We finally know what we are dealing with. When Brynn was admitted to the hospital last week, she was tested for several viruses: RSV, Influenza, H1N1, etc. All came back negative. She was treated for Pneumonia, but it wasn't viral. It was assumed that one of the many head colds she has had in the past few months settled in her lungs and was exacerbated by her weak premature lungs. When Claire came down with the same symptoms and her illness seemed to be progressing exactly the same, things seemed suspicious. After Claire was admitted to Primary's, they tested for several other things and found the culprit: Human Metapneumovirus. It is a cousin to RSV and looks and acts the same way. It was a relief to know what this horrible thing was that is hospitalizing my children. I told Claire's Attending Physician at Primary's that Lia was starting to get this just like the other two have and I am very concerned about her as she has always had the weakest lungs and most trouble with her breathing from the day they were born. She told me that as soon as Lia starts wheezing, take her to her pediatrician and she wrote down numbers to call and all the info the pediatrician would need for a very quick admit to Primary's. Even though my pediatrician's office doesn't have "privileges" at Primary's, she provided me with all the info he would need to cut through the red tape and even her personal pager. This morning, sure enough, Lia was making some wheezing sounds when she was breathing. I called her pediatrician's office and made the first available appointment. Our regular pediatrician wasn't in, so we saw Dr. Dork. I've had to take my kids to him once before and was very under impressed with his bedside manner, but whatever. So, when I heard that we could only get in to see Dr. Idiot, I was dreading it, but thought it would be quick and straight forward. I have all the information he needs. I explained to him the situation: Lia's two sister have both been hospitalized, one was even life flighted and had to stay in the ICU. Lia's illness is following the exact same progression as her sisters did and I knew that with in 24 hours, she would be in very bad shape. I told him about the conversation that I had with Claire's Attending Physician and gave him the paper with all the information he needs to have her admitted. His reply was "She's stable. We don't admit stable children to the hospital." Ummmm... Ok Dr. Moron. LET ME EXPLAIN AGAIN THE SITUATION. After quite a bit of arguing, and telling him that considering Lia's history of prematurity and chronic lung disease and that her sisters have been hospitalized for this exact illness, it would be very reckless to wait until she also needs to be life flighted to be monitored and given treatment. He finally said, "Well I'll call, but they won't admit a stable child." 15 minutes later, Lia and I were heading to Primary's. We're so lucky to live 30 miles away from Primary Children's. The girls are getting such excellent top notch care there. I can see why people come from surrounding to states to receive care there. It's just a whole different level than Dr. Arrogant and his little man syndrome. This little rant about him has made me feel much better. I should seriously be wearing a warning sign that says "You really don't want to cross me today, especially if it has anything to do with my kids."
So Claire and Lia are little rommies now. I wish I had my video camera when they first saw each other. They were so happy and excited and jumping up and down and trying to touch each other. So sweet. Claire is on a liter of oxygen, regaining strength and still receiving steroids and breathing treatments. Lia was becoming dehydrated, so they hooked her up to IV fluids. Her respiration rate is high, but oxygen saturation level is still fine. She is receiving steroids and breathing treatments. So far so good. Thanks for all the support and love. I have such wonderful family, friends and neighbors.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Yesterday around 4pm Claire turned a corner. She perked up and started breathing a little better on her own. She was released from the ICU and we're enjoying the comfort and privacy of a normal room in the pediatric unit now. She still has a long way to go, but now I know she'll be ok. 24 hours ago I didn't feel so confident. Now my worries are focusing on Lia. She's taking steroids in anticipation that she will be dealing with this at the same level her sisters have. I feel like I'm looking out the window waiting for the third round of a hurricane to hit.
One thing I know for sure... I will NEVER take my children's health for granted.
Monday, February 8, 2010
I deserve a "Most Drama Imaginable" award. We've had quite an eventful 10 days. Two weeks ago all the kids were finally well, and then Brynn started to have a little cough. She coughed for a couple days and then from Friday night to Saturday morning she went from occasionally coughing to struggling to breath. She was admitted to the hospital were she stayed for 6 days on oxygen, IV antibiotics and steroids to strengthen her lungs. She came home Thursday. That was the day I noticed Claire had a slight cough. Yesterday (Sunday) she woke up in the morning struggling to breath. I took her to the ER. Sure enough her oxygen saturation level was in the 70's. "Here we go again." I thought. Derek came in the late afternoon and said he was going to stay the night with her, and told me to go home, take care of the other 3 kids and come back in the morning. I was exhausted, but I had a strange uneasy feeling. I couldn't sleep, just drifted in and out. I couldn't figure out where the feeling was coming from. Claire was fine. Her situation mimicked Brynn's exactly. Claire is the one who has always had the strongest lungs. She was the only one who never had to be on a ventilator when she was a preemie. I kept telling myself everything was OK. I thought I was just dreading another week like the one I'd just had. Finally at 3:20 I went downstairs and wrote Derek an email. I didn't want to call and disturb him. I wrote "How is my Claire? I feel so much stress in my mind and in my heart. I'm worried about so many things right now. I wish I had you here, I want a big hug from you." I didn't expect to hear back from him because I assumed he was sleeping. He wasn't sleeping. As I was writing that, the life flight helicopter landed at the hospital at 3:30 and took Claire to Primarys. Whenever I see the Life Flight heading to where ever, I always say a prayer for whoever is in there and whoever is worried about and loves the person in there. I hope there were lots of people praying for my baby. At 4am when I heard the garage door open I was so confused. I went running downstairs and yelled "WHERE'S CLAIRE!?" Derek explained to me that she had taken a turn for the worse. She had been on 4 L of Oxygen (During Brynn's 6 day stay, she never required more that a little over 1 L) and they couldn't keep her oxygen saturation level up and she was working so hard to breath. Her heart rate and respiration rate was incredibly high. The doctor told Derek that this was over his head and called Life Flight. Five minutes after Derek got home, his mom showed up and Derek and I drove to the hospital. So, here we sit. Claire is in the ICU. Not much has changed. She's not in good shape, but hasn't gotten any worse. I think that the Pediatric ICU is the saddest place in the world. Little kids shouldn't have to go through these things.
I'm really trying to be as strong as I can right now. I usually can hold it together pretty well in the midst of a crisis. It's after that I fall to pieces. I don't have any good reason to think that Claire will not be OK.
I called my mother in law awhile ago to check on my other kids. Lia has started coughing this morning. I'm most concerned about her. She has always had the weakest lungs by far.
Thank you for all of your kind words and prayers. I really feel it. I'll keep this updated.