Thursday, September 29, 2016

Better Safe Than Sorry

I've been wanting to share about our beach week and our short weekend with my mom and sister, but life got in the way this week. I had to take Louisa to the emergency room Monday evening, and we were finally discharged on Wednesday afternoon. Thankfully, she's totally fine and it was determined that she just has an upper respiratory infection/cold, but Monday was weird and a bit scary.

The day started out normally. It was our first weekday back from vacation and after having company, so the cloud of "re-entry" was hanging over the day. Louisa woke up from her morning nap around 11:30, and she was a little congested so I gave her some nasal saline and suctioned her nose, which was very productive. However, she got pretty mad and cried some big cries, eventually coughing so hard and deep that she vomited her pre-nap feeding. After that, she was cranky ALL. DAY. LONG. She is generally the happiest baby on the planet, so this was concerning and quite stressful because nothing I did made her happy. 

When she was awake, she was irritable and crying, and the only thing that calmed her down was her swing. She napped in her swing for close to 3 hours, and when she woke up, she initially gave me a smile, but then she started fussing and "grunty" crying again. She loudly refused to nurse on my right breast, and when she was calm, she did what can only be described as "grunt breathing;" every exhale was a grunt. She wasn't gasping for air or struggling to breathe, but she wasn't breathing normally. When she was asleep, her breathing was normal, but when she was awake, it was grunty. She sounded like she was in pain. I thought maybe she pulled a muscle or bruised a rib when she coughed so forcefully earlier, but I couldn't be sure.

When Victor got home from work, I clued him in to what was going on and he was also concerned about it. Our pediatrician's on-call doctor advised us to take her to a pediatric ER if she continued to grunt-breathe, which she did, so I headed to the hospital (the same one where she was born) with Louisa around 8:30 PM. 

She wasn't quite as fussy at the hospital, but she was still breathing weird, so the doctor got to see and hear for herself what was happening. Upon initial examination, she had a temp of 100.8, her lungs sounded clear, and her ears and throat looked great. The doctor ordered a chest x-ray (which was clear) and an RSV swab (which was negative), so we waited a bit and Louisa nursed and slept to pass the time. The doctor thought maybe she was just in pain from her coughing earlier, or perhaps she aspirated when she vomited. Since they couldn't find anything wrong on the surface, the doctor said that if her vitals were good and her temperature hadn't spiked, we could just treat her symptoms with Tylenol and we'd be free to go.

However, at her next vitals check, her temp had gone up to 102, so the doctor ordered bloodwork and urine to do tests and cultures. The nurses worked off and on for what seemed like hours to draw blood from my chunky little bitty. Her chubby body made it hard to find her veins, and she was stuck in her feet, arms, and legs to try to get enough blood for a blood culture. They also did a urine culture to check for any infection there. Initial results showed a slightly elevated white cell count, indicating that her body was trying to fight something off. They attempted to give her Tylenol to bring her fever down, which she gagged on and barfed all over the bed (along with all her milk), so they gave her a suppository instead. They also gave her a 24-hour inject-able dose of an antibiotic, just in case she did have some sort of bacterial thing brewing inside of her.  

At around 12:30 AM, they moved us to a larger room that could accomodate a bed for me and a crib for Louisa. We settled in for a bit, and then the doctor told us that her blood culture specimen had hemolyzed and therefore couldn't be used, so they needed to collect more blood. The doctor herself tried to get some blood from a vein in the wrist (apparently it's a high-pressure vein and only physicians are allowed to collect blood from it), but it didn't work (blame it on the wrist-rolls). They called a nurse down from the nursery upstairs, and she was able to work her magic to get enough blood for the culture; the goal was to leave a line in in case they needed to start an IV (she was slightly dehydrated/not producing tears when she cried), but after the blood was collected, the vein went back into its hiding place.

The saddest crib there ever was. She thought it was pretty cool, though.

Louisa nursed, then she made sure to let me know she was feeling better by cooing, smiling, and laughing, then fell asleep. The grunt-breathing was a thing of the past, thank goodness! I was finally able to doze off around 4 AM. At 6 AM, they were back in checking her vitals again. Her temp had gone down and her other vitals were great, but they were going to keep us there at least until Wednesday as a precuation to allow for her cultures to develop and keep an eye on her lungs. They were also going to give her another 24-hour dose of the antibiotic later that night. 

The cutest little bunny I ever did see!

Victor came by around mid-morning on Tuesday to relieve me for an hour or two, and I actually went to the grocery store since we still hadn't restocked our fridge since returning from vacation; it was the first time I went grocery shopping without a child in tow in forever! I got to go home for a bit to see Max (Victor's mom stayed with him at our house on Tuesday and did all our laundry for us) and grab a few more comfort items for myself and Louisa before heading back to the hospital. When I returned, they moved us into one of their inpatient rooms (with it's own bathroom/shower!), and throughout the day they came in periodically to check her vitals. She was back to her old self on Tuesday, happy as can be, eating regularly, smiling and playing.

We took several naps, and Victor brought dinner and we watched Dancing with the Stars together before he went home to get Max in bed. I passed out at 10:30 Tuesday night, waking at 12:30 when a nurse came in to give Louisa her antibiotic injection. Louisa and I slept until around 8 AM Wednesday morning (of course we woke up for some feedings here and there).

Visiting with Daddy

On Wednesday morning, the nurse came in to check Louisa's vitals and told me that the plan was to let her go home as long as she didn't have a fever and her other vitals were good. She was still fever-free, so the doctor came in a little later to let me know that all of Louisa's cultures were negative, so it was determined that she just had a viral upper respiratory infection and that she didn't need more antibiotics. We were discharged around 2 PM, and we were so happy to get out of there (even though the doctors and nurses were amazing).

Enjoying a snuggle nap while we waited for our discharge paperwork.

Peace out, hospital!

I have to say, I don't quite enjoy the ER. We had to take Max when he was 6 months old for frequent vomiting and dehydration, and that time was quite a bit more traumatic than this time was with Louisa, but it's still scary to have to spend time in the emergency room with your bitty baby. I'm so very thankful that she's okay. Our whole family has been sick over the past couple of weeks, so she probably caught whatever bug we all have had. She's not completely healthy yet (she was running a fever of 100.4 this morning...after no fever for the past day and a half!), but I took her for her follow-up appointment with her pediatrician today and he said she's just got a viral cold and that we should sit in the shower steam with her a bit to help her clear her mucous.

Please pray that my girl gets better soon! I feel so helpless!

1 comment:

  1. Oh mama I am so glad she's home safe - and that you got some much needed rest at the hospital ��


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