# Monday, 15 December 2008

Oxygen levels better, but still not quite good enough

The Boss and Chaya Devoira are still stuck in hospital, although we are hopeful that they will be home soon. As I think I mentioned before, they put Chaya Devoira back onto the nasal specs, which are small tubes that go a short way into her nostrils, so they can supply a carefully measured amount of oxygen. Although this seems like a step back from the oxygen mask kept near her face, it is actually an important stage in measuring how much oxygen she actually needs.

The mask was supplying about 5 litres per minutes (lpm), although much of this was wafting around and escaping into the air. The nasal specs supply oxygen directly into her nose, so very little (if any) is lost.

She was on one lpm before Shabbos, but they brought this down to 0.9 lpm, then 0.7 lpm, with the intention of reducing it to the stage where they could turn it off altogether. At each stage, they have to ensure that her oxygen saturation levels remain high enough.

Shabbos was, by all accounts, a pretty challenging time for the Boss. When I went in on Friday afternoon, the ward was almost empty. The girl in the bed next door was on her way home, and there were only two other patients there, both small babies. This gave some hope that Shabbos would be peaceful.

Sadly, it was not to be. Late Friday afternoon and through the evening, a steady stream of children came onto the ward. Most of these were of an age where they needed entertainment, usually of a noisy sort. Shabbos day was a cacophony of DVDs and PlayStations, both played at full volume of course. Why people can't keep the volume to a reasonable level is beyond me, but it seemed that everyone was competing to see who could be the loudest.

Right in the middle of all this was the Boss and Chaya Devoira. Attempting to create some sort of Shabbos spirit amongst the din, the Boss said Tehillim and tried to block out the noise.

By the time we arrived after Shabbos, she was worn out. The noise had quieted down to the level of a mere earthquake. Thankfully, Chaya Devoira had slept most of the day, and was in fact so sleepy that we were a little worried if she was OK. The nurses reckoned she was just catching up on some lost sleep from the previous few days. How she managed it with the noise is beyond me, but she has impressed me with her determination before! My mother reckons that she has the fighting spirit of her namesake, which is probably a good thing, considering the challenges she faces ahead of her.

The oxygen levels were down to 0.3 lpm by the early evening, and we were hopeful that they could be reduced even further. The doctor had given the nurse permission to decide when to reduce it further, and the nurse seemed happy for the Boss to take this on.

Unfortunately her attempts to reduce the level wasn't met with the success we would have liked. She took it down to 0.2 lpm, which was fine for a while, but then Chaya Devoira's saturation level dropped below the acceptable limits, and we had to raise it back again.

The nurse said that babies often respond better to a drop in oxygen when they are asleep, so the Boss is going to try and reduce it overnight, and see how she is by morning. As soon as she can get the levels down to the point where they can switch the oxygen off, they can come home. We live in hope :-)

Oh, and for those who are wondering, I spent far too long battling with the badly written software that came with the MP3 player, but eventually managed to get quite a few hours of music on there, along with a few videos of the children.

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