Holding Strong

If Don and I hit a wall about two weeks ago, it would seem that Nyana has hit the wall now herself. After successfully weaning her ventilator settings for the past week, we’ve taken it as far as we can before she’s finally caught on. The big strides we’ve been making on the oxygen requirements, the respiratory rate, and the ventilator pressure have all been stopped abruptly in their tracks as she’s decided that enough is enough, and if we lower any setting any further, she’s going to desat and beep until we turn them back up for her.

Fair enough. We’ve come from 85% oxygen to about 55. The respiratory rate on the ventilator—the number of breaths the machine gives her in a minute—has been slashed from 50 to 39. We’ve cut the morphine back to nearly nothing as well, and the vent pressure has also been reduced greatly. It’s a lot to expect a tiny body to cope with all at once. I can’t complain too much if she needs to stop for a breather (pardon the pun) before we continue.

But those of you who know me well know that patience is a virtue I am lacking. As fantastically unrealistic as it may be, I secretly hope every morning that when I come in I’ll find that she’s had a miraculous turn for the better overnight and they’re planning to extubate her. Of course that’ll never happen, but it sure is nice to dream about.

As much as I remind myself that we’re on her time now, and she’ll decide when she’s ready for the next step, I’m frustrated by her recent plateau. I’m frustrated to see her struggling for her next breath. Frustrated that I can’t just pick her up and hold her. Frustrated that Christmas is going to be here before we know it and she’s in no rush to start this whole breathing thing. I have days where the constant beep-beep-beeping of her machines is enough to drive me batty, and I’m agitated to the point of tears when I leave her bedside. Knowing that her ability to breathe is completely out of my control is leaving me feeling completely out of control myself. And there’s nothing I can do but wait for her to catch her breath and continue moving forward.


About Mrs. B

Wife, mother, marketer--not always in that order. Lover of fine food, good company, and exceptional grammar. Mother of one former micro-preemie and one full-term monster baby. Building childhood memories in Vancouver's suburbs.
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4 Responses to Holding Strong

  1. Stacey and Lucy says:

    She is doing great… It’s almost that time where she will make huge strides… I have a very good feeling about Christmas …we love you!!

  2. Anne Brackett says:

    Karen All you can do is hope and pray. I know it is hard to do. One day there will be a change. She will be Ok as she is a fighter and most of all a Brackett. She is beautiful. Love to all Mom and Grandma

  3. LeeAnne says:

    Karen, all I can add, is she is a GIRL, and she will decide when she is ready to do it! That’s just how girls are, they like to run there parents lives. Her time will come, when she is ready. Here’s hoping its sooner than later, for your and Dons sake! Thinking of you all, every day!

  4. Benton says:

    You and Don know that we have 3 “kids” …. late 30s to early 40s … and I can tell you from experience that the “agenda” that used to be set by you and Don will now, for the most part, will be set by Nyana. The good thing is …. you won’t mind at all because you will so enjoy watching her develop into her own person, with a lot of help from you and Don.
    Oh, by the way, don’t worry about that “patience” thing … trust me …. you will develop a huge amount of patience ….. it comes with “parenthood”. Nyana is just “letting you know who’s boss”. The 3 of you are in all of our thoughts and prayers daily.

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