(Our handsome son, tape free! Taken today during the tape change for his ventilator ET tube.)
We have received further detail into Isaac's condition regarding the extubation attempt for next week. As mentioned previously, his doctors want to give him a week to optimize his chances for extubation. Through breast milk feeds via the NG tube & gradual ventilator setting adjustments, they hope to strengthen both his lungs & entire body over the next seven days. During the course of the last extubation attempt, the brochoscopy revealed paralysis of Isaac's left vocal chord & collape of the pharynx. Often times, these conditions are relatively temporary & resolve on their own. However, the course of this recovery can run the length of several months or longer. This cannot be determined for certain until recovery actually occurs.
Isaac will have been intubated for a month at the time of reevaluating for extubation. The longer he has the ET tube in place, the greater his risk for induced pneumonia. So this results in two options for Isaac: successful extubation next week or the need for a tracheostomy. A tracheostomy is a surgical construction of an opening in the trachea, usually by making an incision in the front of the neck, for the insertion of a catheter or tube to facilitate breathing. This would allow Isaac to breathe while bypassing the mouth & vocal chords, allowing them time to heal. For full details on this procedure & life with a trach, visit www.tracheostomy.com.
To be quite candid, this news comes as a heavy surprise. Jordan & I desire to do whatever will be best for our sweet son. If the trach is what he needs, than we'll embrace this & learn all there is to know in order to give him the best possible care. As parents, we desire the best for our children. Sometimes, what is best is far from what was thought to be ideal. Our hearts desire that this step not be necessary & that he'll be able to breathe on his own. However, what is best for Isaac is what we will embrace. Even as we've been caught off guard, we remain confident that none of this is a surprise to our great God. He already knows all Isaac needs, all we will need to be the best parents possible for him, & how this all will resolve in the end. And as temptation lulls us into the land of what-ifs & worse case scenarios, we're stopped by the words of Christ - seek Him first & everything we need will be added to us. Don't borrow worry from tomorrow. (Matt. 6) Our God will supply all we need. He is good & His purposes for us are loving & right.
Join us in prayer over this next week for Isaac. Pray for mobility to return to his left vocal chord & strength to return to his pharynx. Pray for Isaac's diaphragm to be able to fully function on its own, pulling in deep breathes without need for assistance or surgery. For these issues to resolve so quickly would be on the side of miraculous, but we serve an awesome God capable of working in ways beyond our imagination. A week of concentrated prayer lays ahead.