Finding the Middle Ground

I’m not afraid to admit that I’m thinking in stranger ways than normal. For example, every time I have taken the elevator at the hospital over the past five weeks I have restrained myself from pressing the “door close” button. This might not seem like such a strange thing, but more often than not, in a regular non-David-related elevator ride, I press the floor number and then the “door close” button to speed up the process by a few seconds, if no one else needs to get on. The strange part about this whole little anecdote is that I somehow think that pressing the close button (which feels like a negative act) will affect David’s progress in a negative way. Like if I “close doors” in one way, it will reverberate in other ways. And so my mind has now attached two completely unrelated events to make me feel that, by controlling one silly, trivial event I therefore somehow have a little more control over the much more major and uncontrollable event.

You could say that that’s just the nature of superstitious thinking, and I agree. It is. But I still think of myself as a little extra strange for doing this, especially as I stand there alone in the elevator, resisting the urge to press “door close” and to get to David a few seconds sooner.

David has had some wonderful days since I last posted. He was extubated on Wednesday and placed on NIPPV, which stands for Nasal Intermittent Positive Pressure Ventilation. Prongs up his nose now replace the tube down his throat. Although there is much less of his face for us to look at, since it’s covered by a hat that holds the tubes in place and a chin strap to keep his mouth closed, he looks so much more comfortable. And he has a voice again! Imagine the sound of a hoarse kitten. That was the sound of David’s voice after they removed the four-week-old tube from his throat.

Here is a picture of David placed in a swaddle straight jacket after his most recent temper tantrum. He’s been throwing them a lot lately. On Saturday morning it took three nusrses to replace the prongs that had fallen out of his nose, because he was flailing and tearing at tubes and batting away his nurse’s hands. So with the force of three they were able to pin him down, one nurse holding his left arm, a second holding his right arm, while the third replaced his prongs. He’s fed up with all the mess on his face and they refer to him now as “the Bear.”  But feisty also means healthy, so I say, “Bear On, David.”

We’re all finding the middle ground right now. David’s not swinging with his oxygen needs as much, and he’s finding comfort in breathing a little more steadily on his own. Graham and I stopped swinging some too. Emotionally, that is. We’re ICN five-weekers now, and experience is helping us grow calmer by the day.

David’s plans for the week: breathing and sucking. He’s in training with a pacifier. As soon as he gets the hang of suck/swallow/breathe, he can start breastfeeding. But as it goes, it’s one small physiological step at a time.

J & G & D

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9 thoughts on “Finding the Middle Ground

  1. Jane:
    You made my day!!! Great news on all fronts.
    Sincerely, Claudia VanWagner
    PS. I totally get that elevator thing.

  2. How wonderful to get this post !….We are so pleased to hear of David’s progress…AND his fit of temper …..How beautiful feisty can be !….We love that he’s having pacifier lessons and that things are evening out somewhat…

    You are all three in our thoughts constantly….a bit of a cheering section, we are…..

    With hugs all around,

    Murray & Karen

  3. we are thrilled to learn that DGW is in training and are very partial to Bears – with lots of Bowdoin polar bears in the family!
    Mike and I check your blog so regularly as we are thinking of all of you and cheering you along.
    love from all the Wartman’s

  4. Bear on, David!! I love that. You can be sure I’ll be chanting that around town, thinking of how tough he’s been and the strength that he will gain each day that goes by.

    Sending so much love to you three,
    Leah

  5. Hi Jane,

    We have become big fans of your blog and of David, too. We love that it took three nurses to restrain that tiny little dude. That will make a good story for him when he’s a big strapping guy.

    Keep hanging in there. You guys are amazing.

    Lots of good wishes to all three of you,
    Audrey, Greg, Nate and Ruby Spitz

  6. I can really appreciate the “door close” comment. I’ve never liked those buttons, and your explanation makes perfect sense to me. As for the little bear, keep showing the strength David! Can’t wait to meet this little boy in person.

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