If all goes to plan, little Douglas Finney will have another surgery tomorrow (Monday) morning. It’ll be good, though, because this would be the operation that would close up his chest. Of course, there are always risks with any surgery, but a successful procedure tomorrow would take Douglas much closer to being able to leave the ICU and eventually come home. We hope that Douglas has healed enough for the procedure; he looked very good today, and kept his vital stats in a good range all day and even woke up for a little while to look at his parents and grandparents!
We don’t know for sure if his chest will be closed tomorrow. It’s always possible that the surgeon (Dr. Huddleston) will decide to wait a day or to close the chest only partially. He’ll make his decision during morning rounds at about 6:30 AM tomorrow, so we’ll try to get there early enough to hear the decision. If we don’t make it, the night nurse will call us in the morning, but we hope to be there in time. If the surgeon decides to go ahead, the operation might not start until 10:00 AM or so because of other procedures in the ICU that could happen first.
We also found out a little bit of disappointing news today. Before the main operation on Friday, we were told that Douglas might graduate from the PICU in 3-5 days, followed by 3-5 days on the floor. I asked a nurse today how close we were going to be to that, and I found out that the 3-5 day estimate would have been accurate if they had been able to close up his chest during the surgery. However, there was enough swelling during surgery that they had to leave the chest open. So, the 3-5 day estimate really might start from tomorrow. It’s sad because it pushes back our estimate for getting him home by a few days, but we know that the ICU really is the best place for him. Closing his chest is a necessary condition in order for him to be released from the ICU, but it’s not sufficient. He’ll also have to come off his ventilator (which is still doing 95% of his breathing) and be weaned off his many medicine drips. It’ll take time.
Fortunately, they have been able to get some of Jenny’s first breast milk into his stomach with a feeding tube, so he’s getting more nutrition and antibodies from her. Jenny’s been pumping really, really well, so we look forward to the day when he’ll be able to feed naturally. Tomorrow should really help us get to that goal.