Nov 10, 2010
Friday The Baby developed a temperature which continued over the weekend. On Monday morning I took her to her pediatrician who diagnosed an ear infection but when she began vomiting I knew I was defeated keeping her hydrated so off to the emergency room on Tuesday morning.
Emergency room medicine seems to be a lot different than it used to be. Instead of running a CBC and Chemistry Panel they did what they call a GEM which is actually the name of the machine that analyzes blood gases and electrolytes. In spite of a 103-104 temp for 5 days and vomiting the electrolytes came back within normal limits. I was also informed the chest x-ray was normal and they planned on sending her home without admitting her if she could keep Pedialyte down. She hadn't eaten since dinner on Friday and at this point was already looking skeletal.
Fortunately, she did not keep Pedialyte down. Why fortunately? Because after 10 hours in the ER we were transferred up to the floor where she immediately crashed. Oxygen saturation's plummeted from 100% to 89 % and oxygen was started. A nasal swab was done for RSV and came back positive. One of the nurses spilled the beans unknowingly. The chest x-ray showed atelectasis. It was not "normal" after all. I can't imagine what would have happened had we gone home.
RSV is a very common virus and is a leading cause of lower respiratory symptoms in the general population but can be deadly among the medically complex child and especially high risk preemies. There is absolutely nothing you can do but supportive care, i.e., oxygen and IV fluids. This is the crazy maker. Moms always want that quick fix.
Thanks to a wonderful support system and good friends Mrs. M and Iris I was able to stay at bedside with The Baby until around 8PM tonight. The Genius came after work and is spending the rest of the night at the hospital while I tend to the older kids who are traumatized by The Baby's absence. I am adamant that every patient no matter how old or young should have an advocate at the bedside at all times, especially when that patient can't speak for themselves. The Genius and The Artist have always been available to camp out at the hospital with their adopted siblings, foster siblings and grandmother during times of illness and hospitalizations.
I worry least about The Boy who is and always has been quite outspoken. On the few times I had to leave him he has not hesitated to call me and tattle on nurses. I'll never forget one nurse begging him to take some pain medication after one of his many surgeries. There he lay in his hospital bed, legs crossed, arms under his head obviously annoyed that his tv program was being interrupted by this well meaning Florence Nightingale. "NO THANK YOU! Just bring me coffee and bacon." He was 3 years old.
The hospital staff keeps reassuring me. Day #5 and day #6 are the absolute worse with RSV. "It will get better." Tonight when I left her temp was 103.2
Tomorrow is Day #7. sigh.
Please keep The Baby in your prayers.
There is a bright note. The new hospital is a thing of absolute beauty compared to the crowded conditions of the old hospital. Private rooms. Two beds for parents. Tv for the patient and an individual tv for the parent. Refrigerator. Room service. Valet parking. And beautiful views from giant picture windows. Brasilia summed it up nicely for me.
"Enjoy yourself. This will be the closest you ever get to a five star resort."
Posted by SECRET PEPPER PERSON: at Wednesday, November 10, 2010