Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eventful Easter

Well, Brynn spent Easter weekend in Children’s Mercy Hospital in downtown Kansas City. Boy is it different than our old Overland Park NICU. Anyway, because her vomiting was increasing so much and since she developed pretty bad diarrhea on top of it, she was admitted on Friday to monitor her hydration levels.

The medical staff are trying to figure out why Brynn is vomiting and having diarrhea. The options are 1) Virus, 2) Reflux, 3) Anatomical problems, 4) Irritation, 5) Aversion, or 6) Allergy.

The following tests have been / will be done to narrow down the list:
1) Upper GI study, which is basically just like the videoswallow only it looks at what happens to the Barium from the esophagus down. The fluid should go right into the small intestine and if it doesn’t, she might have an anatomical problem.
2) A pH study, which tests the acidity of her esophageal contents. In short, the more acidic it is, the more reflux she has. For this test, we’ll have to stop her reflux meds for 72 hours and she’ll likely have pretty severe heartburn (like she did in the NICU before we started her reflux meds).
3) A Scope, which will give the doctors a good visual of her innards as well as be able to take samples of the interior lining. The immediate visual will tell us if she has irritation, ulcers, or some other problem. And then, after about 5 days, the samples will tell us if she has allergies.

So her G-tube placement, which was scheduled for this Thursday the 16th, has to be postponed until these tests can be performed and the results come back. She had the Upper GI on Monday (everything looked normal), and the pH and Scope will be on Thursday.

So at least 2 more weeks of NG. Dang it. Gratefully, we got a new NG tube from the hospital that actually fits Brynn with room to grow so that takes a lot of pressure off.

The really scary thing is, if the problem is severe reflux they will do a Nissen Fundoplication—a procedure that will basically tie her stomach in a knot in order to close off the sphincter to the esophagus. The goal is to tie the knot tight enough so that reflux won’t occur but not so tight that she can’t still vomit if she has a virus or that she can’t swallow. She will not be able to burp.

They also tested her stool for Rotavirus and that came back negative, so if it is a virus, it’s at least not that one.

We were happy to have Megan and Tyson (Matt's sister and her husband) with us this weekend. Although we weren't in a position to entertain them much, they sure kept us entertained and made our otherwise stressful situation more fun.


Other than that, we’re doing well. Brynn is developing normally—smiling more and more and responding to voice cues as well as facial expressions. She is an adorable, cheerful little girl with lots of spunk and opinions!

I must give an extra thank you to my friend Rosemary, who stayed the night with me on Thursday night—prior to our hospital admission on Friday. Matt was out of town on business and I was so scared. Brynn had puked up her NG for the third day in a row and I was worried it’d come out again in the middle of the night—I couldn’t thread it by myself and had no idea what I’d do. Not only was I worried about Brynn, but I also had a major migraine and felt nauseous myself. Rosey, a nurse and mother of twin boys, came to stay with me. I’d never seen anyone so cheerful to help. The whole time she was thanking ME for the chance to be of service. She did the dishes, the laundry, and Brynn’s feedings so I could sleep. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her. THANK YOU, Rosey!

And thanks, too, to Laurie, Kelley, and Dana for helping me thread an NG tube on the prior days while Matt was gone. Brynn couldn’t have eaten without you! No friend should ever have to be asked to do such an unpleasant favor!

Grateful for my good support system,
Natalie

4 comments:

Team Piggott said...

Wow...That bedding sure looks familiar. Are you guys on the the 2nd or 3rd fl? I thin PICU is 2nd and NICU is 3rd. Southerland Tower?

I see you straightened your hair as well. Praying that Brynn gets better really fast.

Matt + Natalie said...

Close. We were on the 6th floor--the GI floor--up the castle elevators.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Hey Nat - We absolutely LOVED Children's Mercy downtown. We were in the Castle Tower both times when we were admitted and had excellent nurses. I know they'll take good care of you!

Skip, Stephanie, Emerald, Calvin, and Zachary said...

I'm so sorry you can't figure all this out. By the end of this fun adventure you could write a medical jargon book for new parents going thru the same thing :) Best wishes and prayers coming from the Pankewich family. Brynn is such a beautiful baby girl!