Sunday, July 3, 2011

Elephant Man

Well, yesterday was a monumental day in the life of the Bean. That darn tube...the one causing much of the inflammation, the secretions, and his distress, came out.  He is ventilator-tube-free.  He even has vocal chords he has been exercising, although they are still a little weak.  It is wonderful and terrible to hear his tiny, whispery heart soars and then it makes me weep to hear that plainful little song.

The loss of the tube does not mean comfort on this earth for little Mac though.  At least for the time being, comfort doesn't seem to be his lot in life.

Poor little guy.  It's hard to believe, but he seems to be more at ease with this than he was with the tube...makes you wonder what it must have felt like to have that thing in his windpipe.  So, meet the NIPPV, which is a Non Invasive (cha right *snort*) Positive Pressure Ventilation, like a CPAP, but with a set number of "breaths" per minute, instead of just the constant flow.

It's day two now and his signs are all good.  We were worried about too much CO2 in the blood, which often elevates with this contraption, but his has actually gone down.  His settings are comparable to what they were on the vent, and his O2 supplementation is about the same as well.  He's also breathing on his own.

Did I mention that there's no more tube in his throat?

Did I mention I hate the sight of this thing?  But I keep telling myself it is better than the alternative and that if it means his lungs are healing, which they already are, I can stand it for a little while.

This experience has really increased my empathy for how the Father must feel watching the trials we endure.  It is a meager comparison, but how often I get impatient with His "pruning" and the pain and suffering, and how often His heart must break to see us hurt, even though He knows it is for our best good and development, which is the whole reason we are here on grow and become more like Him.  I want McKell to breathe, and this is what is required.  I can't skip steps, or his lungs become more damaged.  Though it is hard to imagine right now, when he is older and can run and sing and sigh, we will be grateful he went through this.

If he ever picks up a cigarette though, I'll kill him.


  1. As long as there is progress, it's worth it, right? Poor little thing! I can't imagine what you all must be going through, but your faith is strong and I look up to you for it! Hooray for progress, even if it looks dismal. <3 What are the different things in the pictures? And in his first picture, I see tiny little mouth bubbles- those are to die for!

  2. It may not be the best looking thing, but it is improvement. He is growing and improving. My prays are that this will be a short term thing and that he will continue to be strong. You are such a strong Mama!

  3. What a wonderful victory! Leah, you amaze me every day with your strength. I'm so glad your little guy is doing so well. You are continuously in our prayers.

    And you've totally earned the right to kill him if he ever picks up a cigarette ;)