big angry boogers

we went to a little appointment yesterday. i called the doc to see what she thought about wren's increased oxygen needs. see, we'd weaned her down to 1/8 liter, then within a few days she was needing 1/2 to sat well. (with 1/4 she just hung out in the 80's.) obviously we've got a schedule to keep, so i was a little concerned with her increased needs. and of course there's the sidepoint that it could be something serious like an infection or virus. the doc said she'd like to see her in the clinic, so... off to the hospital we go- again.
to top it off, the last of the probes decided it would punk out. (can i get a "thank you apria healthcare for the crappiest expensive probes on the market"?) anyway, so i had to make the trip without the pulse ox monitor. boo. that means i got to pull over every few miles and make sure she was still breathing, and not blue. what a trip.

so, i get to the appointment... they take her vitals and weight. the little bird now weighs in at 6lb 4oz! that's up 8.4% in about 10 days! the doc was thrilled!! and when i went to change her clothes- because she puked everywhere- she'd outgrown the outfit i brought. it was a granimals preemie onesie- one of the bigger ones. what a strange thing to watch her grow.
her respratory rate was 44. (which is a little high, but normal for her.) and she was sating 100% on the 1/2 liter. she looked fine- wasn't retracting or tachypnic, pink as can be. i guess it's just a booger incident.

with the dry oxygen, she's at increased risk for nare irritation. don't you love that word "nare"? something about using it in a sentence makes me feel all professional and educated. the singular is naris. really, it's just a nostril. anyway, back to the irritation. when preemies are in the nicu they will oftentimes suction out the extra mucus and boogers because they can block off some of the passageway- leading to increased oxygen needs. (what's the technical term for booger anyway? i looked it up, it's "dried nasal mucus". guess i could have come up with that on my own.) back to point. it's really because increased suction can also lead to increased irritation, increased mucus, and then increased suction... you get the picture? on the up side, the oxygen they use at the hospital has a bubbler (i suppose itsreally called a humidifier.)... it humidifies the oxygen that comes from the wall before it gets to baby... this keeps everything a little more moist, cutting down on hard boogers. most home oxygen tanks are what's called "dry oxygen". it's complex isn't it? so, since we've had wren home i knew we needed to be suctioning her, or at least flushing her with saline to try and break up her dried nasal mucus. i'd tried a few times- but the bulb syringe really sucks. (haha) and her nares are so small it doesn't really get up there. yesterday afternoon i put almost a whole bullet of saline (5ml) up there and flushed out a grown up sized booger. when i talked to the doc she said to just use a few drops everyday to keep her little nasal passages moisturized and we shouldn't have to worry about big angry boogers.

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