Bump in the road...
Sweet Carter has been so sick since surgery on Wednesday. Thursday morning he started running a fever. They gave him IV Tylenol and it went away. The fever returned just a few hours later and has hung out since then. It has ranged from 101-104, with Tylenol. Carter has also started coughing a lot. His oxygen levels have been dropping, requiring him to be placed on oxygen where he has continued to occasionally drop his oxygen level. They initially thought the fever was associated with his surgery. Sometimes an immune response can occur after having a surgery on your bones that causes a fever. On the fourth day, which was Saturday it was evident this was not the problem. They collected blood cultures, tested for a virus, and did a chest x-ray along with multiple other tests. Everything came back normal. They went ahead and started him on a broad antibiotic and wanted to continue to watch him closely. Yesterday, Carter coughed for 15 straight minutes. He had tears running down his face not only from coughing for so long, but from the pain it caused his little body that is trying to heal. The fever that started on Thursday continued. Carter coughed all afternoon and throughout the night. Sometimes it caused him to vomit. Since Carter has to lay flat on his back, this was extremely scary. I could not sit him up to let him spit up what he was vomiting. He had difficulty breathing at times.
This morning one of the Pediatricians taking care of Carter came in and decided to order multiple test. They did blood cultures again to make sure he is not trying to go into septic shock, she ordered chest x-rays, a ton of labs and started him on more antibiotics. The chest x-rays came back confirming what I had prayed would not be the case. Carter has Aspiration Pneumonia. This is not good. This means that due to Carter's reflux, having to stay flat on his back and all of the sedation medication he is receiving, instead of swallowing and formula going into his stomach it has gone into his lungs. The good news is we know what is causing all of the problems and the doctors know how to treat him now. They have allowed us to put Carter's entire bed at a 20 degree angle. We are praying this will help things drain down instead of sitting in the back of his throat going into his lungs. They have him on more antibiotics and a respiratory therapist comes in every 4 hours to pat on his chest to help break up the congestion in his lungs. They have also decided to have a GJ tube placed back into his stomach and remove the G tube he has now. We are not real happy about this, but we know it will be in Carter's best interest. They will then feed him through the J tube that will bypass his stomach and go directly into his intestines. The hope is that this will decrease Carter's reflux and decrease the chance of this occurring again. He has many many more weeks of having to lay flat on his back. While he is doing this we want all of his energy going to healing all of his surgical wounds not fighting infections. They hope to place the GJ by Thursday. We have to wait for Anesthesia to have an opening. They have decreased the rate of his formula and increased his IV fluids to keep him hydrated.
We have already noticed an improvement in Carter. He opened his eyes for about thirty minutes this afternoon and giggled at his Daddy. Since tilting his bed his breathing does not sound as wet and he seems to be more comfortable. He is extremely sick and we know things can change quickly, but we really think he is on the right track. We are praying this is his only set back and his intestines will tolerate the GJ tube. It was not easy spending Easter in the hospital yesterday. I would have much rather been at home hunting Easter eggs with Carter dressed in a cute Easter outfit, but we know God has bigger plans. Thank you all so much for all of your prayers and continued prayers. They have made all of this so much easier. As always...To Him be the Glory!
I am not big on putting up intense pictures of Carter, but really want everyone to know what they are praying for. Below I have included a picture of Carter taken yesterday after the Easter Bunny came to visit. You can see his external fixators and legs wrapped in traction. His fever was too high all day for him to be covered with a blanket and there was no way I would not take pictures of our BEAUTIFUL little boy on Easter. We feel that God gave us Carter to share and show his love with everyone. We would never want to show a picture that would harm Carter in anyway. We think this picture is BEAUTIFUL and we will always remember this Easter. He actually has his eyes open looking at his gifts. We will always teach Carter to be proud of what God has given him. We are not and never will be ashamed of his little body. We think he is perfect just the way God made him!
Carter smiling at his Daddy today. We just love this little boy so much!!!
Here is another picture of our sweet Carter taken by Laura Quick with Flutterby Photography. It was taken the Sunday before we traveled to Baltimore. It made my day to see this! Isn't he just beautiful?!