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Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 6, 2010

We had a meeting with the ophthalmology attending today because Benjamin was diagnosed this morning with severe ROP (retinopathy of prematurity), a potentially blinding disease. Prior to this, we knew he was likely to have some degree of ROP because more than 80% of preemies who weigh less than 1000 grams (2.2 lbs.) will develop it, but we were hoping it wouldn’t be as severe as it actually is.

Some cases of ROP will resolve without treatment; however, Benjamin will need laser surgery to stop the retinal detachment. We were told it’s the best option to try and save his central vision (he most likely will lose peripheral vision in both eyes). The scratch on his cornea is still there, and the ophthalmologist said he may have a hard time “freezing” the abnormal vessels because of it. If he cannot get to the vessels, he will need to make injections of some sort of drug into his eye. His surgery is scheduled for 1:00 tomorrow afternoon and will take about two hours to complete. He’ll be sedated with Fentanyl and we’re praying he won’t be too uncomfortable.

He continues to battle some type of infection as seen from another recent drop in his platelets. We’re very concerned about this because he’s been on three strong antibiotics for the past two weeks and obviously they can’t clear whatever he’s come down with. They did a blood culture this morning so we’ll see if that shows anything.

They also performed another ultrasound on his head and his abdomen this afternoon. The head ultrasound was done because in addition to the evolving damage in the white matter of his brain, his ventricles looked enlarged last week and the attending neonatologist wants to make sure his spinal fluid is reabsorbing properly. There were a few other things they were going to look at, but I honestly can’t remember. As far as his stomach, he has an area that’s become a little hard to the touch so I think they want to make sure it’s not some type of abscess.

All in all he had a very busy day today and when we left him tonight we could tell he was absolutely wiped. The nurse coming on at 7:00 said he was going to have a quiet night (no blood tests or stoma dilations planned) and we were so happy to hear that. We won’t sleep tonight knowing what tomorrow brings, but we would love to see him rest as much as he can.

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