a guy and a bee

a collection of random thoughts and ideas from me, her, and sometimes us

Thursday: BBA

Hematologist: said he looks good and that his platelets are up some from yesterday. If he continues to progress, their group will stop following him. 

Endocrinologist: blood sugar was holding yesterday afternoon but dropped overnight. He was started on a medication at 1:00am based on a potential diagnosis and his blood sugar levels have been much higher and consistent since then. He will remain on the medicine, the purpose of which is to slow down the production of insulin, indefinitely. Only side effect of the medication is excess fluid, so he will remain on the diuretic to try to keep purging it. He could grow out of the diagnosis over time. For now, progress and an answer. 

All other reports are good today. Feeding tube still in but he seems happier with milk over supplements. Oxygen supplement remains at 25%. 

Thursday: BBB

Wednesday: BBB

Wednesday: BBA

Results from the liver ultrasound came back…no liver damage. Platelets are holding steady which is a good sign, but they are not improving. Hemotologist checked in this morning and said they would be running a few tests to rule out deficiencies. 

Endocrinologists were consulted last night as a result of dropping blood sugar levels again, despite an increased glucose level in his IV. The ultrasound of his pancreas came back clean Saturday night, most likely ruling out specific damage there. Additional tests are being done to look at his blood sugar and insulin levels, including the potential investigation of some rarer conditions. 

His oxygen level has been decreased again and they are discussing weaning him off of supplemental oxygen. 

Heart and lungs still holding steady. 

He got a feeding tube reinserted so they can start feeding him milk and reduce his vitamin, fat, and electrolyte IVs. Today he should have 72 mLs by day’s end. 

He needs to be able to take a bottle consistently before coming home, making his earliest release at least the end of next week. 

Tuesday: BBB

He is completely off his IV and out of his isolette. Both his blood sugar and temperature have been holding steady. He is slated to get his vaccines tomorrow morning. Plus he gained another ounce, officially pushing him over five pounds!!!

Tuesday: BBA

Progress today. He is being weaned off the dopamine and his bilirubin treatment is complete. His blood sugar still will not cooperate and his platelet count is still quite low, most likely requiring another transfusion.   He had an ultrasound of his liver this morning to assess for issues (which could potentially explain his platelet issue). Hematologist is being consulted to discuss his platelet count. Endocrinologist is being consulted to evaluate the function of his pancreas (which could provide answers on his blood sugar).  

He is much more active today and quacking like a duck, both signs that he may be feeling a little better. He is continuing to excrete fluid and had two stools which means his body is starting to process out all the gunk in it. 

Off to see BBB now. Will update on him late this afternoon. 

The last four days.

For those of you used to our blog, we are taking a turn . . .

The twins arrived on Thursday, July 2, 2015 – at 36 weeks and 3 days.  They had been doing well up until Thursday, but at a routine pre-natal appointment, the doctor had significant concern for aggressive onset pre-eclampsia, kidney issues, and concern for the twins movement (they were very much out of space).  BP was sent to the hospital for testing and it was decided quite quickly that it was time to get the twins out.

Baby A (BBA) arrived at 2:53pm weighing 6 pounds, 1 ounce and measuring 18.5 inches long.  Baby B (BBB) followed at 2:54pm weighing 4 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring 18 inches long.  There was immediate concern for BBA due to several factors including muconium in his lungs impeding his ability to breath, exceedingly high blood pressure, and undocumentably low blood sugar.  BBB initially appeared to be ok, but his blood sugar quickly dropped.  Both were taken to the NICU.

BBA was transferred to John’s Hopkins NICU at 4:00am on Friday when it was determined that his health needed additional specialty care.  BBB remained (and remains) at Howard County General Hospital’s NICU for care.

Now to individual updates on what has happened with each since Friday . . .

BBA: On Friday, BBA was placed on a ventilator at 100% oxygen (normal is 21%), his blood sugar continued to be astronomically low, his blood pressure was too high, he was retaining all liquids (and not excreting), and his platelet level was very low.  He received a feeding tube to begin to provide nutrients.  Over the course of the next four days (Friday through Monday), he had many steps forward and back, but he was taken off the ventilator and breathing tube, which was inserted when the ventilator was off, the feeding tube was removed, his blood sugar was remaining more stable, and he was excreting which was significantly reducing the amount of fluid on his person.  He, therefore, was using less energy to breathe and his blood pressure was going down, signaling less stress on his heart.  He was still receiving platelets and they were repeating his eccocardiogram to reassess concern for his right ventricle.  He will remain in the NICU until he can come off of all of the machines and eat consistently; he could potentially start taking “real food” by the end of the week.

BBB: While seemingly fine at birth, shortly after BBB’s blood sugar also plummeted, granting him a direct pass to the NICU as well (and a look at his brother).  BBB has had a difficult time keeping his blood sugar up and consistent and as a direct result, cannot maintain his body temperature – he is using so much energy on blood sugar issues that his temperature keeps dropping.  He was placed on an IV and after two attempts to wean him off of it over the next four days, as of Monday he was IV free and being tested to see if he could maintain a consistent body temperature and blood sugar level while in an isolette for 12 hours before being moved to a crib.  He will need to stay in the crib in open air for 24-36 hours without any dips in blood sugar or temperature before consideration of discharge (so not before Wednesday).

We want to thank everyone for all of their support and offers to help.  We are doing ok now – just trying to spend time with the boys and @littlepund who is a bit confused by all of this.  We will keep everyone updated via our blog and let you all know how you can help.  Generally we are spending mornings with BBA, afternoons with BBB, and evenings with @littlepund.  We will post updates throughout the day as we get them.

Thank you.
ZP, BP, @littlepund, BBA, and BBB

If only issues were simpler to solve.

There is a “new” song out.  We can dedicate a whole other post to my confusion about various radio stations classify “new,” leading to me not knowing if this is a really new song or a new to this station song. Either way. “Nothing More” by Alternate Routes. If you have not heard it, look it up.

Earlier this month, there was a shooter in the Mall in Columbia.  As it turns out, the individual who has been identified as the shooter was a scared teenager who needed help. He did not, seemingly, know the victims. He had a family and friends.  And he noted in his journal that he had “mental health problems.”  Please note, I do NOT, condone his actions or sympathize with him, however….

As a person, this had made me think, truly and deeply, about the people in my life. I am “in” public health and think mental health services are one of the most important we can offer people in turmoil, and people in general. I would like to think that I would help my family or friends seek mental health services if I thought/knew they were in a dark place. Could I actually see it in them though?!?  I do not know but I certainly hope so. And if only someone had helped this person to face his challenges in a more constructive manner.

It is incredibly strange to have seen the town I live in on national news. It is also strange to see how quickly we are out of the news. I am thrilled, don’t get me wrong, for the big media trucks to be gone. But, it is almost as if our “event” wasn’t big enough or did not have enough behind the story to make it past a few days.

Growing up, shootings were not a frequent occurrence, as they seem to be now. Born in the early eighties, I remember, vividly, the news breaking about Columbine.  It took almost 15 years. It was an astonishing egregious act that could not be understood and shattered the safety of my childhood. And, low and behold, mental health issues were at the core of the cause. If only those issues were simpler to solve.

Now, these occurrences make me feel less safe, but also more wanting to live my life without fear.  And to teach my child to live with hope that the world can be better and work to make it that way.

A long year . . .

It has been a long, amazing year that has taken us far from our blog for many a reason.  And yet, in the past few weeks, we have both been saying that we should get back here.  So, here we are.  Highlights from the last year in one sentence recaps.

Ravens superbowl win – 1.3.13
A triumph for a long-time Baltimore fan, a tragedy for a long-time Steelers fan, and a truly bittersweet day for reasons that will not be detailed here.

Chicago – 5.13
Zack drove to meet me in Chicago for Memorial Day weekend (only people who know him really well will understand how that sums up so much!).

Toronto – 6.13
Continuation of our quest to see the Orioles in as many stadiums as possible and a perfect long weekend completely outside of our comfort zones. Plus, slowly it turns . . .

New addition – 8.13
The greatest thing that has ever happened to us arrived on 8.15.13. Still going strong, six months later!

Sad end to the season – 9.13
After last season, it was hard to see the Orioles not advance to the playoffs; rest assured, we are counting down the days to the 2014 season – 35 as of today!

Elon’s 125 – 11.13
I know what quasquicentennial means, do you?

Sad end to two seasons – 12.13
And again, after last season, it was hard to see Baltimore not make it to the playoffs but thrilling to see the Steelers try to one-up them.

Not prolific, but a recap no less. Now, on to 2014. We will try our best to do better.

when to leap?

you have been in your first job out of college for six years.  you have succeeded in that job – been promoted several times and given amazing opportunities to show the knowledge and skills you have gained.  you have mastered the subject area for which you are responsible.  and at the end of the day, you wish there was something more to learn.  for those of you who read this, this is bee seeking advice . . . when is it time to take a leap of faith and try something new?

when you like your job, but you also wonder if there is something else out there to do.  when you need a new challenge but do not know if you should seek it somewhere else or ask for a new opportunity where you are.  when is it that you know you need to go down a new path and how do you decide what that new path might be?

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