Sunday, November 21, 2010

Reporting from the Front

It's just gone 2am and we here at blog central are reporting from RJ's room in the ICU. We had always thought that the ICU would be dark and quiet, but honestly, we can barely think above the thump thump thumping of the new ventilator. If you close your eyes, it sounds a lot like a steam train rounding a corner and heading toward the station. Chugga chugga chugga chugga chugga, really really fast. You find yourself tapping your fingers to the incessant rhythm of the machine as it pumps puffs of air into his lungs, causing a constant vibration through his body. As uncomfortable as it looks though, the new sedation and ventilator are doing wonders for RJs vital numbers. His blood pressure is good, heart rate is perfect and oxygen levels are exactly where they should be. In just a short amount of time, all of these colorful numbers on the monitor over his head are starting to make sense to all of us and we can quickly see which numbers are where they should be and which numbers aren't. We are happy to report that since we arrived at 11pm, everything is exactly where it should be.

RJ's Army has been sending troops here to sit with him in six hour shifts around the clock. This is the only way that Jessica will leave his bedside, even for a short time and we're honored to do it. At this point we don't do much - watch him sleep, look at the numbers, talk to the staff, read a book. Tonight has been particularly exciting because there has been thunder and lightening outside and as his room is pretty high up, we've had an awesome view of the light show. The nurses here have been amazing - letting us set up our little camp in the corner of the room, offering us pillows and blankets and good conversation. Tonight, Charla has given us a crash course in the various fluids that are hanging on the little metal tree next to his bed and kept us entertained with small talk that helps keep our minds off of why we're here.

It has been an amazing night here at the front and Jessica and RJ send their love and gratitude right back at you all. We're going to sign off now, not because we're getting sleepy, but because we drank a giant cup of coffee before we came and know. Good night troops.


  1. Seriously, mr or ms friends of RJ writer, you are doing a great job of communicating what is going on there - thank you so much - you must write for a living - if not, you could be!
    When my brother in law was fighting his successful campaign against lymphoma, I learned much more than I ever wanted to know about cancer. Odd thing about bad things - you do learn a lot. Jessica, my thoughts are especially with you - completely understand your desire to not leave the room. It is good to take a break from time to time and allow others to give as well - it gives you the pause that will be good for baby and, ultimately, good for RJ too. Hang in there! JT

  2. RJ is an amazing kid with an amazing mom.
    Not too mention the mom's friend's who rally around her 24/7. I am in awe of this love and friendship. My prayers are with RJ about ten times a day.


  3. "shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you'll land somewhere among the stars" -Les Brown
    i really don't know what this has to do with anything that's going on right now, but it was the first thing that popped into my head after reading that so...
    love ya forver and ever and ever and ever
    -michala <3

  4. i love you rj <3 keep up the progress! you are doing amazing!
    -jessie cron :)) <3

  5. Thanks for the kind words - we here at blog central appreciate it and are glad that our little contribution helps at all! (Actually, some of us do, indeed, write for a living. Everyone goes to their strengths in a time of crisis.)

  6. Hi, I'm a neighbor of RJ's grandma and I don't think he's met me, but I just wanted to say I think he's being such a trooper and so are his mom and grandma!

    My daughter was in the neonatal ICU for two days and I know how distracting and hypnotic the machines can be. As you described, those numbers start to mean a lot! I hope your experience will be as positive as ours was in terms of the kindness and support we received from hospital staff, and I can assure you that as terrifying and heartbreaking as it is to have your child in the ICU, bringing him home will be that much more joyful!