Monday, January 7, 2008

Just a cold . . . yah right!

That's what I thought we were dealing with and like all good mom's I did everything I could think of to provide some relief to my coughing, runny nose, feverish child. Especially since the FDA decided that OTC medicines were ineffective for kids under the age of 6. So commenced the steamy baths to relieve the cough, medicated chest rub for easier breathing, cough drops for relief from the hacking cough. Motrin and Tylenol alternating out every 4 hours to help with the fever and lots and lots of liquids, Popsicles, hugs and kisses.

3 days later came the statement, "my ear hurts" and I knew it was time to call the Dr.'s office. This was on Saturday, so I knew I wasn't going to get in during normal hours, but they have a kids clinic on the weekends (thankfully) so I thought I would be able to get her seen at the clinic. Of course there was a mix up with the clinic hours posted on the web site (it said they were open till 6) and when the office was actually open (they stopped seeing patients at 4), so she couldn't get in on Saturday. (did I mention I made the call to the Clinic at 3:45)

So after talking with the on-call nurse, she tells me to keep doing all the things I am already doing and just call in and get an appointment Sunday morning during Sunday clinic hours. Guess there is no previous scheduling for the clinic. So Sunday morning dawns cold and snowy, but I call in and get the 10:45 slot. Leave BB2 at home with dad and take BB1 through a nasty snow storm to the doctors to find out that her cold is not a cold, it's worse than we thought.

After having the nurse and then the Dr. come in and check all her vitals and ears,and throat and heart rate/pulse, I get the possible diagnosis. It's either Bronchiolitis, RSV or Pneumonia. Oh and on top of that possible diagnosis, her right ear drum has definitely ruptured from the infection that is present in both of her ears and and her oxygen levels are at 87% (normal is 95+). When presented with that huge list of problems, it's easy to be overwhelmed. Luckily the Dr and I were on the same page and our first priority was to fix her oxygen levels, so the Dr. ordered a breathing treatment asap and a full panel to rule out RSV, Influenza and a whole slew of other things that I don't remember, but that didn't sound very good. Of course that involved some deep suctioning of BB1's nasal passages (she was not happy or amused about that one) but as long as she wasn't getting a shot she was able to keep it all in perspective (at least that of a 5 year old) with a little persuasion from mom.

After the breathing treatment, her oxygen levels were reassessed and she had only gone up one percentage point to 88 so the Dr. suggested sending her upstairs to the Pediatric Unit to be admitted for oxygen, another breathing treatment, monitoring and a chest x-ray (to help rule out pneumonia) and if none of that came back with any more answers, then we would order blood work and take it from there. Given BB1'a absolute intolerance to anything shot related, I appreciated the Dr's taking her fears into account and going about the diagnosis process in a way that still gave answers without torturing my little girl.

So upstairs we went, and once she was in her room she got the breathing treatment, hooked up to a monitor and given a round of antibiotics for her ear. An hour later, the x-ray tech came and gave her a ride in a wheel chair down to the x-ray room (she thought that was pretty cool) and she did awesome standing very still while the tech took some pictures of her insides. She asked to see what they looked like and she thought it was pretty cool that she could see her ribs and lungs and other insides.

SO back upstairs in the wheelchair and back onto the monitor where her oxygen levels continued to fluctuate between 89 and 91 (are the treatments working?) I still didn't know if she was going to have to be admitted overnight and the nurses, didn't know either. So we spent the afternoon watching movies (4 in total), having a room service delivery of chicken fingers, chicken noodle soup and an Oreo milkshake, followed up with a blue Popsicle, sprite and graham crackers and an apple. BB1 was happy as a clam and kept wanting to order something else from the room service menu, and she really had me questioning just how sick she was. Even the nurses commented that if they didn't know better, they wouldn't think she was sick from outward appearances. I guess she just hasn't learned to milk it yet (should I be grateful for this?)

During the next 5 hours we had plenty of time to wait for updates and her oxygen levels decided to jump up a bit and she got in the 93 - 94 range, which was good news to me, but still no word on the results from the x-ray or what we were going to do next.

By 6:30 the Dr. who first saw her in the clinic earlier that morning came up and finally gave us the news on the x-ray. She didn't have the really bad version of Pneumonia, just more of a walking type pneumonia, which isn't good, just not as bad as it could have been. They were still waiting on the results from the full panel they had requested that morning (guess it takes a day to get info back) for the RSV/Influenza possibilities, but given that her oxygen levels were back up where they should be and given how good she was acting, they didn't' think she needed to stay overnight for observation. But they did want to send her home with oxygen, a monitor and a nebulizer for additional breathing treatments, should her stats take a turn back down.

So armed with what felt like a hundred different prescriptions (in truth - 5) and an order for home health to come and bring us multiple machines (oxygen, nebulizer and a pulsoxomiter(sp?), we set off for the only open, 24-hour pharmacy in Northern Utah on a Sunday evening. we were home by 8:45 and BB1 was in bed by 9:30.

All in all, a very long day, but we were home. I have to admit after the home health guy left and seeing all the equipment and tubing now installed in her room, I almost wonder if staying at the hospital would have been easier?

So how is BB1 doing today - just fine. She's on antibiotics for the ear infection and breathing treatments to help her lungs open and heal up. She gets a week off from school and I am only hoping I can find enough things to do around the house to keep her entertained and me from going stir crazy since we won't be leaving the house and going anywhere anytime soon.

Before I forget - the results from the full panel are back and she tested positive for RSV, which is viral and so antibiotics won't do her any good (dump one prescription down the drain).

Incidentally - BB2 is beginning to get the same cough and stuff that BB1 started out with. And tonight the fever is kicking in. Guess it's a good thing that BB1 has a follow-up appointment tomorrow during regular Dr's hours and I had the foresight to book an appointment for BB2 as well.

All in all I just have to say for all the ups and downs, I am grateful for clinics and Dr's and good health insurance and for pharmacy's that are open on Sundays in a state where everything seems to be closed and especially for kids that no matter how miserable they might be feeling are still the best kids ever.

There is also some humor to be found (isn't there always when you most need it) This afternoon, when asked to come down stairs to eat her lunch - for the 3rd time, mind you -
BB1's reply:"Mom, I didn't hear you. My ears are broken"


Ryan, Cynthia & Family said...

I hope A feels better soon and that K doesn't get the same thing. Sorry to hear it's been an ordeal. We love you guys.

Elise said...

Oh the lovely nebulizer. Know it oh so well. Hears to the kiddos getting better fast. What an ordeal!!

Nataluscious said...

I am trying catch up to my blog reading, poor poor baby! I just want to scoop her up in a hug. (Or maybe you need it more! :))

Glad she is feeling better again and back in school. Kids missing her is no surprise to me - my own miss her terribly. K2 was playing a pretend game this morning that BB1 kept winning (I guess vicariously...)

Hoopesfam4 said...

So - I am about a month behind in my blogging. I am sorry to hear about the RSV/pneumonia/ear infections that plagued your beautiful little girl. I am glad to hear BB1 is recovered and feeling much better...we miss you and wish we were closer.