Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back To Riley Hospital

After a difficult and anxious week at home, we are back in the NICU at Riley. Graham evidently contracted an infection before he was discharged from the hospital on Christmas day. He appeared normal the first few days home, even to his Ft. Wayne pediatrician, whom we saw Tuesday. But things began to deteriorate as the week went on. His incision started opening up, he was a fitful sleeper, spit up often, had minor rashes that came and went, and was not a hearty eater. At first, his symptoms did not raise alarms with the phone staff at Riley (with whom Katie was in constant contact), but yesterday they told us to bring him in to the emergency room. We were coming anyway!
Graham is fighting a bacterial infection called pseudomonas, commonly contracted in hospitals. In the ER, his temperature was a dangerously low 94.4 and his white blood cell count was very high (26k), both of which indicated infection. His rash had become more pronounced, and his feet in particular were very red and very swollen. When the doctor unwrapped Graham's omphalocele, he recognized the specific odor created by pseudomonas. Graham was immediately started on an antibiotic through an IV, beginning with a large initial dose, and then a second antibiotic was added.
Our Baby Boy is very sick and he has a long battle ahead of him. His status is now listed as "serious", thankfully down from "critical" when he was in the ER. Chief concerns now are his fluid levels, kidney function, electrolyte balance, and platelet levels. He'll also have to be given blood because of the many blood draws needed for testing. He has IVs in both arms---one for antibiotics and one for fluids, and has had to catheterized again. All fluids going in and coming out are being strictly monitored, so Katie cannot nurse him right now, but once his electrolytes are up, she will be allowed to start. It is difficult to see him hooked up to so many tubes and machines again.
We expect many ups and downs during the next seven to ten days as Graham fights this systemic infection. Although his little body has many challenges ahead before he gets through the infection, we are confident our tough G-Man will prevail. What is very comforting is the staff at the NICU. The Surgery team is now working with the Infectious Disease team to come up with the best plan of treatment. We should know more tomorrow.
We could not be at a better place. (He has to be in an isolation unit in the NICU, and Katie says it has a more comfortable chair than the other modules ... small silver linings in the big dark clouds!) Bill and Katie were also lucky enough to get back into the Ronald McDonald House on very short notice. Thanks to generous friends with extra beds, Grandma and Grandpa Ryder are back in Indy as well as wonderful moral and laundry support.


  1. i was not happy to see this post!! what module did graham get put into?? i am hoping 5! if not, i will come visit him. i work tomorrow night (monday). hope things are going well today.

  2. We are all praying for Graham and your family right now! Be strong and let the Dr. and Graham do what they need to fight this infection. We will continue to check in and we hope this small set back is over soon....
    Amber Naughton and Family

  3. We are praying for you. I was hoping the new blog entry was good news and sorry to see it was not. I'm glad that you have such good health care people looking after him. XOXO,
    Niki and family

  4. Katie, so sorry to hear this news! David and I will for sure be sending our warmest thoughts and prayers to you, your baby boy and the rest of your family! Hang in there!! Fondly, Felicia/ David Anvick:)

  5. We have been following your blog and are so sorry to hear you have a setback. We have been through some crazy medical stuff, too... and I remember so well how that feels. Hang in there, guys. All of us here in Urbana are thinking of you.

  6. Argh. Will be thinking of you three in the coming days. Graham deserves a big party as soon as he gets the concept.

  7. Just checked in to see how the little one was doing. So glad you got to be home for Christmas but sorry to hear about the setback. So greatful for the great team at Riley! I am sure that has some reassurances! Praying for G and the rest of you!

  8. Hi Katie, Bill and bay Graham. I was so saddened to read the updates about your little miracle boy. Lindsay and I were talking over New Year's about how wonderful it was to hear you were all home. Please know that I am praying for you all every day..multiple times! You are in good hands at Riley, and I'm certain that God is holding Graham's hands through every second of this.
    Kelly (Lindsay's sister)