Monday, January 21, 2013

"This is good!"

I couldn't wait to write to you today, just like I couldn't wait for my parents to come visit this morning. All of us in the NICU had a wonderful surprise for them when they got here. As soon as they walked in my doctor pointed at me and said, "This is good" so loud that even I jumped. It took mommy and daddy a second to realize what he was saying, and by that time the doctor had already finished explaining. I bet you're curious, aren't you?

Well, let me back up just a bit. For the last five or six days I've been getting a dose of steroids every twelve hours. I already told you how strange it makes me feel, but everyone said it would be worth it. I figured I would just have to trust them. Some of those days were pretty hard and I cried a lot, but my parents seemed optimistic (especially when the doctor didn't write any orders at all on Saturday). The nurses were turning down the settings on the ventilator a bit at a time, but over the weekend they just seemed to level off.

By the time Sunday rolled around, the ventilator hadn't been turned down much lately, and I was getting 70% oxygen. I didn't like how I was feeling either. I just couldn't lie still or stop crying. And then my parents came to visit. Boy was I glad to see them. Especially my mom. She came right over to me and put her hands around me and sang to me. I felt warm and secure in her hands, and couldn't help but feel completely at peace when she sang beautiful songs to me. At one point she stopped singing until I opened my eyes and looked up at her. She got the message and kept singing. Within the couple of hours that they were there, I was able to lie still, suck on my tubes (because they won't give me a pacifier), and fall asleep. And it turns out that the nurses turned down the oxygen all the way to 40% by the time my parents left.

I don't remember them leaving, but I had a great night and an even better morning. When my parents finally got there and heard the exclamation from the doctor, they saw what we were all so excited about. The settings on the ventilator had been turned down lower than ever before. If you're curious, the mean pressure setting started at around 16 or 17 last month, it's now half of that. The amplitude setting (which has to do with the frequency of my breaths) is also much lower than it has ever been. The doctor told us that he hopes to extubate me (that means get me off the ventilator) this week, and maybe even as soon as tomorrow!

My dad told me he can't wait to see me without a big mask on my face, but I told him I might still wear it to keep the feeding tube in place. Though I'm not sure how much it helps since I can't help but pull out my tubes when I'm on steroids!

This is all really exciting, but I'm a bit nervous. If things don't work out, I'll just have to go back on the ventilator until my lungs are strong enough. It's just scary when one second you can breathe fine and the next you're turning blue. That's why the nurses suggested that my parents come visit me only after the job is done. Please pray that I'll be ready when the time comes and that I can have lots of help to breathe on my own. Isn't that a funny thought? Having help to do something on your own? But were not my little lungs created by Someone just like the ventilator was? And don't I rely on the one to help just as I rely on the other? Anyway, I know that with your prayers and the expertise of the doctors and nurses, things will work out just fine.



  1. You're such a little hero, Marshall! You're in our prayers, oh Stout heart.

  2. What wonderful news! I'm excited to see that he continues to do so well. He truly is a wonderful miracle and is being watched over by some special angels. We send our prayers and you all are in our thoughts.

  3. Great news!! You're in our prayers. You can do it, Marshall!