This morning the head of the pediatric service came in and told us that Noah's newest blood cultures are continuing to grow out this still-unknown bacteria. This means that the antibiotics are not succeeding at killing the bug. He said that we should know what the bacteria is within 24 hours, and that he suspects that it is MRSA (antibiotic resistant superbug). The antibiotics Noah is taking are big guns and *should* be providing coverage for all gram positive bugs, but for some reason they don't appear to be doing the job.
He also said that Noah is in what is called a catabolic state which means that his body is being broken down instead of built up. This is basically an acceleration of his mitochondrial disease caused by the severe stress of the infection. Whether this state can be reversed, and how long it takes to reverse, will be determined by the length and severity of the infection.
The doctors are exploring the idea of removing Noah's central line, which is a catch-22. It is *possible* that removing the line will make it easier to clear the infection from his blood (if the line is harboring bacteria). It's also possible that removing the line won't make any difference. If they do remove it, they won't want to give him a new line until the infection clears, because putting a fresh line into an infected body will just cause the new line to get infected. Noah can't get his TPN (nutrition) through an IV - it must go through a central line. Most of us could get by with IV fluids for a few days, but children with mitochiondrial diseases must absolutely be kept from fasting . . . .
Noah is still spiking high fevers, and when he is feverish he is either sleeping or very, very out of things. When the fever goes down lower, he perks up enough to take an interest in his surroundings, watch a DVD, get carried to see the fish tank, etc. He is even walking a little when he really perks up.
It seems hard to believe that things are going this way. Noah has had sepsis and line infections and other horrible issues, but he has always responded beautifully. I guess we've always known that there could come a time when he didn't respond as well, but it still seems hard to believe.
We should know more tomorrow. They drew another blood culture a few minutes ago and there is still hope that this one will show that Noah is winning and the bug is retreating. If any other big event or change happens, or if we receive any new news, I'll update - but I don't expect that until tomorrow. Again, please pass this on to anyone who might be praying for Noah.
I want to get back to him (you could pray that we can get our in-room internet figured out!), but I want to close with a song that has meant so much lately.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Update on Noah Estes
Please keep praying for Noah and his family. Here is Kate's latest update: