And the not so good news. Kidneys are still not cooperating. I had a discussion with the nephrologist today about what the heck is going on, and his feeling is that it's something called acute tubular necrosis (ATN). I had a physiology class about 12 years ago, so I am quite the expert on the workings of kidneys. Right. Kidneys are complicated and mysterious, but they know what they like, and what they like is good steady pulsatile blood flow. Unfortunately for Bonnie's kidneys, they didn't have that for at least a couple weeks (due to her blood pressure being so low, and being on ECMO probably contributed as well). The inner workings got ticked off, which caused cell damage and/or death in the tiny (and complicated and mysterious) tubules of the kidneys, which are required to filter her blood, maintain electrolyte balance, and--my personal favorite--make pee. According to Dr. Kidney, these dead cells should slough off and be flushed out, and things *should* be back to normal eventually. However, he couldn't promise anything, because if the damage was very severe--and there's no way to know at this point--there could be scar tissue, which is basically nonfunctional tissue that likely won't ever recover. Scary thought.
Here's a handy dandy diagram for you--not to help you understand the kidney, necessarily, but to illustrate how complicated it is.
So because of all of *that* crazy business, our little Bonnie will need to continue on dialysis until further notice. There were some major issues this morning with getting her dialysis catheter to work. Short version is that it's very finicky and only flows well when Bonnie is in one certain position. Since babies tend to wiggle, they ended up starting her on a continuous drip of a drug called vecuronium. We'll euphemistically call it a "neuro-muscular block," because "paralytic" sounds really terrible. But basically, she can't move. She's on biblical amounts of sedation to go along with this.
Ironically, her lungs aren't causing her problems at the moment, other than needing to be on a ventilator (still on the conventional vent--woohoo!). If her kidneys could just get with it, we might be able to make some progress. At the very least, she'd be able to get off dialysis and we wouldn't have to worry about her dialysis catheter, paralytics, etc.
I know many of you have been faithfully praying for Bonnie's kidneys (thank you!), but let me ask that you get even more specific with your prayers. Please pray that the teeny little tubules would unclog and start flowing freely and that there won't be any scar tissue there that would prevent 100% return of her kidney function. And of course, we would like her to pee. Please continue to pray for her recovery from surgery and for her lungs to remain clear and open--the ventilator had to be turned up a bit because of her vecuronium (since she can't move, she can't "help" the ventilator).