Holy Roller Coasters.
There’s a reason I haven’t updated as often during this crisis. It’s truly been filled with ups and downs, and by the time I send an update I’m already wrong about how things are going. I even hesitate to update family lest I cause unnecessary panic. Or reckless hope.
You already know the events from last Friday night through Sunday. Respiratory distress, septic shock, cardiac arrest. Resuscitation. Signs of cardiac failure. Signs of spinal cord hypoxia. Signs of kidney failure. We lost him once at 1:55 am Saturday morning, and I was preparing myself all weekend, practically at Doctors’ well founded orders, to lose him again.
Then we saw cardiac function return. We saw intentional movement return. Finally we saw kidneys, slowly, return to a healthy function. Landon overcame so much! His lungs were even clear by now, and his vent settings to an extubateable status.
But during each trial he showed no attempts at breathing on his own. Monday didn’t go well. Was Landon’s brain stem damaged during the arrest? Tuesday didn’t go well. Was Landon’s brain gaining pressure that caused a gradual decline and we finally hit a tipping point? On Wednesday I was pulled in to a conference room with a team of doctors. Families with critical illnesses know that’s never good. I’ve been in and out of these conference rooms since July of 2013, and have never been pulled to the side to be given good news. These room are private, and stocked with tissues. This is where they tell you things aren’t going well, or are taking a bad turn. This is where they make sure you understand. On Wednesday this is where they told me that so far, through multiple days of trials, Landon was displaying no effort at maintaining life sustaining breaths, and there was great concern that he might not regain that skill. I confirmed our decisions regarding intervention, and our commitment to never choose quantity over quality, and that where this heads next is up to Landon. I mentally prepared myself. God has spent my whole life preparing me to be the mother I need to be. And I’ve spent Landon’s whole life preparing myself to be confident in these moments, to be faithful in these moments, to be hopeful, but reservedly so. On Thursday they did an MRI. The neuro surgery team came by. As did the rounding doctors. The complex care team. The chaplain. No big changes. No good news.
Friday morning came, and somewhat unexpectedly Landon was finally passing a breathing test. They extended it, and at the end of the desired two hours he was still going strong. The respiratory therapist asked if the plan was to extubate today. I said I had no idea because yesterday we thought this wasn’t possible. He has continued on a strong path since then as well, and is now OFF OF THE BREATHING TUBE!!
Wednesday and Thursday I was mentally preparing for the worst. Today he and I made finger print birds, and if all goes well, I’m going to try to hold him later today.
I’m telling you this today, recklessly, because I feel hopeful. And I might be wrong. Things might revert. Landon’s body may still fail soon. But sometimes hope, even if occasionally reckless, is all we have.