Saturday, July 6, 2013

View from the other side

This isn't a view that I particularly wanted... the view of being a parent of a sick baby instead of the nurse. For the record, I much prefer being the nurse.
Here's the timeline of events:
June: Colds off & on. Constant runny nose & drooling. I chalked it all up to teething/putting everything in her mouth....but some of that gunk found its way to the upper lobe of her right lung. And it stayed. And then it got infected.
July 3: I left for work at 8, got home at 3. Kappa Claire said Millie seemed a little extra tired that day and had already taken 3 (1 hour) naps & she didn't eat as much as she usually does. When I got home, though, Millie greeted me with a huge smile and crawled right over. I agreed that she seemed sleepy, so I put her back down at 3.
5:00: Millie wakes up from her 2 hour nap. Unusual for this time of day, but maybe she needed a catch up. I get her up and notice she's breathing rapidly, but she's in great spirits.
5:30: She eats most of her solid food. We read books (she loves it) and she still seems tired so we get ready for bed. Still breathing quickly. Temp 98.4.
6:00: Takes only 2 oz of formula and falls right to sleep. At this point I notice her breathing is quick, shallow, and she's using accessory muscles to breathe. (This is not a good sign... it's like they can't get enough air just with their normal lung function so they start using belly muscles to really try to expand those lungs).  I decide to watch her really closely & I think to myself that I'll need to set my alarm to check on her periodically overnight.
7:00: Put Owen down. When I came out of his room my folks just happened to be in my living room. They brought Fritz's. What a fun surprise! My mom looks at Millie's breathing and agrees with Mike and I that something is off.
7:30: I call the on-call nurse (who called our pediatrician) who also seemed bewildered by Millie's obvious respiratory distress but lack of any other constitutional symptoms. She suggests maybe she has a small airway obstruction (a good thought... ) and so we decide the ER is a good idea. Especially since the next day is a holiday!
8:15ish: We head to St. John's Mercy Children's ER and leave my folks with the Os. Upon arrival, her respiratory rate was 64 (fast!), and her O2 saturation was 92%. It should be 100%, and 92 really is not good. Still no fever (99ish), and heart rate is about 160 which matches her high resp rate. She's really wheezy. 
9:00: We get her first Albuterol treatment to help her breathe better. She was not a  fan of the mask but she tolerated it, and her sats perked up to about 94%. Given the work she was doing to try to breathe, I was not at all thrilled with 94%. I knew something was up. We get her chest xray and then just try to help her calm down and go back to sleep.  
11:00ish: Her oxygen continues to be low 91-92%. Her chest xray reveals some right upper lobe pneumonia (at least we have a cause). She's now rocking a big fever 101.8 and she's miserable. Resp rate still in the 60s. Heart rate 180 (fast!). The ER doc comes in to tell us that he's considering sending us home with antibiotics and breathing treatments. As he's in the room, her O2 drops to 89%. (I'm starting to freak out a bit and there is no way I want her at home without something to monitor her O2). The doc watches the monitor and says....'Looks like she's telling me she needs to stay". I couldn't agree more. We put oxygen on her and she perks up to 93-94%. She HATES the nasal cannula, and is pulling at the tape, but we obviously force her to keep it on. We also get another breathing treatment & our first dose of antibiotics.
1:00am: We finally get upstairs to our room. Meet our nurse (Donshay)... I was so tired I just kept thinking it reminded me of "Jon Jay". They, of course, have to get more vitals and another weight (naked), and Millie is pissed about being naked. Screaming, tears, tearing at the nasal cannula, etc.
We get her settled down. Her O2 is about 95-96% on 2L of oxygen and she's sleeping. I run home to get some things and get back to the hospital in the 2:00 hour.

 We quickly discover that button onesies/sleepers are necessary to help keep the tubing and monitor cords 'contained'. One is coming from her face, the other from her toe. The next morning (July 4), we feed her breakfast and her antibiotics which she promptly throws up. This, we find out, is our ticket for another night in the hospital. She didn't eat much/pee much at all that day, and so they had to monitor her ins & outs closely. We did get that antibiotic dose down on the second try.

Throughout the day we were able to titrate her O2 down and she remained at about 94-95%. She wasn't much for sleeping in that big ol' hospital crib, so she slept on daddy's chest. She took to some pedialyte and started to perk up a bit, too....which helped us avoid an IV. The breathing treatments every 4 hours seemed to help loosen some of that gunk, and she started to be able to cough up some of it. I've never been so thrilled to hear her cough!

She made it through the second night with out oxygen, and she tolerated her breakfast and antibiotics on the morning of the 5th, so we got a ticket home! We weren't even in the hospital 48 hours, but it sure was a trying and exhausting experience.
Some of her personality came out during this ordeal. Despite all of this 'stuff' attached to her/being done to her, she was super excited to see all of the people. She was waving, smiling, & clapping for us and the staff. Everyone kept telling us how cute she is (duh!). She's so sweetsie.
Amelia- I do not plan to be at a hospital again with you until you are having a baby or something! But praise God this is just something acute and you have the immune power (aided by antibiotics) to fight it! Love you baby girl. xxoo

1 comment:

  1. Poor Millie...and mom and dad! I cannot imagine! Thank GOD she is doing much better! She is such a sweet girl!