We were at the hospital this morning by around 11am, ready to take our little guy home as soon as possible. I was surprised the whole discharge process took over 5 hours -- it was quite the process.
Scotty's 9am blood draw came back at 12.9 - up .8 from this draw at 9pm last night, but the nurse assured us that this is common and .8 is absolutely nothing to worry about. The lights were turned off as soon as they got the results last night, and as long as he keeps peeing/pooping, we are out of the woods.
He also passed the hearing screen today, which the doctor had told me was the first obstacle in making sure there was no permanent damage. I guess hearing is especially fragile to kernicterus, and a passed hearing screen is a great indication that everything is a-okay.
We read through his discharge summary and a lot of it was very reassuring. They had used the term "mild hypotonia" when he presented to the ER (very relaxed muscle state) but that was the only word I recognized from all of the scary words from the night before. His bili number upon admit was 28.9. The discharge summary was much happier - low numbers for everything, lovely negative results, and they even referred to him as active and alert. Music to my ears.
I think the sweetest part of the day came just as we were loading him in the car seat. Before the nurse tucked him in, she asked if it was okay for him to "say good-bye" to everyone. I replied that I didnt' realize he had made friends. She carted him out of his isolation chamber and walked over to the nurses station, all while the other nurses coo'ed their good-byes. It was so wonderful to see how many people were working on his case. One nurse even commented on how "advanced" he seemed, especially with his head movements and his alertness. Oh my word, that about brought me to tears. Our nurse was quick to pick up on it, and instantly reassured me that there are very likely absolutely no long term issues as a result of all of this. Oh, please, keep telling me that. The staff and doctors were wonderful, and we really owe them. They essentially saved his life and quality of life.
So, as I said, everyone is telling us that there will likely not be any permanent damage. Time will tell, but Scotty's exhibiting normal, healthy, 11-day old behavior. I just gave him a bottle and he gulped it down. He and Brian are now snuggling on the couch, with Scotty in his little football sleeper suit, and both are looking awfully cozy. I can't wait to join them.
Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers. They clearly worked. I'm overwhelmed with the amount of support that rallied behind our little guy. I hope I can return the favor if it ever comes to that.
Oh - and how much did our 72 hours nightmare cost? Rough estimates put us at just around $17,000. Thank goodness for health insurance!