Saturday, October 17, 2009

Spit Happens

The last hour has been an exciting one, but not in the "I'm-so-excited-I-just-won-a-million-dollars" kinda way. I was sitting in the living room floor working on some stuff for school when I heard Ethan, on the monitor, start to gag. This isn't uncommon, especially when he's trying to do his business...which he was...

Anyway, moving on.

Jeramie went up to check on him and, after a few seconds, yelled, "OH MY GOD! Joye!!" My heart sank, and I ran upstairs faster than you could imagine. I walked in to see a puddle of baby vomit on the sheets and Jeramie was holding him. He was still gagging, but nothing was coming up at that point.

For those of you who are keeping track of Ethan's procedures and present-day anatomy, he had surgery in May for something called a Nissen. The idea is that this keeps stomach contents from coming back up into his esophagus, and potentially going back down into his airway. You'll probably remember that his cardiac arrest back in April was explained by "micro-aspirations", which were small amounts of formula that were being refluxed and then inhaled into his lungs, without ever coming out of his mouth.

So, needless to say, I thought I was going to pass out when I realized he had spit up. A) It technically shouldn't be happening, and B) how long has this been going on? I immediately went back to those days in late April and watched him breathe for a couple of minutes. He looked fine, sounded fine, acted fine, but we decided to call Duke "just in case".

I explained my concerns to the cardiologist and he spoke with another cardiologist, then called us back. Thankfully, they didn't see a need for us to bring him in. We are to keep a close eye on him over the next few days to see if it gets worse, and to watch out for the obvious signs of respiratory distress. I can handle that.

It sounds like Ethan's Nissen may be loosening up a bit, which is expected. Given any other circumstance, I would be thrilled that this is happening. I hate seeing him retch, and I've often wished that he could get some relief. Imagine having an upset stomach and needing to throw up, but you can't. Ugh. However, like the pacemaker, the Nissen has been our "safety net". In 5 months, we've never had to worry about him aspirating anything other than saliva. Now, we know if he strains hard enough, he can potentially spit up some stuff. The big question, though, is whether he has outgrown the probability of aspirating it.

I'm probably going to be a ball of nerves over the next day or so. Every little cough will probably send me flying up the steps again. If y'all would say some prayers for us, I'd appreciate it! Pray that Ethan will be protected from any aspirations and potential respiratory issues. Pray that I'll be observant without being overly worried.

Who knows? Maybe we're on our way to experiencing one more "normal baby" thing, without needing to be so concerned. Maybe we'll get to use all these cute burp cloths after all!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am praying for Ethan and that he has outgrown the probability of aspiration.

Love Grandma A.

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