Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I might be needing a stiff drink

So, who wants to hear about our latest hospital stay? Wheeee! (I realize this is a super long post... sorry about that)

This is Zach's first week off work. We had many things planned for this week-- family outings, a play date or two.  We'd also planned on having a little morning date while D went to Ms Pam's in the morning.  All that was scrapped when D woke up feeling pretty miserable.  We figured he'd caught the cold I suffered through last week, and we'd just take it easy for a few days and he'd be fine. Zach went out to run some errands and D and I snuggled up on the couch watching Mighty Machines.

Around 10:30am I saw D rubbing his eyes and mentioned that we could take a nap soon. He perked up and said, "Yes. Wanna take a nap! Wanna take a nap." He even walked to his room and laid himself down in bed.  He didn't manage to sleep very long, but all day long he just seemed super tired and several times said he wanted to lay down or try to take a nap, and would go lay in his bed.

This is VERY unusual.

I also noticed that he was breathing more fast and hard than normal, as if he'd just exercised really hard.  Towards the end of the day he also got clingy and whiney, and I could hear a rattling in his chest and wheezing when he breathed out.  Zach suggested we call the Kaiser advice line to see if maybe we should bring him in for someone to look at him.  Normally the nurses on the phone are super nice, but this one wasn't being as patient and I started kinda freaking out on the phone as I tried to describe exactly how he was breathing. Other times I've called in it's been pretty straight-forward, you know "he has a fever, he's doing this, he threw up X times, he's acting like this, etc."  This time I was having a really hard time putting into words how he was acting and breathing, and felt such immense pressure to get it right or risk missing a major red flag.  In the end the nurse asked where our closest ER was and if we could get there safely, then suggested we take him in... adding "but if at any point on the way over he goes unconscious, pull over right away and call 911."

Breathe. Breathe. OH. MY. GOD. Breathe.

Of course all D wants to do at this point is go to sleep-- he's been trying all day but his breathing/coughing/wheezing kept him up, and by then it was almost bedtime.  Luckily the drive was short, and I sat in the backseat with him and read books, tried to tickle him, did everything I could to keep those drowsy eyes open. I did manage a smile or two, which helped calm my nerves somewhat.

The ER wasn't very busy, so our wait was mercifully short.  We got taken to a room where they started hooking him up to all sorts of monitors-- a finger monitor to check his blood oxygen levels (a bit on the low side), stick-on monitors on his chest to check heart rate and rate of breathing, and the one that almost made me burst into tears because I wasn't AT ALL prepared for it was the breathing tube for his nostrils. You know, the kind you see on really sick people.  Except they were putting it on my kid.  A doctor checked him out, said that yeah he was having a lot of wheezing in his chest and seemed like his lung passages (I know that's not at all the right term, but can't of what they're called right now) were tight and congested.  The oxygen tube was to help get more oxygen in his bloodstream, as he was low (they normally like to see levels between 94-100, I think, and he was at 89/90 when we first got there).  She prescribed a steroid and nebulizer treatments of Albuterol to help open up his lungs, and called Pediatrics to see if they wanted us to stay overnight.

Donovan was AMAZING for all this.  He just sat there quietly, watching people come in and out of the room. His lip quivered a few times and his eyes welled up with a few tears, but he let them put the monitors on and put a mask over his face with a nebulizer treatment and everything.  The worst part was when they came in to put an IV needle in, so they could get a blood sample and give IV fluids if needed.  That took FOUR tries before they finally got it in right.  As you can imagine, this was fairly traumatic for all involved. One of the nurses who helped with the IV came back in the room a few minutes later and just at seeing her he started crying. =(

Later we had to get a chest x-ray to make sure he didn't have pneumonia, and that was also kind of awful since the device they had t put him in to hold him still looked more than a bit like a torture chamber.

After the IV and the x-ray, he kinda started getting very wary of any new nurses or doctors coming into the room and wanting to do anything to him....
Donovan in the ER0405102216a.jpg

One thing that helped was that the room had a couple of books to read, and one was a kid's book about dinosaurs who ride a train.  Methinks someone knew Donovan would be in that room.  A couple of times after having a semi-traumatic treatment done as he was calming down he'd say "Read the book, read the book" between sobs.

We finally got into our overnight room around midnight or so, and got sorted with new monitors and getting all his info, etc.  We managed to get a few hours of sleep, but it was tough as staff kept coming in to check on him or do this and that.  Zach went home so he could hopefully be a little more rested himself.  By about 5:30am I gave up on trying to get D to go back to sleep again, and we played in his crib. A friendly nurse brought in a monster truck toy that he loved, and a few hours later they unhooked him from all the monitors so we could walk the halls a bit and check out the play room.  He loved that, they had some really cool toys to play with.

By 10am a new doctor came in and checked him out, and said after we get our meds we could go ahead and go home. WOOT!  While we waited for things to get sorted we went back to the play room, and then went to play in the outdoor playground adjacent to it.  There was a little hill to play on, and D and Zach ran up it and then started running down... and D ran too fast, lost control, and fell, twisting his legs.

I saw what happened and thought, "Aw crap, he twisted his ankle."  Zach saw it and thought, "Oh shit, he tore his ACL..."  He was crying a LOT, more than normal for a fall, and when we tried to get him to stand up and put weight on his legs they'd just buckle.  We carried him back to the room and called the nurse in, who called the doctor to come look at him (that's the silver lining-- you might as well do it while you're already at a hospital).  By then he was able to put some weight on it and stand, but he was limping pretty heavily and it clearly hurt a lot to put weight on his right leg.  The doctor checked his legs and his ankle and knee joints, and said it didn't seem that he's broken or torn anything, so to just put warm compresses on it for a couple days then try cold ones after that, and it should feel better soon.

After that extra bit of trauma, D passed out and took a long nap.  Finally by 1:30pm we had all our stuff sorted and were able to go home.  He still seemed kinda out of it all afternoon (looked a bit pale), but I think that was mainly from being so tired from hardly sleeping the night before.  His breathing is WAY better-- he's also coughing more and breaking up the mucous in his chest.  Thankfully he takes the steroid (oral through a dropper) very easily.  The inhaler with Albuterol that we're supposed to give through today is a bitch though. He HATES it. Screams and flails. I think he just really hates the face mask I have to put on to get him to breathe it in.  I'll be very glad when we're done having to give it to him.

We're trying to keep him off his leg as much as possible-- we're watching lots of TV, going for walks in the stroller, etc.  He still wants to get on his legs and walk, but he'll take a couple of steps and remember that it hurts and start wailing.  We have a follow-up appointment tomorrow, so can ask more about his leg and what we can maybe expect for his recovery.  It really sucks for him to not be able to move around as much.

In a stroke of luck and fate, it just so happens that my mom had planned a trip to come see us for a few days before attending a work conference nearby.  She arrived this morning.  This is a nice treat for Zach and I (I'm planning to go take a much-needed nap after I finish writing this), and also for D as he absolutely adores her so this is a pretty nice treat for a kiddo who's one hell of a past few days.



    Yay for the Healing Powers of Lala!!

  2. I am so sorry to hear about this - but glad that he is on the road to recovery! He looks so innocent and sweet in his hospital gown :( Let your mom spoil you while you take care of D! Lots of hugs!

  3. poor all of you...yeah for lala!

  4. poor little D. sounds like he handled it like a trooper.

  5. awww poor baby! Hope everyone is doing better!



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