Thank you for your ongoing prayers for all of us! They are truly helping us get through. God is providing the endurance and strength as we care for Aaron and comfort him through his withdrawals.
The following is information to help you understand what Aaron is experiencing and his medical treatment.
Aaron was exposed to multiple substances while in the womb; some legal, some not, all were not good for him. As a result of this exposure, Aaron is struggling outside of the womb because his tiny body has to figure out how to function without those substances. To monitor how Aaron is coping with detoxing from the drugs, the medical staff use a scoring system. Every 4 hours they check him for heart rate, number of respirations, sweating, sucking, sneezing, temperatures, color and condition of skin, weight gain or loss, length of time asleep, amount eaten, stool, yawning, tremors, and muscle tone. If he scores high numbers, he is under more stress. During his assessment, they give him his dose of morphine… yes, that means he gets morphine every 4 hours. If we stay below a score of 5, we’re doing ok. Above a 5 and we start being cautious, over 8 the pediatrician has to be notified, over 10 the morphine has to be increased, under a 4 they ween his morphine dose by reducing it 10%.
In the last 24 hours Aaron has had numbers ranging from 5-10. Last night the numbers were increasing, by 8 pm he was scoring an 8. Aaron’s numbers go down when we’re with him because we’re a comfort to him and can help him cope. We also like to be with him so he is not alone to go through something so awful that he shouldn’t have to go through at all. So, with his numbers climbing last night, the boys put on their pj’s and we settled in for a late night in the hospital. We stayed until midnight, we prayed, and asked many others to pray with us. By 10:30, Luke had fallen asleep. At 11:30, Riley wanted a turn laying with Aaron. At midnight, Aaron’s score was down to 5!!!! Praise God!!
We went back to sleep in our beds at the Ronald McDonald House until 6:30 this morning. Then, with Riley and Luke still in their pj’s and carrying fluffier pillows, we headed back to the hospital. From midnight to 4 am, Aaron didn’t sleep well, had excessive sucking, tremors, and tight muscle tone which resulted in a score of 10. Then he slept from 4-7:30 am, didn’t have tremors, no sucking, and the same muscle tone so his score improved to a 5. His respirations have been elevated for the past 24 hours so that will continue to elevate his scores and they watch him more closely. If they remain elevated, they may have to test for infection and/or do chest x-rays. Because he has had high and low scores, they will not be reducing his morphine dose today. This is good, it will give his body a chance to catch up to the reduction in medication. Our desire is to steadily and slowly ween him off of the morphine so that we can hopefully avoid an increase in his dose. For now the doctors agree.