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Discovering The Mysteries Of Life
April 2008
Tue, Apr. 8th, 2008 09:01 pm
Everybody down here took a turn holding Opal today. I held her this morning when she got her picture taken, and Suzanne got to hold her from 2-4:30 this afternoon. Opal's up to 1,333 grams (2 lbs. 15 oz.) She's gained 1 pound since she was born. I still couldn't notice that she was in my arms, even with the extra blankets. She's getting there. All it's going to take now is time. She's doing good. Suzanne and I are doing well, I'll be coming home tomorrow, with Suzanne coming home on Thursday. She's going to come back down Friday.


Thu, Apr. 3rd, 2008 08:01 am

Let's see. On the Opal front it's all good news. They took out her PIC line (that's the line, in her foot), they used to give her antibiotics and everything other than food, they continue to up her feeding drip every time that I talk to Suzanne and she tells me that they want to take her off of the C-PAP (the thing over her nose that was helping her breathe). I might get to feed her if she behaves herself after they take the C-PAP off. She needs to start turning her head towards a finger that is lightly brushed against her cheek and makesucking motions with her mouth, that'll be the sign that she is ready to come off the feeding tube and to start taking the bottle. I'm looking forward to that day.

I didn't go down to Seattle this week because I was absolutely positive that as soon as I got down there, my dad would call and tell me that my grandmother had passed away. Speaking of my grandma, she's holding steady.


Tue, Mar. 25th, 2008 11:04 pm
I got to hold Opal today. She took a nap for about an hour and a half in my arms. The doctor said that the scab on her hand was looking good. He said that the mark from the Art. Line is like a burn and that they have to treat it pretty much like one. They were going to up the amount of breast milk that they are giving her to 3.7 cc's an hour. It was so cool to be able to hold her again. She's so light it's hard to even feel her in my arms, even with all the tubes and the air line hooked up to her. She's so tiny it's scary to hold her, it feels like if I moved the wrong way I could break her. As of last night she weighed 1,042 grams, a tiny amount when compared to her new cousin's 3997 grams. She's doing well.

My grandmother has said that she doesn't know if she'll live to see my cousin get married. This means that she may not get to ever hold, or even see in person, the two newest members of our family. That truly blows. I know that she would really enjoy getting to see them. I hope that whatever they are able to do for her eases the pain that she's in. I'm going to go see her before I go to work on Thursday. I want to try and spend some time with her while she still has the strength for it. She'll never read this, as the closest thing to a computer that she has and knows how to work in her house is the microwave that's been in her kitchen for I have no idea how long, so I want to be able to tell her that she is truly on my mind and in my heart.

Have a good night all of you that read this, whoever and wherever you may be this night.

Current Location: Home
Current Music: The sounds of my cat demanding my attention.


Tue, Mar. 25th, 2008 09:34 am
Opal is doing well. The nurses said yesterday that they were going to up the amount of her feeding drip from 2.4 cc's to 2.9 cc's an hour. She's gained a little weight, she's up to 2 lbs 4 3/4 oz. The scab on her hand looks a lot better. It seems to be getting smaller and be healing well. She tolerated not having the mask over her nose really well this morning, but when the respiratory nurse put the prongs in her nose, she decided that she didn't like having it in her nose and would hold her breath until it was taken out. That didn't work though and she went back to sleep.

Brandon's son, Christopher Michael Cass Workentin, was born yesterday at 11:59 AM. He weighed 8 lbs. 13 oz. and was 22 inches long.


Sat, Mar. 22nd, 2008 01:10 pm

So, first the good news. Opal finally went poop. The doctors were waiting on her to do that. Suzanne went to change her diaper this morning, had gotten her all cleaned up, and then she started pooping again. Suzanne got to hold her again yesterday. YEAH!!! They've increased her feeding rate from 0.4 cc's to 1.4 cc's an hour. The upshot of all of this is that Opal is doing great, heading towards better things out here in the real world with the rest of us crazy people.

Now for the bad news, my grandmother has been in the hospital for the last week. It took the doctors that long to figure out what was going on with her. They've told us that she is riddled with cancer and that there isn't really anything that they can do besides try to make her remaining time with us more comfortable. The people from the hospice are going to be going to her place on Monday to work out a care plan for her. My dad told me that if the hospice people are coming over that that means that she doesn't have very much time left.

I get blessed with one beautiful girl in my life and another beautiful woman gets taken. Grandma has stated before that she has had a long, full, happy life and that she wants to see Pete again. The way things are going, she may meet up with him sooner than any of us had wanted.


Tue, Mar. 18th, 2008 10:59 am

Opal is doing good. She got another blood transfusion Sunday night. Suzanne was able to hold her Friday, and I got to hold her this morning. She looked so small when I was holding her. She seems to be over whatever infection she had. Her color is looking really good. She's still oon the mask, and tolerating being off of the mask for 20-30 minutes at a time, which is a good thing. If you add all of this up, it equals a very small little girl that is doing really well for her size.

On a completely separate note, my cat knocked my computer off of my lap yesterday morning before I left the house and now it won't boot up. I'm going to take it to BestBuy before I go to work tomorrow and see how much it'll cost to fix it. It doesn't matter though, because I don't have any money to get it fixed now anyways.

I hope you all have a good day and I'll post as I can.


Wed, Mar. 12th, 2008 10:25 pm

Opal Sleeping

Opal is doing really well. She has got almost no swelling, and what she does have is going down with every wet diaper she has. She's off of her antibiotics, and the oscillating ventilator. She's still on the normal respirator, but she's doing a lot of her own breathing. She's down to being given 23% oxygen, only 2% more than what you or I are breathing right now. Her left hand looks pretty bad, where they took out her arterial line. That was hard to see, because the hole from the line is really big when you compare it to the size of her itty-bitty hand. The doctor says that it's healing just the way it should though, so we aren't supposed to be worried about that. There is an ultrasound on the 14th of March, to look at a small portion of her head that wasn't real clear on the last ultrasound, nothing to worry about, they just want to get a clearer picture of that one little fuzzy area. They are going to start her caffeine drip, I think I need one of those, tomorrow, that is to help jump start her breathing on her own without the respirator. They are also going to do a test to check to make sure that everything is moving through her system correctly, after that they'll restart her breast-milk tube. Things are definitely looking good for my good looking little girl.

Current Location: Swedish Medical Center - Cherry Hill Campus
Current Mood: disappointed I want my own caffeine drip
Current Music: Frasier on CW11


Sun, Mar. 9th, 2008 01:04 am

I called for an update tonight at about 12:10 AM. Opal is down to only being given 40% oxygen, they've taken her off of two of her antibiotics because she doesn't need them, they've changed her pain medication from an injection to a drip, her urine output is higher, to the point where they want her to be, her blood gases are right where the nurses want them to be. Opal is moving around which is good, they have her on the pain medication, but not such a high concentration that she's too relaxed to move. They like that she is moving around. I'm happy that she is peeing on her own and that she doesn't need me to change her diaper for her to pee, on me!!! With Suzanne going down there on Monday, and me going down on Tuesday, Suzanne may catch up and pass me in the changed diaper count. I've changed three diapers, Suzanne has only changed one. It's terrifying to change her diaper because she is so small, I worry every time that I'm going to grab her legs too hard and break something, because she has such a small amount of muscle keeping everything together.

I'll try to update again tomorrow, just keep the happy thoughts rolling our way.

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: Sweet Sweet Silence


Sat, Mar. 8th, 2008 12:00 pm

I've been slightly remiss in posting to my journal. Opal is doing much better now. She is getting over whatever it was that she had. I'll call and get an update on how she is doing after I get off work and post a better update on her progress after I get home from work tonight. Have a good day and you can all here from me again later.


Tue, Mar. 4th, 2008 10:12 pm

The Nurse Holding Opal, Again Before Us

This afternoon the nurse told us that Opal was really sick. Her blood pressure is low, her heart rate is high, she got some sort of an infection. The good news that she had a bowel movement yesterday, and that means that her gut is working, though they've taken her off of the feeding tube, so that she can put all of her energy towards fighting the infection. They have her on three different broad spectrum antibiotics. They are giving her a medication to raise her blood pressure and a transfusion to raise her blood pressure and lower her heart rate. They are giving her oxygen, 30%, but they said that they will be continually varying that as we go along. It was easy to be strong, right up until this last visit when the nurse told Suzanne and I that we should open the little doors on the side of the isolation box and reach in and touch her. We should talk to her to let her now that we were there. I was good, right up until I touched my little girl, then I lost it, crying like a baby. Afterward, I went downstairs and smoked a couple cigarettes while I talked to my best friend and his wife. They helped me talk it out, just talking about it helped me pull it back together. They reminded me that Opal will get better, that it truly isn't an option, there is no choice here, she will get better.

I'll try to stay on top of updating this journal as often as I can.