Thursday, September 18, 2008

Scoring his Withdrawals

The doctors and nurses have a scoring system to evaluate how babies with drug withdrawals are doing. They score on several factors, including temperature, heart rate, muscle rigidity, etc. On Wednesday the score was around 10 (they like it to be under 9). Thursday when I got to the hospital, it was down to an 8. By Thursday night, it had gone back up to a 14. I was really worried by this , but the nurses assured me that it was a good thing because they always get worse before they get better. Friday morning when I got there, he was down to an 11. This made me happy, but then they informed me that the doctor had decided to up his dose of morphine. That is what they were using to wean him from the methadone. He wanted to get Talon's score down, so until that happened he would keep his dose up. I was able to talk to the doctor for the first time on Friday. I talked to him about when we would be able to bring our son home. He told me that it would be a couple more weeks at least. I asked him if there was any possibility of us bringing him home and administering the morphine ourselves. I told him that I would be willing to bring him back every day for monitoring, but that I wanted him home. He empathized with me, and said that we needed to get his score down to a consistent 5, and his dose down, but that he would be willing to consider sending him home at that point. We had our ups and downs, but by Wednesday, June 18th, his score and dose were low enough that they let him come home. We kept him on his morphine for the next two days, but then were able to start weaning him completely and within a week he wasn't taking it anymore.