Dec 13, 2016

The Hospital Stay

So as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, we have had a black cloud hanging over us for some time. And this is something we haven't been able to get out from under for awhile now. All this includes Addison's sickness.

It was a week before Addison's birthday (middle of October) that she got sick with a cold. The cold itself didn't last very long, but she couldn't seem to shake the cough that hung with it. For weeks she coughed and coughed at night. She did less coughing during the day but it was a couple weeks after the inital cold that I got a call from the school that she was in the nurse's office. She had been coughing a lot and seemed to be laboring when she was breathing. They had checked her oxygen levels and they were lower than they would have liked. So I called the doctor and got her in that day to get her checked out and picked her up from school.

At the doctor, her stats were normal and her lungs sounded good but there could be some infection going on that was preventing her from fully recovering. So we then decided to try some antibiotics to try and get it completely cleared up. Her cough seemed to get better but it was still hanging around. I was starting to wonder if she had just picked up something else from school since in preschool they pass everything around and it seemed that everyone had been sick lately.

By this point it was the night before Thanksgiving. Addie was still coughing at night and Connor was sick by this point. And I couldn't help but question our decision to go anywhere but we were committed so we were going to travel. We were still awake when we heard Addison and rushed into her room. She was coughing which lead to throwing up (most of which Rob actually caught in his hands and some of which she actually coughed in my face - it was a rough one). But she seemed to get it all out and felt better. After a few crackers, she went back to bed and seemed fine.

We traveled up to Iowa to visit Rob's family and all seemed good. Connor wasn't feeling great and we were more concerned about him and not wanting him passed around too much to make sure he didn't catch something else. Addie was coughing a little but otherwise seemed normal. She was just having a blast playing. It wasn't until Thanksgiving night that things took a turn.

Addie woke up in the middle of the night and told us she couldn't breathe out of her nose. We gave her some medicine that helped some and went back to bed. But as soon as the medicine had worn off she was back awake again complaining of the same thing. We checked the time then gave her more medicine.

By the time we got up for the day, we were all miserable. Rob and I both had killer headaches. Addie pretty much had a cold again and seemed to just not be herself. And Connor still had the same cold he had before and feeling about the same.

Our plan was to stay until after dinner but Addison kept coughing and you could see in her face she didn't feel good. She ate breakfast but just didn't want to run around and play like the day before. As the morining worn on she was getting more sluggish and talked less and less. Then she told us she needed to throw up. And that's when she started throwing up over and over again. It was a good ten times before the dry heaving started. She was miserable. She curled up on the couch and wanted mama or daddy to sit with her.

We had decided by this point that we were heading home right there. Rob got showered and dressed quickly then we gathered everything up. She started crying so Rob took her and held her which calmed her down some while I loaded the car. We were starting to think she was having an allergic reaction to something and just wanted to get her home.

We got on the road in record time and headed home. We could tell she was still laboring to breathe but she seemed to be doing a little better. She threw up in the car then decided she was hungry, which we took as a good sign. Of course she ended up throwing that up but after awhile and a little nap she ate something else and managed to keep it down.

We got home and immediately let her curl up on the couch to watch Mickey while I bought the stuff inside It was then we started talking about taking her to Urgent Care. She was still laboring with each breath with sucking in at her throat and rib cage. We decided to check her oxygen levels on an app on Rob's phone which were low.

We put on everyone's coats and forced everyone back into the car, something none of us wanted to do but by this point knew we had to. She was taken right back at Urgent Care. We explained what was happening while her vitals were checked. She was definitely not doing good. They put her on oxygen and decided to do a breathing treatment and get a chest x-ray.

They told us they could do two breathing treatments there before they would have to admit her to the hospital if she still didn't recover. She briefly got better with one breathing treatment but not by much and her stats seemed to drop right back down. After her chest x-ray which seemed to be mostly clear, the doctor came in to talk to us about what was next. She wanted to admit her before even doing a second treatment. Addison was sluggish and not very responsive. To be on the safe side, she needed to be watched overnight.

So now it was a matter of waiting for an ambulance ride. Addie was scared - she hated the IV - and wanted Daddy to ride with her (fear is a daddy thing). I met them there with Connor. She was taken right to her room in the new pediatric ward, which was pretty much empty and meant she got everyone's attention all the time. The nurses did great with her as they checked her in and got her situated.

We talked to the doctor who told us that it looked like a virus-induced asthma attack. She would do breathing treatments and monitored all night. If she could stay off oxygen all night then she could go home the next day, but if not she would have to stay until she could stay off the oxgyen during the night.

The first night she flip-flopped between who she wanted to stay but eventually decided on Daddy. I took Connor home and got him to bed about 9:30. I barely slept through the night anxious to hear if she made it through the night without oxygen. Rob slept in a car next to her bed and barely slept with all the activity in her room, plus to help ease her anxiety they ended up watching Finding Nemo after I left.

I talked to Rob early the next morning and discovered that around 4am her levels dropped and didn't come back up, which meant they had to put her on oxgyen which meant she was staying another night.

By this point, we were both exhausted and not sure how to juggle two kids. My parents headed over to help us with Connor so we could tend to Addison better. But for the time being we were just going to do a hand-off so Rob could go home for a bit. Rob took Connor back home while I stayed with Addison for the morning. As the day went on, she continued to get better and better.

We spent the day watching movies (I watched Gilmore Girls on the iPad). She napped briefly and her numbers stayed up. Her oxgyen levels continued to get better. She watched movies, played with the toys in the room, and continued to ask me about going home. She was bored but at least she as better.

My first night away from Connor was that night. They took him so we could both stay which they let (usually it's just one parent that gets to stay) but we were the only ones in the ward and the nurse didn't care. Addie was better and we were all pretty confident Addison would be good to go home the next day since she was already so much better. I slept on the pull out chair and Rob slept in the same chair as the night before. Not a great way to sleep but we all slept better since Addison was better.

And as it turns out, we were right. She had a good night and we were discharged the next morning. She was given breathing treatments to do at home and we were told to follow-up with her regular doctor in order to figure out a long-term plan.

Even though she did the breathing treatments at the hopsital and usually handled them well, we had to fight her a little at home. We finally learned a couple new apps on the iPad seemed to help encourage her to sit there and do them. We continued to do her breathing treatments. She was even cleared for school which we sent her to the day after she was released from the hospital. That morning we couldn't convince her to do a breathing treatment and she went home. And since we couldn't get her to do it the next day either we decided to not send her so she to just give her one more day. But then we finally started doing the treatments before school and she was having good days with no coughing at all. By the end of the week, she was back to normal.

Over the next weekend we started dropping the treatments until we were down to just one daily, and she was completely back to normal. She wasn't coughing at all and back to her normal energic self.

When we did go in to see the doctor, she agreed with us and we dropped all breathing treatment. She didn't want to diagonse her with asthma after just one time but we were now going to start watching for a trend. She gave us an inhaler in case this came up again and we still had all our breathing treatment stuff at home as well. But everything seemed good and normal again.

By the end of all this, Addison finally got rid of her cough and cold and everything else she has been fighting for over a month and is finally completely back to normal.

Comment below: Has your kid ever had an experience like this? What was your hospital stay like?

xo, B

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