No one wants to be defeated.
--Michael Jackson, "Beat It"
So yesterday our excuse for the late post was that there was nothing new to report. Today our excuse is the opposite. We had a post halfway written this morning when the stream of doctors and tests started. Now that post is pretty irrelevant and outdated, so here's the latest.
It has been a pretty full day of activity--it's amazing the difference in the pace around here on a weekday versus the weekend. This morning they performed another echo to look at how well his heart is contracting. Still squeezing some, and a little better than before, but still not quite good enough.
Since he did so well, they went down to 50%, and got the same response. The doctors looked at one another, and the fellow on his case asked, “25%?” The attending agreed, and everyone got ready. They made sure the echo technician was ready so that he wouldn’t be turned down too long while she got the images. The ECMO specialist told everyone he was turning down the machine, and I felt a combination of excitement, hope, and sheer terror. I constantly shifted my eyes from Jay to the screen of the ultrasound to see what his heart was doing and to the monitor to see what happened to his blood pressure and heart rate. And what happened?
Nothing! Glorious nothing! No alarms, no bells, no whistles! His blood pressure even went up a bit, and his heart rate stayed steady. Again, his heart squeezed a bit harder with the extra blood flow.
So this is obviously great news. But he clearly is not ready to get off ECMO. Now the plan is to give him a couple of days and reassess his heart on Wednesday. As one of his doctors said, "He has a bit of homework to do over the next couple of days, so he will be ready for his next test."