Thursday, February 24, 2011

Today we received good news & bad news. Right now the ECMO machine is "capped" which means that the blood is still flowing through the machine but it is not being oxygenated and the carbon dioxide is not being removed. So essentially his lungs are doing all the gas exchange. He is still on the oscillating ventilator but not at the pressures he was before he went on ECMO. His blood gases are coming back pretty good. If they stay like this over the next several hours they are going to take the cannulae out. They really want to push him off the ECMO since every day the risk of complication gets exponentially higher.

However, his kidneys seem to be failing. Yesterday's episode with the potassium levels still can't be explained. So even if he does come off the ECMO he will need to stay on the CRT (dialysis machine). The doctors are hoping his kidneys were just stressed from all the medications he is on and that they will repair themselves in a few weeks. They are going to get a kidney specialist (can't remember the proper name) to come take a look at him.

I'll try update later on with whether he did come off the ECMO totally. We are feeling mixed emotions because it seems like his lungs are getting better only for other parts of his body to get worse. He is definitely still not out of the woods even if he does come off the ECMO but it is a big improvement. They are really stressing to us how important it is for Benjamin to come off the ECMO in the earliest window possible because of the complications.

But we do know it is all in God's hands. We don't really know what the future holds but God does.


Tim and Alice said...

Looking forward to seeing you tonight :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there, just wanted to let you know we're still praying for you guys, wishing there was some way we could help, but I guess prayer really is the most important thing, isn't it. I saw Greta's comment on my fb status and immediately felt bad for complaining about my kids this morning. I can't imagine what you guys are going through right now...but I am taking your blog's advice about spending time with your kids to heart, and am giving my boys extra hugs! Praying for strength for you all,
Shanna Woelders

Anonymous said...

Greta and Gary,

My thoughts ans prayers are with you in this difficult time. The Lord is holding your son and also your family in His hands. He doesn't make mistakes.
A kidney specialist is called a nephrologist. Years ago I also was in Vancouver Childrens (1989) seeing a pediatric Nephrologist, (Dr. David Lireman) the staff is great there. I went to childrens for 18 years. We pray that your son is also blessed by God through the work of their hands.
Karen Schouten (Kooyman)