morning has seen a big change for Nathan. He is resting comfortably, with all numbers looking good on the conventional ventilator. The left lung looks better than last night--a "night and day" difference according to Sarah, who looked at both chest films. He is now off of the paralytic medicine, which means that he is more aware of what is going on from time to time. It has been great for Sarah and me to be up here with him today. We're grateful to Mom and Dad, who took the other two kids to church and have been keeping an eye on them this afternoon.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The nurses continue to suction his lungs. Nathan doesn't like this very much; sometimes he fidgets and grimaces since it makes him uncomfortable. The good thing is that he is improving and not getting worse. He has had two days and nights of not getting worse now. :) More tomorrow.
Today is Nathan's 6th day in the hospital. I (Jarom) spoke with his nurse a couple of hours ago. She said that his blood pH is still good and that he is still quite swollen. They have him on a diuretic to help with the swelling. Sometimes this diuretic raises blood pressure, so they had him on some blood pressure medicine for awhile. However, his BP has remained good, so he's off the BP medicine now.
They still have him on the "oscillator" ventilator, which is doing all of the breathing for him right now. The doctor's plan is to keep him on the oscillator for at least the rest of today--they tried to get him switched over to a different ventilator last night, but he didn't go for it. His oxygen saturation was good, but his lungs were not strong enough to help with the breathing like the doctors wanted. So we're in a holding pattern now, waiting for Nathan's lungs to regain enough strength to get switched over to the other ventilator.
Here are a couple of pictures. The first is Nathan with Jarom at his first BYU football game on October 2. The other one is how he looks in the ICU.
For those who haven't heard about Nathan's illness, here's the quick rundown:
- Nathan developed a croupy cough on Sunday evening
- Sarah took him to our local clinic Monday morning, where the doctor said his lungs were clear
- Monday evening, Nathan had a fever and shortness of breath
- Jarom took him to the ER Monday at about 10 pm where an x-ray showed pneumonia in his lungs
- Things got more complicated when the nurses intubated him and triggered a gag reflex, which caused him to vomit. He aspirated the vomit/stomach acid into his lungs.
- Nathan was then life-flighted to Primary Children's Medical Center at about 1 am on Tuesday morning. Further testing showed that the pneumonia was brought about by the H1N1 flu virus. The aspiration in his lungs caused bacterial pneumonia as well.
- He got worse until Thursday night, when things seemed to level off and not get worse anymore.
Loranna is doing quite well--enjoying preschool, making new friends, and doing playdates with those new friends. Daniel is making lots of new sounds and moving around by scooting backwards. He says "Ge ge ge" when he's happy and "Baa baa baa" with a sad sound when he's sad.