Friday, April 4, 2008


Yesterday, a friend of mine said, "I read your blog every day. You should be a writer!"
Riiighhht. Any chump could be a writer with this kind of material.

Eliot's surgery was scheduled for Friday. Literally, the O.R. was booked. We were proceeding with a a g-j tube - a catheter surgically placed into her intestine to help a severe case of acid reflux and her inability to swallow.


The G.I. doctor who was going to perform the procedure requested a 24-hour pH probe study to measure the severity of her reflux and what he would be dealing with on the operating table. Apparently, pH probe studies are rarely done in the NICU anymore. They started hers on Wednesday afternoon.

A probe that measures the acidity in her esophagus was put down her throat, and she was given a cocktail of unfiltered apple juice mixed with rice cereal (instead of her usual breast milk).

Apple juice has a pH of four. The esophagus has a pH reading of six to seven. The purpose of the probe is to detect the pH in the esophagus. Any reading of four or less indicates that there is apple juice and/or stomach acid in the esophagus - thus indicating reflux.

On Thursday morning, after only 19 hours, the doctor ordered the results. I waited . . .

"Guess what?" she said. "Eliot's reflux isn't bad at all. There is really no reason to do a g-j tube."

We were all stunned. They had planned to transfer her from Northside to Scottish Rite tonight. Tonight. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't make this up if I tried.

While this news doesn't change the fact that Eliot's paralyzed vocal cord still affects her swallow, it does keep her away from another surgery for the time being, and it doesn't add "severe acid reflux" to her super-thick medical chart. She will continue to feed through the tube in her nose until her next swallow study - approximately 3 weeks from now. We will pray that in the next few weeks she will grow and become coordinated enough to start taking bottles.

It's been a rough couple of weeks with Owen at home and Eliot still in the hospital. I'm so worn out from traveling back and forth, so when I got home tonight, I poured a bottle of breast milk for Owen and a glass of flat ginger ale for me, and we sat down, relaxed, and had ourselves a little toast - a toast to miracles, a toast to Eliot.


amy said...

Im a night shift nurse at Scottish Rite and I hope I never meet you!!!

I have also enjoyed your honest writing

Rachael M. said...

See? Look at her face! She says, "I'ma show Owen - look at him, going home with Mommy every night and chillin' with the dogs. I'm coming home, too! He can't have her all to himself this long without a fight!"

Spunky girl. Wonder who she gets THAT from? :-D

Anonymous said...

WOW! Thats amazing! So glad for Elie :) Take care of yourselves, love Carissa, Gael and Jake