A highlight during all this insanity was the opportunity to get to meet a missionary from our church, Joy Vaughn, whose son Aaron had had surgery for a CHD the day before. I was disappointed not to get to meet her while we were here for Brandt's surgery, so that was a really positive thing that came from our being back in town so unexpectedly. Aaron was actually in the PCICU with Brandt very briefly, and so we met her in the waiting room while we were waiting to hear the outcome of the procedure to clean his wound. One thing about the pediatric heart world at MUSC--it becomes a very small world, and it's a wonderful support system to meet other parents and be able to hold one another up in prayer and celebrate together with recovery and hurt together through difficult news!
We got to go back and see Brandt around 4 or so. The wound vacuum looks as Dr. Bradley described it. They did not give any morphine because of Brandt's reaction to it, but they explained they really needed options other than the fentanyl, versed, and precedex they were giving him to try to keep him quiet. So they were going to give the oxycodone a try again. With benadryl in case he continues to react with the swelling + itching that they are calling a side effect rather than an allergice reaction now. In addition to keeping the vent tube in--we reminded them he had extubated himself within four hours after his last surgery, even with his arms restrained--Dr. Bradley had to use sutures instead of wires to reclose the breastbone. Apparently infection grows back more readily with wires. So the nurses had instructions to keep him heavily sedated and not move him much at all to prevent pulling those sutures out.
The main problem being...the heavy sedations meds--again--weren't really working. He was awake and in pain. But they were hopeful with starting a regimen of pain meds such as toridol (strong IV ibuprofen) along with the sedation that he would be comfortable and not fight the vent too much. Dr. Bradley had told us he cleaned everything out with antibiotics, plus they continued the strong IV antiobiotics, and took a culture of the infection to be able to treat with specific antibiotics for the kind of strain he had developed, rather than just general antibiotics. His white blood count was extremely high, evidence that his body had already been trying to fight off the infection for a while...no wonder the poor little guy had been fussy. The truly amazing thing is how strong he is, and how well his heart is doing, through all of this. Even though the past three days had been terrible from an irritability standpoint, there were times he would quiet in our arms. All of these facts we take as great positives toward his eventual recovery. Joel and Seth finished a last half day of school today, and will hopefully be able to join us in Charleston with Glenn's parents on Saturday.
We talked with the boys briefly and ended up getting a hotel to try to get some sleep. The staff felt that our touching and talking with him at this point would only serve to stimulate him when he needed to be kept quiet. I literally could not think as we were moving our things for the third time that day from the night before, to his room in recovery, to ICU waiting, and back to the car. We should be able to move in to Cross Bridge housing again starting tomorrow, which is truly God's provision given no advance notice or planning this time around.