Grey has had a slight step back over the last two days. Her heart rate and oxygen saturation levels have been dropping more often than usual, often to very low levels that require physical stimulus (sternal rub or pat on the bottom) to bring her back up. When these levels drop too low we can even see her skin tone change to a gray/blue color due to the lack of oxygen circulating. This is a little scary to see happen but afterwards we are able to joke with the nursing staff about the irony of her name. “Grey, quit turning gray! You scare us when you do that!” The doctors gave her some antibiotics just in case there is infection setting in. However, this is not likely the case. Blood labs show that the cause of her arrhythmia issue is likely due to slight hyperkalemia (elevated potassium levels). Her little kidneys are having trouble tolerating her high protein diet. This is causing elevated potassium, which in turn create arrhythmia problems. Thankfully, they were able to catch this early as high potassium can be very dangerous and lead to severe problems such as cardiac arrest. To treat this they have stopped her feeds and given her medication to help lower her potassium (Lasix and Kayexalate). They also gave her a blood transfusion. So far this seems to be helping. The afternoon lab work showed that her potassium levels are lower. She will begin feeding again when her electrolytes are balanced and her arrhythmia episodes subside. She will likely start with lower protein and slowly ramp up to the higher protein diet (fortified breast milk) that is so necessary for her to grow.
Grey continues to progress well and these little bumps in the road are expected. We praise the Lord for His many blessings and placing His protective hand around her! We are praying that her heart rate and oxygen saturation stabilizes and that she begins tolerating feeds better in order to do what is most important…GROW! She has started to gain a little weight. She is now up to a whopping 1 lbs. 2 oz. and measuring 30 cm – almost a foot!
Here are some fun pictures we took today for a little perspective.