Monday, May 4, 2009

Carter's Weekend...

Carter's overall health picked up dramatically on Thursday and Friday. He was playing the Wii, playing with toys, talking more, smiling and laughing. He was having great physical therapy sessions and it was determined that he did NOT have a clot in his PICC line!!

Saturday morning, things changed a bit. Carter woke up to very "junky" sounding lungs and breathing. His chest was retracting, causing his heart rate to severely elevate and his oxygen levels to drop drastically. This seemed to progressively get worse throughout the day. He was eventually moved back into the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) so that he could be monitored more closely.

They orders a STAT CT scan of his chest which showed absolutely no signs of pneumonia. In fact, the doctor said that his lungs looked healthier than most healthy patients. The PICU doctor felt that Carter may have been retracting his chest on purpose (meaning he wasn't letting his lungs completely fill up with air before releasing). The same doctor said that he needed to be deep suctioned regardless of his platelet count. This procedure consists of two tubes being place in each nostril and one down his throat. "Pete", the respiratory therapist in the PICU did the deep suction and was able to clear Carter's chest/nose/throat of all kinds of JUNK!! As soon as the deep suction was complete, Carter's respiratory and heart rates both returned to normal and his oxygen levels shot back up. It was believed that he would need another deep suction around midnight that night, but Carter slept peacefully from about 9:15pm that night until the next morning!!

Carter has been deep suctioned a couple more times since then, but he was able to be moved out of the PICU and put back in his normal room yesterday.

His sugar levels are still a little high (hovering between 160-209), but this could just be a result of all the medication he has been taking. There is an infection on his finger, but it is being treated. Carter receives a dose of Morphine every 4 hours to help him deal with the pain he is experiencing from the mouth sores. The sores are coming loose, which is a promising sign that his mouth will be back in working order soon!

Last night, after being discharged from the PICU to be put back on the floor, Carter was back to his smiling, laughing self playing with some toys that "Pete" from the PICU gave him.

We are hopeful that Carter will be home by Friday, but this is contingent upon some additional testing he will undergo to see what needs to be done to improve his ability to swallow properly. His epiglottis is not functioning properly due to the side effects of the radiation. This, of course effects his eating. He may have to have a GI tube put into his stomach (same-day procedure and easily removable) in order to ensure he has proper nutrition. This is imperative for so many different reasons, but primarily to get him strong enough to be able to restart his Chemotherapy treatment, which will most likely cause him to lose his appetite once again.

Best news of all??? TODAY WAS CARTERMAN'S LAST RADIATION TREATMENT!!!! No sedation was needed, only a mild relaxant to help him stay still. There will be no MRI performed for another 2 to 3 weeks in order to let the radiation "marinate" a little while and see where we are with this whole tumor business.

The family has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House for the past few days. We hope to see them and CarterMan back in the 'Burg sooner than later!!