Saturday, January 21, 2012

Perhaps the Scariest Moment of my Life

And when I say the scariest moment of my life, I could very well be talking about Dan, Evelyn, or myself.  When we left our pediatrician's office on Wednesday, she said she wanted to see Evelyn again on Friday if her fever had not completely broken.  She was still running temps in the high 99s and low 100s on Friday morning, so I called to get her in.  I guess I didn't really know what to expect, but was thinking we would be in and out, maybe she's change her meds or something.  Well, we ended up at Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus (thank GOD there is an amazing children's hospital here and we didn't have to travel!).  Because her fever was still hanging around, her pediatrician wanted to do a full work-up to be sure there was no infection in her blood or spinal fluid.  So I called Dan home from work (I generally am home on Fridays), and texted my family and a couple of friends here.  I needed to run by the house before going to the hospital to grab my breast pump and her milk.  By the time I had packed Evelyn up and gotten home, our friend Leah was there to hang with me until Dan got to the hospital.  It was perfect timing because Evelyn had actually fallen asleep in the car, so Leah stayed with her while I ran inside to pack a change of clothes, toothbrushes, etc.  We got to the hospital around 4:00 and began the waiting game.  

Daddy bronco bustin' with Evelyn to pass the time

Thankfully I grabbed some of her toys from home while I was there...something halfway normal for her!

It wasn't until about 8:00 the they finally started the labs on her...and we had no idea what we were in for.  At this point, I was still holding it together pretty well...I didn't want Evelyn to pick up on my being upset...but that was all about to change.

First they drew blood so that they could test for infection as well as get her cell count.  She was finally able to eat (she had missed a bottle and it was about 2 hours past when she usually eats dinner), and of course that's when they came to draw blood.  She got so upset she gagged and vomited half of what we finally got her to eat.  It was my first catch puke in your hand Mom moment.  Then came the really scary part - the lumbar puncture (i.e., spinal tap).  They actually wouldn't let Dan and I in the room for this one, and I'm guessing it's because they have to tie her down to do it.  All I know is she was SCREAMING and crying, and I felt so helpless standing there in the hallway.  This is where I completely broke down...tears, snot, everything streaming down your face bawling...thank God for my husband who loves me for better or for worse, because this wasn't one of my finer moments.  He kept saying, let's just go back to the room (which was only about 20 feet away from where we were standing), but I couldn't bring myself to leave my baby girl.  So we stood outside the hall and prayed and cried for the 20 or so minutes that the procedure took.  It felt like 20 years.  It was the most scared and the most helpless I have ever felt in my entire life.  After that, they let us back in the room for her urine (catheter, again...poor baby) and setting up her IV.  They worked for 35 minutes to put in an IV...right hand, left hand, right foot, left foot...and couldn't get one in.  Every time they hit a vein, it would blow - the nurses said it was a combination of her being so upset (she was still we are trying to hold her down) and slightly dehydrated.  They finally gave up and decided to try again in the morning, and just gave her the shot of antibiotics (in both legs, because apparently it was too high of a dose to put into one muscle).

Finally we were back in our room and able to try and get some rest.  She was so hungry from not really having dinner, or anything since lunch earlier in the day, so we were able to give her a bottle and get her to sleep.  We were a little bit surprised that at a children's hospital on the baby floor, they don't have rocking chairs!  She actually went down fairly easily....but being in a hospital, not 30 minutes after she went to sleep they were waking her up to take her blood pressure (which she HATES!) and take her temperature.  Finally, her fever had broken and was normal.  She slept for 1-2 hour stretches, and had a play time at midnight where she was rolling all over in her crib and squealing and smiling....ahhh, our baby girl is back!!  It's been 5 days of not a normal baby, so we were relieved to see her "back"!  

Sleeping arrangements were quite fun.  They only give us one chair that folds out into a half cot (it's about 4 feet long and 2 feet wide).  There's one other plastic chair in here as well.  Dan, being the wonderful man that he is, refused to share time on the cot and let me sleep there.  He started the night sleeping study hall style on a table pushed up against the wall in the plastic chair.  That lasted about an hour until his back got a little sore, so he moved to the closet floor.  He started there sitting with his legs tucked up to his chest and leaning against the wall...and ended up on the floor with a pillow for his head and a pillow under his blanket.  He wins Daddy/Husband/Man of the Decade Award!!  None of us slept real well...but I think he, by far, got the worst sleep of all of us!

 Drinking some water so she can stay hydrated!
(and then we can maybe go home!!)
A much needed nap for Daddy and Evelyn

This morning, she's been much more normal.  Her fever hasn't returned and she's acting like herself (minus being a little fussy from being tired).  Preliminary results from her spinal and blood cultures are clean (we'll get full results in about 5 days), so the doctor has ruled out meningitis (THANK GOD!!).  It seems to be a nasty urine infection that is requiring some hefty antibiotics to kill.  We will have an ultrasound on Monday to try to see if this is a fluke UTI or if there is something anatomically causing it.  From there we may have to do a dye test to check her bladder drainage.  All of that is done outpatient, though, and isn't immediately necessary.  The best news is that we may be able to go home today!  If she continues to be fever-less, stays hydrated, and is able to keep oral antibiotics down, they are going to let us go home tonight!  I think we'll all sleep better if that's the case, so of course we are praying for that!

Note:  I'll repost the bronco bustin' video when we get home...the hospital has all sorts of blocks on websites, so I can't put it into youtube (which makes it much easier to post here!)

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