Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Powerful Virus...and then some

So, we move on to Friday. Joshua had a rough night...so did Mike...he just couldn't sleep with all of the coughing. Since we made the executive decision that Ethan should go hang out with another family for the day, we called his Aunt and Uncle to see if he could stay with them for the day. I had a feeling the day wasn't going to be pleasant...I had no idea we'd end up in the hospital!

Joshua would just follow me around the house, sit down wherever I stopped and just moan. With every breath he would moan and cough, constantly. That and play with his ears. We've come to the conclusion that unlike his brother's attachment to a blankie and kitty, Josh is attached to his ears...literally. He plays with them to comfort himself.

I decided to help get him to sleep I would take a drive. He always falls asleep and sleeps well in the car. So, I fed and placed Rebekah in her car seat. When I turned around expecting to find Joshua behind me, I saw him in the playroom, curled up on the bean bag fast asleep.

About 45 min. later he woke up, not feeling any better, so we went for that drive.

He slept for another 15 min. but when he woke up, didn't look right. I drove over to Mike's work to get another opinion. We called the doctor because he just didn't seem right. This is when my mother's instincts kicked in. I wasn't sure he was bad enough to go to the ER, but at the same time, he wasn't looking so good. He was all one color...very ashen...and his breathing was incredibly rapid. He seemed to be struggling. Instead of waiting for the doctor to call us back, Mike took the rest of the day and drove us over to the office. I walked in with him, and with one look they brought him into the treatment room to check his stats. His oxygen levels were at 76%. They should be between 92-100%. Then they decided to listen to his breathing and when he started to cry, his O2 stats went up into the 80's. So, they put him on oxygen and then gave him a nebulizing (sp?) treatment. He practically passed out.

At this point I have to say, although we were worried, we didn't think we would need to go to the hospital. The staff at Pediatric Associates did such a great job remaining calm throughout the ordeal, that we were surprised when the doctor came in and said "You've probably guessed by now that we will be admitting him to the hospital."

So, over to the Elliot we went. We checked in on Friday the 9th and didn't get discharged until Tuesday the 13th! It was a very long weekend.

My poor little guy was just struggling so hard to breath. They couldn't determine if it was asthma or if it was just a virus that had settled and caused the extreme inflammation in his lungs. Not that it really matters because the treatment for either one is the same. They don't like to diagnose asthma under the age of 2-3, so they diagnosed it viral.

Mind you, he was treated for walking pneumonia as well. We had gone in to the office on Tuesday the 6th for Rebekah's well visit, and the doctor was very concerned with his cough. She took a listen and said that he now clinically sounded like what little bit of something they saw on the xray from the previous week. She felt it would be best to put him on antibiotics for pneumonia.

The poor little guy, although weak from the endless coughing, difficulty breathing, and very little sleep, was incredibly strong when it came to fending off the respiratory nurses...his arch enemies! They were extremely nice and patient with him, even though he learned how to use his IV arm as a weapon. (That little board under his arm to keep him from bending it, hurts a lot when he bops you in the head!) He got to the point where if they even poked their heads into the room, he would bury his face and start crying. Even in a dead sleep, once they turned the nebulizing machine on, he would wake up and immediately start crying. Who new that breathing in all that oxygen and medicated steam could be so traumatizing? Apparently it was because he cried through every single treatment. (We think that may have been one of the reasons why it took so long for him to get better. When he would cry, the medication wouldn't get inhaled properly. So, that's why they decided to put him on IV steroids to see if they could attack the problem from the inside as well, and try to make his lungs less inflammed.)

Even with his regular nurses, he would wave his arms and cry if they even tried to touch him. He had his little bubble around him, and if they got too close he would say "no no no no" and try to fend them off. Thank God they have a lot of patience, kindness, and perseverance, other wise we'd probably still be there!

Over the course of those five days we learned many things. We figured out that a Daddy is great for comforting when the Mommy isn't around, but the minute the Mommy shows up, the Daddy no longer exists. I found out how heartbreaking it is to leave one of my baby's behind at the hospital crying "Mama", so I could go home and take care of the other two. Mike found out how hard it is to get Joshua to rest when all he wants is Mama and not Dada all night. We were also reminded at how very blessed we are to have such great family and friends to help us out during such a difficult time.

With many thanks to Dan and Lori for taking Ethan all weekend, Friday through Sunday night, including an overnight, (even though you managed to lose him...in your bedroom!:), we couldn't have both been there for Josh and each other with a 4 year old running around the hospital room.
Thanks to Terrie, Norma and Deb for bringing yummy, hot food, coffee, and strong, caring arms to hold on to Rebekah so I could use my arms to hold onto Josh, and we could actually eat something besides veggie chips.
Thank you to Sherry for taking Ethan during the weekdays so that we could again be there for Josh, and handle the discharge from the hospital with all of the many directions and uses of the medications he would be on.
A great big thank you to all of the nurses, doctors and staff at Elliot Hospital. They were all great at keeping us updated, calm, and cheery despite the circumstances. Thanks to their hard work and dedication we were able to bring our little guy home safe and sound.
And thank you to everyone else for your thoughts, phone calls and prayers. You helped keep us connected to what was most important...our family.

Needless to say, we weren't the only ones who were glad to be home. Joshua was like a whole new kid. Even the last two days in the hospital, we could tell he was getting back to himself because he was becoming restless in the bed. We let him walk around a little in those cute little jammies they put on him, but it wasn't enough. Who could blame him. The only reason they were keeping him those last few days was because when he would inhale, he would still retract enough that they were concerned about a relapse if he went home. Come Tuesday morning though, with no retractions what so ever, we were discharged from the hospital with strict intstructions on nebulizing every 4 hours over the first 48 hours, and then once a day for the next two weeks.

We didn't care though, no matter how much work and how little sleep we were going to get, we were all just happy to be home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to take a minute to comment about using a nebulizer. You mentioned that crying inhibited how much medication went into the lungs. I have a child who has been using a nebulizer for about 6 years and used it begining aprox. 8 mos old. The pedi mentioned to us that it would be ok if there was crying because it would just cause the medication to be inhaled deeper in the lungs when the child inhaled to let out a cry. Eventually he will understand that when he takes it he feels better. The only thing my child has trouble with is the jitters after. Hang in there, at least you know that it is a viral thing and will be all better soon.