I am currently sitting in the PICU, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, at Children’s Hospital. Today was a scary day for me.
I brought Anna into the Northfield ER last Tuesday. She was diagnosed with RSV, a respiratory virus that is very serious for infants, and admitted to the hospital overnight. Her oxygen stats were fairly stable overnight, so we were allowed to go home the next afternoon.
She continued to improve, slowly, until the following Tuesday when I received a call from daycare telling me that Anna had become “much worse” during the day. They asked if this was typical of RSV recovery – all of us were under the impression that she should continue to improve. I decided to bring her into the clinic just to see what the doctor would say.
She had one of her turn-blue-coughing-fits in the clinic and the doctor immediately said, “Hmm, that doesn’t seem like a RSV recovery cough”, tested her for whooping cough, and sent us home. If things became worse we needed to go to a hospital with better resources for pediatric respiratory distress.
A hour-plus long coughing fit at home made it clear; we jumped in the car and headed to Children’s Hospital.
|First night at Children’s. They even have baby sized gowns!|
|Grandpa Jim on the 1st day. Family has been such a huge help through all of this!|
Her second morning at Children’s was perhaps the scariest thing in my entire life. I left the room while the nurse “deep suctioned” Anna (I have been good about watching most procedures, but they suggest I not be present for this). By the time I came back our main nurse, Nancy, was holding a purple Anna upright.
The room was lit up with frantic activity.
Anna had just had a coughing spell that had caused her to turn blue-purple and her heart rate had dropped into the 60’s. Her O2 saturation had dropped to 70. During that time Nancy almost “bagged” her, which is their term for a big contraption that would force oxygen into her.
It was a scare severe enough to shake the nurse. She explained, “I am an old nurse; not much scares me anymore. This scared me. This was bad – very bad. Where is lab? I called for them 45 minutes ago! Tell them to get up here stat! Doc, we are not equipped for this up here. She needs continual monitoring.”. She led the entire floor team, and they did not mess around. We were immediately sent down to the PICU.
I was a crying mess, although now looking back, I’m surprised I held it together as well as I did. Especially when Nancy gave me a hug and wished us the best of luck. She said, “I’ll see the two of you soon”, trying to hide the fact that tears were welling in her eyes.
It’s probably one of the worst thing for a parent to see fear in their provider’s eyes.
Luckily, Anna has improved dramatically throughout the day. She has now been diagnosed with RSV and also the rhinovirus. She contracted the second virus while fighting RSV. No whooping cough, so that is good! She is sleeping so peacefully now, which is much needed. Her little body is exhausted from 3+ weeks of illness. Her eyes look more lively and she is now able to hold down breast milk.
I’m signing off for tonight, but will try to update as time allows. It’s actually very nice to step away from everything every once in a while.
Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.
XXOO, Team Anna