Baby Toaster Strudel

Capt Snuggles is 7 months old today.

He should be able to sit unassisted, he should be able to roll, he should be working on the whole crawling thing. He should be able to hold toys in his hands and he should be able to sit in his high chair or walker and munch on cheese doodles and baby cereal. He should be drooling with all the teeth he’s getting and he should be squealing with laughter when the dog licks his face. He should be working on the word’s “mama”, “dada” & “ball”.  He should be home.

Instead, I’m wishing I could say we celebrated with balloons and cupcakes.I’m wishing I could take his picture. I’m wishing I could rattle off all of the baby milestones that he’s reached. Hell, I’m wishing I could say we had an uneventful day.

But, I can’t.

I was all set to sing the praises of the Surgeon who finally, after 3 days and 8 different doctors,   finally got the arterial line placed. 

But that was Friday night. And if I hadn’t been so exhausted, again. I would have written an entirely different post than this one.

As it stands, the Surgeon did succeed in placing the arterial line, no cut-down required. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Myself included.

That was @ 6pm.

Around 10pm, his PICC in his left leg stopped working. It was the 2nd time that day that the PICC had occluded. The Chaperone’s replaced the IV tubing the 1st time. This time it was further in, probably clotted in the vein. They contacted the central line nurse on call. There’s a drug called TPA that breaks up clots and only the CVC nurses are allowed to administer it. Of course, she wasn’t in the hospital, so it was about midnight when she showed up.

It’s silly, really. All she did was inject the TPA into the PICC, like any other IV med. She told the Chaperones (we had 2 again on night shift) to wait 2 hours, if it still wouldn’t flush, then wait 2 more hours. If it still didn’t work, she’d either come back (yeah, she only came to administer the TPA) or the day-shift nurses would be ready to come in – they could come and take a look.

Frustration aside, this was the line that had his TPN (nutrition) in it. So until it was fixed he had to go on maintenance fluids since his access was limited. Many of the antibiotics and pain meds are incompatible with TPN, so it basically needs it’s own line.

Fast forward to 6:30am and I wake to the PICC –  broken. The catheter was still in his leg, but the ‘hub’ had apparently broke in half. So now they had to either try and salvage it or place a new one.

Oh – and did I mention that by now – the arterial line had also quite working? That’s right – I woke Saturday morning to a broken PICC and an unusable arterial line. The Fellow had already contacted the Interventional Radiologist to see about re-wiring the existing PICC.

The decision was made to do without the arterial line. Unless he takes another turn for the worse, they are willing to wait and see if he can do without.

We had to travel in order to go to IR. That meant the Fellow, both our Chaperones, the RT and the PCA all had to help transport him. Sorta like a parade, but without the fire engines and candy.

The bad news is they couldn’t savage the PICC. (1 1/2 hours to try)

The good news is, the IR doctor was able to place a new PICC in his other leg on the first try. (1/2 hour start to finish)

I Love You, IR!

Back upstairs to finish the dressing change and


brachycardia, again. And not just for a few minutes, and not just dips into the 60’s . He was ‘brady’ for a solid 1/2 hour and dipped all the way down to 45 heartbeats per minute. This is the 3rd time in as many days and no ‘vagal’ suspected, soooo…..

Time for atropine.

They tried for an EKG, but the leads won’t stick to his skin, because, well, he doesn’t have any. At least not enough good skin, his belly, chest and back are still quite weepy and oozy. Blood work showed a very low potassium level, he was more acidotic than earlier in the day and his body temp had dropped down to 91 degrees.

They needed to warm him up and fix his potassium. Once his heart-rate was stable, we quickly finished the dressing change, turned on the warmer for his IV  fluids, piled warm blankest on him and added not 1, but 2 warming blankets, one under and one over him.

We had him cooking like a baby toaster strudel.

It’s now midnight. All has been quiet for a couple of hours. His TPN has been re-started, so his electrolytes should be better by morning. His heart-rates have been good and he’s been resting comfortably.

*thank you*

I saved the best nugget of hope to share with you here at the end. I’m almost afraid to say the words out loud. So many things have just gone wrong this week…

I want to share with you that his skin is looking better. Not just a little bit better, either. More like


ssshhh! Don’t say it so loud!

Maybe, one day soon, I will be able to take the Captain’s picture again.

I’m hoping….

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Baby Toaster Strudel

  1. Ashley

    Hey I was coming by to say hi and thanks for coming to my blog and got totally engrossed in your story. I can’t believe I’m posting about holiday cards stressing me out and your poor baby is fighting for his life. You are an amazing mama and you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers! Yay for small victories like his skin looking better! Xo

  2. Poor little guy. I’m sorry about what you’re going through. Yay for something going right this week, and I hope things get better for him and for your family.

  3. I cannot find the words to fit perfect for these past few posts you wrote….I’m not able to say I can relate or feel your pain as a mother. I can only wish you hope and well and pray for your little baby! I’m glad his skin looks so much better! Here’s to better days for you and your fam! xoxo

  4. Sairah

    Happy 7 months David! Amy – I’m glad his skin is looking better. Sounds like some exhausting days there, friend. Take care of yourself. Your doing an awesome job!!


  5. Kathy P

    You know… I read your blog and I’m floored by the kindness and caring you have for others ie: myself.. Oliver isn’t going through all that Captain Snuggles has been and currently is… and you still find it in yourself to leave encouraging messages and supportive suggestions. I cringed when Ollie had to have a catheter uncomfortably inserted into his tiny little rocket…. I really can’t even begin to imagine what you have to witness on a day to day basis.. Jesus Amy, you have the strength of a thousand barbaric soldiers to have to endure what you do day to day. I’m incredibly inspired, and I’m truly grateful to have you apart of my social circle to lean upon when in need of comfort. I’m sure too that you have plenty of support to lean upon when YOU need comfort and a smile to change the moment up a bit, but just know that I’ll always be here to listen in on what you have to say, and hear you on all that you may speak of… all without judgement, and jury. I admire you on so many levels, and knowing all that you have endured… it has prepared me for what lies ahead in Oliver’s future and the possibilities.
    I’m absolutely in awe and admiration of you. Thank you for sharing your experience, I’m sure it helps you as much as it helps others… I am a big fan. Just know you’ve got ME on your side rooting for Capt Snuggles recovery as well as your own.

  6. Great news about David’s skin. Hang in there. The skin healing has got to be a good sign for things to come. It must be. It’s gotta be.

    Remember. He won’t remember this. The poking the plodding of the lines. He won’t remember this when he gets older. And, he will get to eat lots of cupcakes. He will have his days and years to come. Happy 7 months, David.

    Veronica 🙂

  7. I’m hoping too. I’m sucked in now.

    Sending love and prayers.

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