April 28, 2010

A Day In The Life Of Carter. Part 1

I've been wanting to do a post like this for awhile, but just hadn't quite got around to it.

I want to show what a day in the life of Carter is like. To my readers that have medically fragile kids, this is going to seem all too familiar. To my readers who think that all of this stuff looks really overwhelming, let me tell you that there are a lot of mommies out there dealing with a lot more...we really have it easy. We don't have nearly as much equipment, or medications to give as we could have.
To get a feel for how a typical day goes for Carter, I have to tell you about some of his equipment.
Here is Carter's "corner". Yes, he still sleeps in Mommy and Daddy's room. He'll probably be here for quite awhile since his room is on the other side of the house. Luckily, his crib fits nicely into the corner. Michael put a shelf above to hold his monitor, G tube dressing supplies, headbands, and diapers. No worries, that shelf is bolted VERY well to the wall, and isn't going anywhere. Yes, that's a DVD player in his crib....he's so spoiled!

Here's a look at his feeding bag and pump. We hang the bag from a hook on the wall to prevent having to use an IV pole. We just put the formula in the bag, and the pump pushes it through the tube...

,,,and into his tummy through his G Button. This is how he gets his medications as well...I just inject them into a med port in his feeding tube. Lucky for him he doesn't need to taste those disgusting smelling vitamins. He only gets fed this way once in the early morning, and sometimes right before bed. I'll show you how most of his daily feedings go on the next post. Aww. Look at that scrumptious belly!

Here's his hearing aid battery tester. I test it every night before I shut off his hearing aid. I usually have to change the battery once every 3 days.

Here is Carter's BBG machine. It sits on our bathroom counter which is right by his crib. We use it to suction all of his lovely secretions out of his nose and mouth. I typically only have to use this right when he wakes up in the morning unless he's got a little cold, or bad Acid Reflux. It sounds like an air compressor which is always nice at 3 am. The hope is that we won't need to use this as much once his soft palate is repaired on May 19th.

Here is Carter's "red foot". This is a sensor that he wears which hooks up to his Oximeter. He used to have to wear a blue cover over it, but our home care company sent us this new type that doesn't require the cover. This measures his heart rate, and how much Oxygen is in his blood. It works great most of the time....as long as Carter doesn't move at all. Even the slightest movement can make the sensor get a false reading.

Here is Carter's Oximeter. This is the monitor we use to read his heart rate and Oxygen levels. The number on the top right (98) shows the percent of Oxygen in his blood. Ideally we want to keep that above 92, but the alarm doesn't sound unless it goes below 86. The number under that is his heart rate (102). The wavy line on the left shows how good of a signal the monitor is getting. You typically want even peaks and valleys. If the waveform is all over the place then you know that you're getting a bad signal which can give a faulty number reading. Carter used to wear this monitor all day every day, but now that he's bigger and moving around so much it's constantly going off. He typically only wears it when he's sleeping, when he's having a bad day, or when we're driving to the hospital since it helps me to keep an "eye" on him while I'm driving.

More to come tomorrow!


Colleen said...

What a great post! I love the idea of using a hook instead of an ugly IV pole for the feeding bag. I never would've thought of that:)

Sherry C said...

Oh I remember all that stuff.. the shelf is great we had the IV pole. When we traveled to my parents or the cottage I took a hook the kind that attaches to doors.to hold the bag. I'd hook to a closet door for feeds and the bathroom door for cleaning.

I hope one day Carter room will look like Ashley's medical equipment free I never could have imaged it when she was one but it slowly came to be. A boys version of Ashley's room of course.

Your blog is so cool do you do all your own graphics.. your very creative. I'm trying to create a good header and button but I'm asking my niece for help she 16 and much better at that stuff.

Have a great weekend,

The VW's said...

Looks like Carter has a great setup in your room! I love the "red foot" picture! Piggie toes always do me in! Carter and all of your children are precious! Hugs!!!

Lacey said...

You have the same monitor as us, it definitely doesn't read right if they are moving!
Jax stayed in our room forever too, but its nice that his room is right next door because I'm a light sleeper and hear everything!

Phyllis said...

nice to have a visual!! I don't think you can ever know what another parent is going through but seeing pics of all the medical things certainly helps.

The Bender Family said...

Amazing! It doesn't look to rough on you at all. He's such a lucky baby! You guys are lucky parents!