On those rare occasions that I go gambling, I always find myself thinking about the psychology of gambling. They give you free alcohol to loosen you (and buy you I mean your wallet) up and lower your inhibitions (and by inhibitions I mean your ability to rationally limit the amount you spend). The fact that the carpets are always very very colorful and busy to keep you stimulated. Then there's the rumor (who knows where I actually heard this one) that they pump in a higher concentration of oxygen to keep you awake so you'll gamble longer. All of these aside, the one I fixate on the most is the fact that you absolutely cannot gamble with cash......you have to change in your cash for chips in order to gamble. Why is that? It's the psychology of it. When asked what that green chip is worth, every person who gambles will tell you that's it's worth twenty five dollars. However, in the flow of gambling it is a green chip......a piece of plastic.....a representation of real money......it's much much easier to throw down a green chip than it would be to take a twenty dollar bill AND a five dollar bill and put it on the table......if it were the bills you were laying down it would be more real and therefore you'd be much less likely to do it. I remember playing craps one time, and at one point I stopped, put my beer down and just looked at what I had on the table. I had eighty-five dollars on the table at one time......I didn't even realize it......had it been in cash there is no way that I would have had that much on the table at any one time....(I know Tony and Gary are laughing at me right now.....but come on it's me....the low risk gambler). The point being that the casinos are smart.....they understand psychology....and are making a mint. Once again the question begs to be asked.....what the hell does any of this have to do with the twins??? It's the word NICU.....just like the poker chip....it represents something very real, but you can easily overlook exactly what it is........it's the fact that I've become comfortable in their part of the hospital.....it's the fact that I had forgotten that NICU stands for Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit.......Intensive Care.......whenever you're watching the news and they report on someones condition and they say "they are in critical condition" you know it's serious. "They are in ICU" means that they are in bad shape. I'd become so comfortable with things that I'd forgotten that they are in ICU. Nothing horrible has happened to prompt this realization ( I guess I should have started with that statement...sorry). It just became more apparent to me today as we were talking with the doctor about what to do with Parker. He hasn't had any "bad" days for awhile, but he also has not been progressing as well as he should. So today we had a long conversation with the doctor about what to do. Here's the situation.....no, there is too much....let me sum up ( that was a quote from the Princess Bride by the way.....I know Bob is probably the only one who got....we're weird like that.) Anyway, Parker and Tyler will be a month old tomorrow, and both are still on ventilators and relatively high O2.....Parker more so than Ty. So they are going to start him on a three day regimen of steroids. The problem is that there is still a tremendous amount of inflammation in his chest and therefore a lot of fluid which is prohibiting his O2 and CO2 exchange. The steroid is an excellent anti-inflammatory and will hopefully take down the inflammation allowing him to breath much better. If it shows sign of working they will keep him on it for nine more days (gradually decreasing the amount) which will hopefully allow them to extabate him. If they don't see any progress within the first three days they will cease and desist. We asked a ton of questions and received a lot of statistical information about side effects and came to the conclusion that the minuscule chance of side effects were worth the risk of a good positive outcome. Something has to change.....he has to make some progress. Tyler, after having a pretty good run, has leveled off and is not making any more progress either. There is still time for him to get back on track before taking this step, but he may not be too far behind.
The good news: After much discussion and deliberation about the steroids, our nurse, Mary, was very good about pointing out the following positive. While both boys are struggling in the lung department, they are both thriving in the feeding department. Both boys are now getting 22ml / feeding with 24 cal supplements. They both have fully functional digestive systems that show absolutely no signs of any problems. This is really really good. They are getting fabulous nutrition without the need of any IV's which is helping each of them grow and get stronger without any possibility of infection from an IV. Tyler is currently 2lb 10 oz while little bro Park is now at 2 lb 9 oz......only one ounce behind.....Parker wanted me to let everyone know that while he is an ounce behind he is a whopping 3/4 of an inch taller than Tyler, so technically Tyler is the little brother......we'll hash out this fight later:))
Needless to say there was no holding of either boy today. The birthday present we are hoping Heather gets tomorrow is that Parker has responded to the steroids......"we're going to pump....you up!!!!" a little Arnie S&L quote for some of you. I'll keep ya posted