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Pneumonia Update – On Oxygen Still

Posted Jul 11 2011 12:22am

Caden was diagnosed with pneumonia on June 21st.  He was running a 104.5 fever that day and his SATs were down far enough to require oxygen all day.  We took him in so the pediatrician could listen to him and they referred Caden to MUSC for a chest x-ray. The x-ray confirmed pneumonia in the lower left lung.  We went through four days of Rocephin injections and then went onto Vantin for 21 days.  We will finish off the Vantin this week.  Caden has already seen the pediatrician for a follow up and they said his lungs sound clear. However Caden is still sating 89-90 without oxygen so he will be on the O’s until he can keep his SATs up with the oxygen.

We checked Caden into the church nursery for the first time in a LONG time today and not without incident.  A lady followed us into the WonByOne (Special Needs) room and asked me…with a bit of an urgent tone, “why is he on oxygen?”  I explained basically by saying what I said in the paragraph above.  She seemed a little uncomfortable so I added some other information about Caden to comfort her with our level of understanding about his condition and our judgement to bring a child out in public on an oxygen tank. I sort of did the shock and awe version of Caden’s overall condition to let her know that oxygen is one of the least of this kid’s issues. (i.e., can’t swallow, multiple open hear surgeries, multiple back surgeries due to scoliosis, surgery on his throat, etc, etc) She got one of those dear in the headlights, wide-eyed “OH” looks on her face and said she was just curious because she is a nurse member of the emergency response team.  She told the room coordinator to call her if she was needed. I am standing there with on eye-brow higher than the other as she departed.

I realized that I never posted what happened with the sleep study back in April. The sleep study alerted us to the fact that Caden was dropping his SATs in the late night or early morning hours. The pulmonologist called us after the sleep study and said Caden needed to be on oxygen at night going forward. We were a little skeptical at the time that and thought it was related to a sinus bug he had been battling since earlier in the week leading up to the sleep study. We verified the sleep study findings by running Caden on the pulse oximeter all night for a few nights in a row following the pulmonologist’s call.  Caden was dropping down as low as the high 70s without oxygen..until he got suctioned. Caden has been on oxygen every night since and remains on the O2 until after his first tube feeding of the day.

In case you are wondering, this is what Caden looked like during the sleep study.

Caden Ready for Sleep Study
I may have mentioned “The Vest” a few months back.  It turns out that it is a great treatment for pneumonia. The device was developed by Hill-Rom to treat Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients. Caden does not have CF, but his condition has become another great target for this device.  The device is an air pump that inflates a vest worn by the patient.  Once the vest is inflated the air pump begins to pulsate the pressure in the vest to create vibrations in the lugs to shake loose mucus.  This makes it much easier for the patient to cough up the stuff from their lungs and get back to breathing more freely.  Caden is riding “The Vest” for at least 40 minutes per day.  This things are in such high demand we were ask to bring our own if we had it when Caden was admitted to MUSC back in March for pneumonia. Here is a picture of Caden getting his vest treatment.

We have scheduled Caden’s next surgery.  He will have another orthopedic surgery to adjust the VEPTR rods in his back on August 25th.  We expect 2-3 days in the hospital for this one.  Normally kids only spend one night inpatient for this procedure, but Caden’s orthopedic surgery plays things a little more cautiously with Caden.

Caden lost pulled another tooth tonight. His has now pulled two of his teeth without assistance.  I as so proud of him and Sherry was so thankful.  She can’t stand to even watch the process of pulling a tooth.  I posted a poll on my new blog Daddy Life asking how much a kids should get for a tooth he pulled all by himself.  Drop over there to vote in the poll and check out the other information the site has to offer. I have produced two podcast episodes so far and will try to do one per week moving froward.  You can subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or download the mp3 files from .

Thank you for following Caden’s progress.  Your continued prayers for Caden and our family are greatly appreciated.

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