An update from the ICU

We’re exhausted.   With every alarm beep we jump up as if we are about to spring into action but can only stand helpless at the end of Rafa’s bed watching the doctors and nurses as they work to bring his vitals back into range.

The doctors are telling us he is probably going to get worse over the next day or two.  We can’t imagine what worse is.

We have had some relief late this afternoon.  They’ve switched his ventilator to one that delivers oxygen in a different way.  Research is currently being carried out between the two types of ventilators so they are trying to keep all the respiratory problem kids on the machine they started with when they came into the ER, but the doctors felt that they just needed to try something else for Rafa.

They’ve also changed how his muscle relaxant is administered.  They’d like to give it just as required to minimise its use but the drug begins wearing off after about an hour and that’s when Rafa starts biting down on the tubes, obstructing the air flow, or hyperventilating and not giving the machine a chance to get a good dose of oxygen into his lungs.  Instead, they’ve decided to give him paralyzing drugs constantly through the drip.

Whilst these changes have brought Rafa’s heart and respiratory rates back to a good range (brilliant news) it’s hardly a comfort that he’s had to be so dosed up on sedatives and paralyzers and antibiotics and diuretics and a whole heap of other things from the nurses arsenal to be stable.  He’s full of tubes delivering milk and oxygen, and covered with wires measuring heart and respiratory rates, oxygen saturation and temperature.  There’s an IV in his hand, another in his head and a PICC line in his arm where they draw blood several times a day to check his blood PH and CO2 levels.  He is getting extremely good care, we are fortunate for that, but nothing feels comforting.  All we want to hear is he’s getting better.  That he’s going to be alright.  That he’s coming home soon.  That’s all we want to hear.

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6 Responses to “An update from the ICU”

  1. Abuela Says:

    Family, friends and strangers from all over the world are also giving all their prayers and energy into giving Rafa and you all the strength that is needed right now. Rafa is so lucky to be born to such amazing parents who have done all they can to make him into a strong and healthy boy. Those reserves must be such an asset as he goes through this very rough patch. Rob and June send their love with ours. xxxx

  2. Iggy Says:

    Rafa is fortunate to be getting such good medical help and such good support from his family in Portland and all over the world. Stay strong!

  3. brismod Says:

    It seems like you are living in a nightmare…if only you could wake up from it and sigh with relief knowing it was nothing…Sending you our prayers, best wishes and a big huge hug.xx

  4. Aunty VJ Says:

    Kia Kaha, Sarah, Jose, Ana and especially Rafa. We are all sending loads and loads of love and best wishes. As Abuela says, June wants to pass on loads of great grandma hugs and best wishes and she is thinking of you, as with the rest of us xxxx

  5. Peter & Mary Says:

    Dear Ana,
    When you look at the stars in the sky make a big wish for your little brother to get better, and give your Grandma Diana a big hug from us.

    • Ana Says:

      I given Abuela lots and lots of hugs and sung “Twinkle, twinkle little star” as I made my wish for Rafa. Thank you so much for thinking of us.

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