It has been said, “third time’s the charm…”
This is not very charming. Averi is in the PICU for the third time in the last 4 weeks, her body again falling victim to septic shock. Each visit has been a little different, but this one has definitely hit her the worst.
First, they found gram negative rods in her bloodstream again. We won’t know until tomorrow what specific type it is, but if it’s Pseudomonas aeruginosa like the last time, then she will have to get her broviac lines replaced. The consensus is the bacteria may have somehow set up shop in Averi’s broviac and survived while we were administering antibiotics over the past 10 days. As soon as we stopped, the bacteria re-infiltrated her bloodstream. She is currently on a concoction of antibiotics to fight the invaders. Not very charming of the bacteria to do that to Averi.
Second, Averi’s blood pressure and heart rate have really been difficult to manage this time around. During the first two occurrences, once they pushed some saline into her blood vessels her heart rate decreased and her blood pressure came back up. This time, after pushing four or five saline boluses and one packed red blood cell bolus her blood pressure actually went down – at one point her blood pressure was about 48/20 (her normal is about 100/60). The ICU physician said he was concerned nothing was working and they had to sedate and intubate Averi so she wouldn’t have to work so hard breathing. Breathing tubes are not charming at all. They’ve played with her medications most of the day to get her stats to normal levels and she has done pretty well thus far.
(A solemn sight seeing your charming, little daughter hooked up to so many machines and pumps.)
Third, Averi’s pH level in her blood was a little acidotic. The normal pH of blood is between 7.35 and 7.45. Averi’s pH level was 7.18 this morning, which can lead to a host of serious issues. They have been giving her some bicarbonates to offset the acidosis and her pH level has risen to 7.27. They continue to monitor her pH levels and hope to have that under control by tomorrow. Not so charming.
Fourth, Averi’s blood sugar levels were close to 400 this morning. They had to start her on an insulin drip to bring it down. When I heard it my first thought was, “Oh please no! We don’t need another diagnosis. She can’t have diabetes. She has too many other issues to deal with.” After discussions with the physicians they quickly pacified my fears and assured me Averi was not diabetic. They were just giving her some dextrose to help supplement her cells and tissues, and that there were just some “leftovers” that made her blood sugar spike. Her most recent blood sugar was at 141, so thankfully we’re pretty good there.
(Try and untangle that mess of tubes and wires.)
All in all it’s been a long day. Averi has received one-to-one nursing care and the poor nurses have had their hands full. Overall, Averi has doubled the medications she’s received since her last stint in the PICU. Thus far, here is the list of medications she’s been given (in no particular order): Cefepime, Vancomycin, Tobramycin, Ceftriaxone, Fluconazole, Pottasium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Bicarbonate, Insulin, Hydrocortisone, Protonix, Albumin, Atropine, Acetometaphine, Motrin, Precedex, Fentanyl, Versed, Solumedrol, Milrinone, Epinephrine, Vecuronium, and packed red blood cells. Needless to say, this has not been a charming visit.
We are grateful for all the love and support we’ve received and thank each and every one of you for your prayers and thoughts. Despite this less than charming experience, the care Averi has received has been exceptional thus far. We will continue to have faith and look forward to the day that Averi will have her charm back. ~ Dan