We have had some problems today that prevented Ned from being weaned from the vent and it may extend extubation for several days. Since birth, Ned has been on a healthy, continuous dose of morphine. In order to leave the intensive care unit, Ned has to be off the vent and off the narcotics drips. They have been slowing reducing the morphine over the past week, but apparently we hit his threshold today because he was completely unable to endure that last reduction. As a result, he has had several withdrawal attacks today: shaking, sweating, and rapid heart rate.....just pitifully agitated and mad! So the game plan is to give him two other narcotics, which are administered orally, in pretty high doses. Once his body has become addicted to those drugs, we'll slowly try to pull the morphine away assuming he won't notice as much or that we can reduce his withdrawal symptoms by pumping him up on the other medications? I know it doesn't sound like a very ethical plan, but, we can take the oral medications home with us and wean him off over a much longer time frame. Anytime they say it's something we can do at home, I jump all over it. Please keep little Ned in your prayers tonight, it is very difficult to see such a small child going through drug withdrawal. My main source of solace is that he won't ever remember this....just I will!!
I have known many people recently to be experiencing addictions or family members with addicitons. As I watched Ned today, I thought that addicitons really disrupt everything. They disrupted the only plan of a 1 month-old baby and they disrupt families, careers, dreams, hopes, friendships...they ruin lives. And while it is so easy to blame the addict, as I watched Ned today, he had lost complete control to the morphine. His body wanted something it doesn't need so badly it was almost as if it spoke for itself. While Ned's drug use wasn't a choice he made of his own accord, I just think once you've become addicted, how you got there means very little, but realizing how far you've got to go to get clean appears as a long road often paved with guilt. My heart hurts for those whose lives have been completely disrupted by addictions. I've always wished there was an easier way for people to clean up, but since they aren't offering any great solutions for my infant, I think this is it.
That's all for tonight....basically just a very tired rant on addiction as it has been on my mind all day- my thoughts were probably much more clear and concise before midnight came and went! I'm just loving and praying for my little addict tonight.....I hoping this will be the last time he ever experiments with drugs!