Today marks 100 days in the NICU. And 120 days if you include the time that that Tracey was on bed rest in the hospital. And boy does it feel like it! For the last week or so, both Tracey and I have felt burnt out (yes...again..). We're still very optimistic about Colby's outcome. But we're tired. We're not entirely sure why. We've been very busy at home trying to get rooms ready, painting, moving rooms around which means your house looks like a bomb went off with thing things from each room being moved "out of the way for now" which really means just put somewhere until we get to putting it somewhere else. We don't get to see as much of eachother as we'd like to. Tracey usually goes to visit Colby in the day on the days she's not working. I then go after my day is done. Tracey has also been picking up extra hours at work which has made her more tired. The holidays are coming up and all that goes with that. Lastly, when Colby still had all the tubes in him and all, it seemed like the NICU was where he was "supposed" to be. I mean, he needed that high level of care and we wouldn't even think of bringing him home as he couldn't survive without it. And he still needs a lot of monitoring, but it's different in special care. We arrive and simply reach into his crib and pick up him up. We sit and rock him, change his diapers, his clothes. Give him baths. So in a way it feels as if he should come home. And I'm sure it will happen soon enough. But the daily drive and visit to the hospital is starting to get very old now. All in all it's about a 3-5 hour event to go visit him....40 minutes there. Then if you spend even just a couple hours and drive 40 minutes home....you're looking at almost 4 hours. Work a full day, then tack on 3-5 hours to visit the hospital and then arrive home at 7...8...or even later at night and you're spent. Ow...I almost forgot...do this over and over and over for months on end. You can see how it wears on you. When we were in the NICU the nurses said that once we got to Special Care, we'd be very eager to get him home. Now I know what they mean. And soon enough he'll come home.
So I'm sorry for not reaching out to friends and family very often. And I'm sorry mom, dad and Brigette for being so short on the phone. But I'm simply tired.
OK, enough venting.....
The eye doctor came to visit with him yesterday. They had been seeing him every week to monitor his eye development because he was showing signs of ROP (this is an issue with preemie's eyes when they don't develop properly.). However, on Monday's appointment the doctor said Colby is looking better and they're now starting to space out his visits. Once Colby comes home, we'll have follow up visits with the eye doctor to have a better feel for how his eyes are.
And Colby will have his next oxygen stress test tomorrow. One nurse said that it's not out of the question that Colby could come home on oxygen. I've heard of preemies doing that so we'll just have to wait and see.
The doctor also talked to me about Colby getting an MRI. There's something called PVL (periventricular leukomalacia) which are areas of the brain that were starved of oxygen at some point and the white matter of the brain is scarred. An MRI will show if Colby has suffered from any PVL. They said that they'll most likely wait until just before he's discharged to do that. The good news is that thus far, the ultrasounds haven't shown any signs. If Colby would have had any serious cases of PVL, they would most likely show up in some way on an ultrasound.
Colby's new formula seems to agree with him better than his old one did. So he's eating like a champ and continuing to add on a couple ounces a day. I think he's up around 5 pounds 8 ounces now.
Colby has become quite the star in the NICU. Many of the nurses and staff know him well. They are doing an article about a student nurse who is graduating and they wanted to get a picture of the nurse with a preemie. And wouldn't you know they picked Colby! I'm sorry that I don't remember the nurse's name or the details of her graduation. I'll get a copy of the article and fill in the details later. But I thought that was pretty neat.