Things in the CICU change so fast.
About 20 minutes after I posted my last blog, Micah began to desat down to the 30s. During the first desat, the nurse and the respiratory therapist were able to bring his saturations back up. Five minutes after they left the room, he desatted again. They brought him back up but it took more time and a few more hands. It happened for a third time and I found myself in a room full of doctors and nurses.
Next thing I know I'm speaking with the director of the CICU, Dr. Berger. He's explaining that Micah is unable to keep his saturations up without constant intervention. They had to give him epinephrine and bicarbonate to artificially raise his blood pressure to push blood to his lungs.
They ordered an x-ray to ensure correct placement of his breathing tube and ordered an echocardiogram to analyze the function of his heart. I could hardly believe the room could fit anymore people or machines. The x-ray results were good.
I became irritated because doctors and nurses would speak in low voices to each other with their backs turned towards me. I kept hearing, "cathetarization" and "unable to maintain levels." I tried to ignore them by looking at Micah who seemed to be growing paler by the minute. Looking at him made me want to fall apart and I really wanted to keep it together until I knew the plan.
Every so often a doctor would come up to me and brief me about what was going on. Finally a surgeon, Dr. Nath, approaches me and says that Micah is unable to stabilize himself and they have to put him on ECMO.
My heart just sank and I began to cry.
ECMO is a heart and lung bypass machine. It's a machine that provides temporary life support. I don't want to explain it here, so you can Google it if you'd like, but it's basically a last resort when the heart and/or lungs aren't functioning properly.
I spoke with Dr. Donofrio who explained that the echocardiogram showed a narrowing of the conduit leading to his pulmonary arteries. As a result, blood flow to the lungs isn't good and they would need to perform a cathetarization to confirm the results of the echo. He'll probably get a cath in the next 24-36 hours and if all goes well we can begin weaning him off ECMO.
It's unbelievable how quickly things can go bad. I feel terrible. I can't even imagine how Micah must feel. Please pray that the risks associated with being put on ECMO are avoided and pray for a quick and safe weaning from the machine.
It's hard for me to comprehend that I have one child on life support and one completely healthy child at home. Why?