All of your comments have been really overwhelming. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and think of us. It's 4:30am again, and while the house sleeps, I'm getting ready to go back down into the city.
We had a large snowstorm on Sunday night, so Hubby and I had to drive into the city together yesterday. Luckily the sun melted it all off the roads, so I'm going to leave soon and spend the morning up there, and Hubby is going to take over in the afternoon.
I have a fear---as irrational as it is---that if we're not there, he's going to get worse. Who am I kidding, right? We're not doctors. We're helpless. But I can't shake it.
They have Big Kid heavily sedated so he won't fight the ventilator and try to breathe on his own. On Sunday he didn't respond to us, although the nurse said that when they lowered the sedation, he was responding appropriately.
When we first got there, his respiratory therapist, who I'll call Frank, was finishing up. He's a cranky no-nonsense cuss, but has been amazingly gentle in working with our son, and amazingly gentle with two semi-hysterical parents. "He had a good night", he told us. "He's still a very sick young man, but he's stable."
We learned that they had been able to dial back his oxygen support to 70%. On Saturday, Big Kid had been on 85%, on Sunday 80%, so this is good, right? They won't be able to take him off the ventilator until he is around 35%, but it's a step forward.
His heart rate was down in a normal range too. On Sunday it was 125. Now it is 79. He's maintaining a temperature of a little over 100.
Big Kid and I have a silly thing between us. If he's calling to check in, or I'm calling him, and we don't reach each other, we don't leave messages. If everything is going ok, we leave something that is a mixture of ululating and a raspberry.
So Hubby and I gloved and masked up, and when I leaned over him to tell him we were here, it just came out.
His eyes flew open and he struggled to focus. We're here, Sweetie, I told him and he squeezed my hand.
Every time we come to his room, Fox News is on the TV. It's not bad, just odd. The sound isn't on, so he isn't aware of it, but Hubby and I wonder who the channel changer is. I moved my chair next to the bed so I could hold his hand, while Hubby flipped through channels---trying to find something that wouldn't warp his twilight dreams if we turned the volume up. We settled on TV land and watched Leave it to Beaver and the Beverly Hillbillies (what were we thinking?).
Hubby and I took a break and went to the family room to get a drink. Those masks really dry your throat up. He went off down the hall to make some business calls and I sat on the couch and closed my eyes.
A few minutes later, a small woman came and wordlessly dropped into the chair next to me. In moments she started rocking back and forth and keening. "Oh God, save her! Save my baby! Please God!" Then she started praying in Spanish.
I got her some kleenexes (short supply in the family room) and asked her if I could get her something to drink. She told me that her daughter, who has lupus, recently had a baby and her kidneys had completely failed. She and her husband and children had driven in at 3am from a town which is several hours away.
We held hands and cried together. Two mommies terrified for our babies.
Later the doctor who is on this week came out to update us. He sat in a chair opposite and just looked at us. "How is he doing?" Hubby finally asked.
"He isn't any better." the doctor said flatly.
I felt like he had reached in and ripped my guts out. What?? What are you talking about?
"Well what is his prognosis?" Hubby asked. I wanted to reach out and clap my hand over his mouth.
"It's bad," the doctor said.
But what about his temperature, and his blood pressure, and the oxygen levels? I blabbered. He was at 85andnowheisat70andthathastobegoodright?
"It won't mean much until he is under 50".
I started to cry. Again. "Can't you give us something? Something to hang our hope on?"
We were stunned. Later Hubby said that he sure hoped this doctor is some kind of medical genius, because his bedside manner sucks. I leaned my head against him and said, "go kick his ass for making your wife cry."
"You want me to?" My hero. He's my hero.
Late in the afternoon, I leaned over Big Kid and touched his face. "We're leaving now, but we'll be back soon."
His eyes flew open again and he tried to talk. He started getting agitated. "Do you want us to stay?" I asked, and he nodded his head. The nurse gave him some more sedatives so he wouldn't fight the ventilator, and we held his hands until he went back to sleep.
I didn't mean to go on for so long, but once I started, it keeps pouring out.
Critical, but stable. Stable is good. Stable is good.
Thanks again for all your words of support and love.