Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The whole story...

Now that things have calmed down a bit and we're back home I'm going to write about our hospital expereince in more detail, mostly just for myself, so feel free to not read.

We pretty much expected Emerson to get RSV since Eli had it the previous week and it's so contagious. Eli's case while scary with the wheezing and the fever overall wasn't too horrible and he seemed to come out of it okay. So when on Monday Emerson started with a runny nose and low grade fever we figured it was maybe starting.

However, what threw us for a loop was her breathing never looked as bad as Eli's and her fever never got very high. For the first few days motrin seemed to keep it all in check and she was mostly fine. Wednesday evening we seriously debated taking her into the ER, we went back and forth, but after a bath and some medicine she seemed better and she slept okay that night. (In hindsight I could just kick myself for not trusting my instincts and taking her in).

Finally, on thursday she was just a whole different baby. No energy, incredibly lethargic, she just laid limp in my arms (I also called in sick to work on thursday because I was so sick). So together Emerson and I just laid on the couch all day.

We called the doctor to see if they had an open appointment but they didn't so around 4:30 we finally made the decision to bring her to the ER. Since I was so sick, and Eli was still awake and running around, we decided Marcus would take Emerson and I would stay with Eli. (We were only in the ER with Eli for 3 hours so we were hoping/expecting something similar).

Things, however didn't go as we expected. When Marcus finally got her into the ER her oxygen levels were really low and she couldn't keep them up. At this poing Marcus texted me that they were starting her on oxygen, and I immediatly wanted to get to the hospital. Especially after he texted me this picture:
My poor baby was so sick and so scared and she prefers me to Marcus (and Eli prefers Marcus right now). So I wanted to get to the hospital. I called my sister but she was at work, but luckily my brother was on his way home from work and offered to take Eli and give me a ride to the hospital. (And I was grateful we had an extra carseat at our house since we only have one car).
My brother then took Eli to his house, which I'm sure was an adventure for both of them. When I asked where Eli would sleep my brother said he would just put some pillows around him on the bed. I laughed and informed him that if he put Eli on a bed Eli would just jump. Then my brother thought Eli would sleep in a newborn cradle that he has, I then reminded my brother that Eli is 20 months old haha.

While I was on my way to the hospital they did two chest x-rays on Emerson (the first one wasn't clear enough) and Marcus said the x-ray machine terrified her, so when I walked in she pretty much jumped into my arms.

As we waited, even on the oxygen Emerson's levels were too low and they kept having to turn up her o2, by the end of the night she was on 2 liters and still struggling to maintain her levels.

They also tried to start an IV to get some antibiotics in her. They tried 6 different times with 3 different nurses and kept blowing her veins. Emerson was hysterical, scared, bloody and bruised on both arms, both hands, and both feet and it was so awful to see her like that and not be able to do anything. Finally the ER nurses decided to try giving the antibiotic orally and the peds. department could reevaluate the IV.

We later learned that she had RSV, the flu, pneumonia, and ear infections and she was going to be admitted. Then we just sat in the ER for hours waiting for our room. (Why does it take so long to get admitted)?

We finally went up to peds. around 11:30pm and quickly discovered we'd be sharing the tiniest room ever with another little boy who also had RSV. At this point Emerson was exhausted and scared and when I tried to lay her down in the crib she freaked out. She would not let go of me for anything, so out went the crib and in came a regular bed that either Marcus or I could sleep in with her.

Marcus and I were trying to get her changed into her gown while navigating the oxygen wire and monitor wires and he said, "I'm having some flash backs" and indeed much of this was flash back inducing. The constant beeping of the monitor when her o2 levels dropped was very reminiscent of our NICU days, the navigating of the wires also a reminder of those days. 
I finally got her dressed and calmed down and around 1:30am she finally fell asleep. At that point either Marcus or I needed to go home and since I was still feeling so sick, literally could not function, felt like death kind of sick, I made the incredibly difficult decision to go home so I could be better use to Emerson in the morning.

It was an awful feeling having to leave her knowing how scared and sick she was but I physically could not have stayed in the hospital that night. I went home to my empty house (Eli was with my sister at this point and we decided since I was going back to the hospital first thing in the morning to leave him with her) and it felt so wrong. I took medication and tried to sleep the best I could, and then on Friday morning drove back to the hospital.

I stayed with her all the next two days and two nights since I felt slightly better and Marcus felt worse. My mother in law drove down to help with Eli and then my mom came as well so Eli was very well taken care of, although incredibly confused.

Then it was a lot of laying with her in the bed. Trying to keep liquids in and constantly watching her o2 levels as they dipped and rose. 

I am happy to report that through it all she was the same feisty little girl that we know and love. Who tore off every bandaid they tried to put on and tried to remove the monitor every second possible (which is what she did in the NICU even at 3 pounds).

Also even though she didn't really eat much at all while we were in the hospital she has recently insisted on complete independence in regards to food. So when the hospital brought her an entire tray of food 3 times a day she had to feed herself.
The bed was filthy and so was she but she tried and ate about one bite of each tray and the rest of it ended up in the bed with us. 
Her beloved (super dirty) piggy was also a great source of comfort during her stay and many of the doctors she liked the best first did the procedure on piggy (like listening to piggy's heart and lungs) and then listening to Emerson's. Or giving piggy bites of food and drinks so Emerson would eat some too.

My poor sweet baby.
I'm so happy we were only there for three nights and I hope we all continue to get well soon and we never ever have to return to the hospital. 

I'm also trying to not feel so guilty, but we were so careful and vigilant last winter about washing hands and keeping the babies healthy to avoid RSV and this year we just didn't. I know as toddlers they're already harder to protect (since they like to lick and eat things) but I still wish we would have done more.


~Jess said...

Don't beat yourself up Sadie....they're kids....they get sick...they're isn't always something you can do to prevent it.

Praise God that Eli and Emmy are now doing better....those pictures of her are just heartbreaking (especially Marcus' text). *hugs to all you*

Carlita said...

I hope that you are all feeling better now. That picture is sooo painful to see. This is by far the worst part about being parents: seeing our children in distress.

I get your guilt but you absolutely can not go there. I quarantined my son last year and he was still sick from January to March. It was horrible. This year he's at an age where I know he needs to socialize with other children and yet, every time I bring him on playdates, etc., he seems to come down with something. It makes me want to keep him home forever but that's not good for him either. So difficult!

Julie said...

Poor baby! I'm so glad to hear that she's doing better.