Life off of ECMO is nothing if not interesting. We're asking Rafa to set the pace, to establish his own vitals, to show us how stable he is without the support of "the machine," and he's doing the best he can to find his happy place.
His oxygen saturations (remember the yellow line from his monitor?) fluctuate from the high 80s to the high 90s, depending on the time in and what has been happening in his day. His team of doctors is OK with these numbers, so long as his blood gases stay in the acceptable to good range. It's a new mean to adjust to as his family, knowing that the parameters of OK are much wider.
Rafa also tolerated suctioning much better today, thank God! Turns out it was most likely his Vegel response in action, a small nerve at the bridge where your bronchi branch out that suppresses heart rate when you have a great deal of pressure in your chest, like when you're coughing or bearing down. The change in pressure he was experiencing from his high-fi ventilator to being hand-bagged, which feels much more like regular breathing, most likely triggered this reaction and made for his ups and downs in heart rate last night.
That being said, he's being suctioned again tonight at midnight, and we're all a little gun shy.
Please keep our baby boy in the light, encourage his body to continue to stabilize, lose fluid, and remind him what a great job he's doing being his own guy!
We're so incredibly proud of him...
P.S. Uncle Jim is coming to visit tonight and will be seeing his nephew in the hospital tomorrow. YAY!