Monday, January 28, 2013

Two-Hour Adventure

I did it! On Tuesday I got off the ventilator and I breathed on my own! Well, it was mostly on my own - I had oxygen running up into my nose. It made me sneeze a lot. That's why I pulled it out. Once it was out I could finally relax, free from all tubes and hoses. But it didn't last long. Soon the machine on the wall was beeping like crazy and my mom noticed that I had taken the liberty of making myself comfortable by removing the tube. So it was back to the plastic up my nose for me.

Are any of you wondering why I wrote "breathed" instead of "breathe," and "it was" rather than "it is?" That's because I'm back on the ventilator. In fact, I was only off it for two hours before my little lungs just couldn't keep up. If you had looked at me, though, you would never have guessed that I was struggling. I was taking deep breaths in and out, and the monitor on the wall showed I had enough oxygen in my blood. But there's no fooling those clever nurses. They kept pricking my heels and drawing blood to find out just how well (or not well) a job my lungs were doing. It turns out that lungs do a lot more than just oxygenate the blood! They've got to exchange oxygen and the carbon dioxide. They also help regulate my pH balance. So although it seemed my body was working hard to inhale and exhale, the blood from my heels revealed a build-up of CO2 and a pH imbalance.

Even though I had to go back on the ventilator only two short hours after being free, I made sure to take advantage of the opportunity. First I posed for some pictures without a big white mask over my mouth. Then I sucked on a little pacifier (it was supposed to be the smallest one they had, but it was still bigger than my head!) Finally, I held my mommy really close. She said it felt like she was only holding a little blanket because I weighed so little. But to me it reminded me of heaven. Maybe you've forgotten, but I still remember the warmth and the peace and the joy. And that's just how I felt when my mommy held me close in her secure arms and gentle hands. The only difference between the two experiences is that in heave , I didn't have a feeding tube right in the middle of my mouth! My dad said it's probably a bit like when you swallow a spaghetti noodle that gets stuck halfway down, but I told my dad it would be inappropriate to go into details about that.

So now I'm back on the ventilator. I'm focusing on growing bigger and preparing my lungs for next time. The doctor said it wasn't a problem that it didn't work - my lungs just weren't quite ready. He wants to wait a week or two and try again. Even though it did hurt a bit to be re-intubated, it was absolutely worth it. It gave me a chance to show everyone what my mouth looks like (though the mask that is glued to my face makes my skin red and wrinkly), but best of all, it let me be closer to my mommy than ever before. I think it also gave extra hope to some people that just won't stop worrying...*cough* dad *cough*.

My mom and dad also wanted me to help them express how loved we all feel by your kind words of support, your comforting expressions of love, and the miracles powered by your prayers. I also hope you'll pray for my Grammy Stout, who I haven't seen since my first week in the hospital. She's always wearing herself out taking care of other people and praying for me, and has been sick for quite sometime. Have I mentioned that I have the four best grandparents ever?



  1. It was so thrilling to read this Tyler, er, I mean Marshall! We are all so concerned and worried but at the same time, heartened at your progress! You have the sweetest little face and I am so glad that Mommy Mandy got to hold you and that you had a try without the ventilator! I have a little gift for you but there is no hurry, but I will get it to you in the mail one of these days! I've been sick with pneumonia all month so it's been a long and dreary month. Congratulations on all your milestones dear baby boy! Love, "great" aunt Martha

  2. Glad we got to see Marshall's cute little face! We are praying for you all.

  3. I just love your blog and updates. Inspiring! What a sweet little guy you have.

  4. Tyler, you're the best and a grateful man. I worry, too.
    He is doing so good. Color is great and later you'l look at how much you grew, too, hard as it was, so BREATHE in and out. What a blessing you 3 are in all our lives. God bless you all! And "DO YOUR BEST!" Always!
    Love ya, Jill T. Henrie

  5. such a precious photo of little Marshall