I'm at the NICU and Stephen is right now getting another echocardiogram (ECHO). For the past couple of days, they have been carefully watching his blood pressure and the number of breaths he takes a minute, among many other things. Unfortunately, the number of breaths he's been taking has been steadily increasing over the past two days. Which means he's breathing really fast and pretty shallow. He isn't taking the big deep breaths that they would like to see. All of this is attributed to pulmonary hypertension (PHT). It's something the surgeon was very concerned about going into his big surgery last week, but wasn't too much of an issue until now. Hopefully by getting the ECHO today instead of tomorrow (thanks Jess for insisting...Stephens nurses are the best!) they will be able to figure out what's happening and intervene before it gets too bad and he has to go back on the ventilator.
From what i understand, there are two interventions they could do to try to help alleviate the PHT; supplying him with Nitric oxide in his oxygen or with Viagra. Yes, you heard right....Viagra! Apparently Viagra was originally developed as a heart medicine. It's now used for the discovered side effects.
We also had a little "scare" today with dialysis as well. Yesterday and overnight his dialysis out put became a really dark organism-red color. Prior to that, it basically looked like pee. Because of the sudden change in color, they were concerned that Stephen might have developed an infection in his abdomen. So they've taken some various samples and tests and are waiting for all the results to come back. But based on the way his red and white blood cells look, it doesn't appear that he has an infection. Thank goodness! And his output this last time is back to looking normal. So fingers crossed all the cultures come back clean.
But this is daily life in the NICU. Up and down and up and down.