Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Fun With Infections

Theo is a trooper.  He spent two days under a warmer following surgery, but has since transitioned back into his crib.  He has endured a sore belly, lack of food, and lots of handling by surgeons, nurses, and doctors without much complaint.  We are so proud of the little guy.

 Dialysis was started again on Tuesday.  His dwell volume started at 80 ml, about half of his previous dialysis volume.  The doctors didn't want to push it too much, in case the g-tube site had not healed completely.  Unfortunately, the fluid became cloudy shortly after starting dialysis, signaling that there may be an infection.  A culture sample was sent to the lab in the middle of the night on Wednesday, and sure enough, Theo has peritonitis again.  It's amazing to see how quickly an infection can alter Theo's mood and comfort.  We didn't make it any easier on him yesterday -- he was put through the ringer.  Between starting dialysis again, having the line removed from his jugular vein, and sticking his forehead for a venous stick, he had quite a rough day.  I'm sure none of that helped his mood or comfort!

This week has taken a toll on us.  We are discouraged by another setback.  We were hoping that there would be no complications from the surgery, and that we'd be getting close to bringing Theo home.  With another infection, that day keeps getting farther and farther away.  First, the infection needs to be treated.  Second, the nephrologists are not going to raise his dialysis volume until they are sure that the infection is not a result of a leak from the g-tube into the peritoneal cavity.  That means no Cycler anytime soon, which means Theo will remain in the hospital for the foreseeable future.  Ugh.

Earlier this week, I also learned that I am not a potential donor for Theo.  I was devastated when I found out.  Nick is not a potential donor because of high blood pressure, so I was hoping that I would be able to give my kidney to Theo.  Unfortunately, I am not a blood type match with Theo.  (If you can picture it, I asked for Theo's blood type when there were two doctors, one resident, and two nurses sitting at Theo's bedside with me, while I held Theo.  The resident was able to call to get the information, and she walked over to tell me.  She said, "He is A+."  To which I said, "I am B+.  So, what does that mean?"  No one had to say anything.  I figured out pretty quickly by the looks on everyone's face what it meant.  My tears started flowing pretty quickly then.)

I guess God is not done showing us that he is a provider.  That is one of the biggest lessons that I learned last year; in the midst of chaos, God provided for us.  Just a few examples: Nick stopped working for Vanguard in April, which allowed him to work with my dad and to have flexibility to support me during all of my doctors visits and the trip to the fetal treatment center.  Then, in July, Nick and I were ready to move to London for a September 1st start date for my job (with a permanent transfer letter in hand and visa applications in process), and then my company postponed it indefinitely for expense reasons.  Less than two weeks later, we found out at our 20 week ultrasound that Theo may have some health problems.  I'm not sure what would have happened if I tried to move, help start a new group, and get the necessary medical attention.  I'm sure it would not have been possible.  And finally, we were able to sell our house in September and move into an apartment 1.5 miles from the hospital.  None of it made sense at the time (with the exception of the house sale), but it became abundantly clear that God was providing for us.  Now that I know Nick and I are not able to give Theo one of our kidneys, I will have to trust that God will provide again.


  1. The face of an absolute angel. Bless you little Theo, you are in our prayers every day! And your parents are AMAZING! So strong. God sure has blessed us all.
    Nick and Nat...I have been "replying" to the email about the blogs so don't know if you got any of them. Remember I'm old and blond but I just learned I have to post here (I think)!
    I'm sending a picture of Theo's page I made for Papaw and Mamaw's album to your regular email. Going over to add it today! Love Aunt Bobbie, Uncle Mike & crew

  2. what a strong little man he is! I think of you all often and pray for strength during this journey. What a little love he is and what a blessing it will be for him later in life to know how hard you both fought for him.

  3. Natalie and nick -
    We just found out about theos blog and are so glad to be able to follow theos progress. He is so beautiful and such an amazing baby.

    I admire your heartfelt postings. We are sending all of our love and prayers to theo. you are all doing such an amazing job every day as a new family.

    Sending our love,
    Megan, terry and Kate