Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Scariest Moment of my Life

It's high time I write about this, not just for me but for anyone else who may happen upon this blog so that their fears may be somewhat calmed If this happens to their child. Or so I hope. I worry all the time that an illness or injury may not get paid enough attention because the signs or symptoms are common or mimic something else, especially after what happened to my beloved Stella. But now that these things have happened, and we have survived, we can learn and be more vigilant in case they would happen again. So I guess what I mean to say is, I've been there.

So the burrito's cold is progressing, and we think he's getting a little better because of the lack of cough for a little bit. But at 3am on Dec 26, he woke up to eat, and during his 2nd side he started to cough. I propped him up and got the burp cloth in case he threw up everything he just ate, which he had done 3 times so far. He keeps coughing and nothing's coming out. I ask hubs to take him and hold him upright, in case he does spit up. He holds him and rubs his back, burrito still coughing.

At this point, we were getting worried, and that's when I saw him start to turn red over hubs' shoulder. I yelled out "he's turning red!" and had a moment of sheer panic in which the thought oh my god my baby's going to die ran through my head. Hubs turned him over and did some back blows in case there was anything lodged in his throat, as he was also choking and sputtering a bit. A little spit up came out but that's it. Finally, after what seemed like a millennium, he started getting air, slowed the coughing, and calmed down.

He handed him to me and said, ok we're going to the hospital. I panicked again, with the thought oh my god my baby's sick enough for the hospital, and kind of just stood there while hubs got dressed. I finally had to say to him, what should I do? Because my mind was in such a haze I had no direction but to hold my son. He said, get your pants on, put on a sweatshirt, and let's go. I went downstairs and he grabbed a blanket from the couch and wrapped it around me and burrito, and he opened the door. I asked if we were going to put him in his seat, but he said no, let's just go, I want to get there as soon as possible. We got in the truck and drove the mile to the hospital, with burrito fussing the whole way, but not coughing anymore. Valet parked, walked in to the ER. Hubs did all the talking, I just held my boy. They brought us back and got his weight (wrong, lol) and assessed him, got him into a ginormous hospital gown and put him on a pulse ox monitor, which he kept kicking off - he kicked it off 3 times until they finally got wise and put some of that tape-ish stuff around his foot. : )

It was a little while until we saw the dr, but he was very nice and spoke very fast but was to the point. He wanted to get x-rays to make sure that he didn't have pneumonia, and to take some blood to test for pertussis, and he'd call our pedi and let them know we were here. The blood draw was worse than all the previous ones because he was already upset, and then it took forever to get the amount of blood they needed. In between all of this we put one of those heavy hospital blankets on him and encouraged him to sleep. He was in a bed that could  be tilted up, so that if he did have any mucus, it wouldn't choke him. We got another bulb and continued to suction him when he sounded sniffly. We kind of half-rested while everyone came in and out. The x-rays were awful, as they needed to hold him completely still and he just wasn't having that. The x-ray tech would set the machine, have the nurse and hubs hold him, and then run - literally - to the control to take the pic. They did 3, since the first side x-ray didn't come out as clearly as they wanted. They put him in my arms after it was done and I held him and soothed him as best I could. Poor kid.

The pedi arrived around 8, and as soon as she got there, burrito decided to show off his new skillz and have a coughing fit, which was good timing, because when he wasn't coughing, he was contentedly talking to her. She said it was good that he timed it so, because she'd be wondering what he was doing in the hospital otherwise. She looked him over and decided that to make sure that he wasn't having apnea spells during the coughing fits, she wanted to keep him for observation overnight. We kind of looked at each other like - eh? Really? For a cold? But it made sense, as I can still recall the feeling of panic when that little face turned red. I wanted to make sure there was nothing but a cold going on here.

So hubs went home to shower and get our bags, bring me an actual shirt, and grab some food. I was feeding burrito on and off, sitting him on my lap so he wouldn't cough as much (or so I hoped), but he didn't eat a whole lot at a time. I figured that if he wanted to add more feedings, and not eat as much at a time, that was fine with me - whatever kept him hydrated. It was a little tough without the boppy, and with a very uncomfortable hospital chair that converted into a very uncomfortable bed-type thing. We got checked into our room and got settled in, I got my menus for dinner and breakfast the next morning, and hubs called his mom to update them. I had been texting my mom since early morning, she was catching a train to Florida at the time! He turns to me and says "ok if my mom comes to visit?" (to the phone) "I'm sure she'd like some company." I looked at him like he was crazy and said, "I'm going to sleep." It finally dawned on him that we'd been up since 3am, and he said "I'll call you later mom." Good boy. They ended up coming by later on anyway, which, really, whatever. They brought him a giraffe toy, which was cute, but - he's in the hospital. He won't be very receptive, not to mention, he's 3 months. Ah well, it's the thought that counts.

So he was on monitors for oxygen, pulse, and something else throughout the night, as well as marking down when he ate, for how long, and how many diapers he had. They did give him some Tylenol early on because of his coughing - he looked like he was in extreme pain from his sore throat from coughing so much. I asked about it the next day, and they said as long as he doesn't seem to be in any more pain, he won't need it anymore. He slept on and off, and was generally just a content baby. He had one slight spit-up episode, but no real throwing up like he did before. The coughing continued, but wasn't as severe as before. The next morning, hubs came back and gave us the once-over before he went to work, and the pedi came in around noon - noon! I should've gotten lunch! - he was really great, did the donald duck voice and everything. Burrito loved it. He loved all of his visitors actually, and talked incessantly when people were around. Didn't give mama the time of day though, lol. Pedi said that he was hesitant to send him home and have the same thing happen again, but that he looked good and didn't have any apnea or breathing issues, and that if I felt confident being at home with him, he'd  be good to go with just a follow-up appointment. His x-rays were clear, his white cell count, though elevated slightly, was good, showing no signs at that point of pertussis (the test came back clear a couple days after we got home), and in general his cough was lessening. The suction unit they used which attached to the hospital wall helped greatly to clear out some of his mucus too. I asked if we could get one of those for home, but sadly they said no, lol.

So, at around 3pm Monday the 27th, our hospital adventure ended. And promptly after his first feeding at home, burrito coughed and vomited his food up all over me again. Thankfully, it was the last time, and I'm pretty sure it's because we got overzealous with our feeding now that we were home! and freely attached to the boob! on the boppy! He did throw up once more all over daddy the next morning, but that was just out of excitement, ha ha. Apparently it went over daddy's shoulder and hit the floor, and he looked back at the burrito and he was laughing at him. Lesson learned, smaller more frequent feedings til the coughing stops. The actual diagnosis we got from one pedi was bronchialitis, although I'm not sure what all exactly they wrote on his papers because I didn't look at them yet!

So, here we are, over a week later, and he's still got a slight cough from time to time, but is so.much.better. We still suction him and use the saline nasal spray about 4-5 times per day, just to make sure he doesn't choke on all the mucus, but he's so much happier and back to eating like a champ. He has started playing with the toys on his swing tray, actually moving them purposefully, and he even managed to grab his paci the other day and put it back in his mouth. He's talking like nobody's business too. Thank goodness that scare is over. I know there may be hospital visits in the future, but please, universe, can we limit those if necessary at all to the normal things like sprains, strains, bumps, casts, etc and not the terrifying choking non-breathing variety of things?

Benjamino is 15 weeks old today!
and wants you to know that no matter how dino-mite you think his new outfit is, he's still not going to hold still for your picture.

And that he's got team spirit!

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