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Friday, April 15, 2011

Hospitals are no fun

I'm sure most of you know that hospitals are no fun, but I didn't realize how much worse it is when your infant son is the patient.

In the last year we have had 6 hospitals stays.  YES 6!

1. My first birth, a kidney stone
2. Horrific car accident, I got an overnight stay Mike got a 2 day stay and 3 months out of work
3. Mike's work accident, 40 foot fall from scaffolding, started in ER ended up in Trauma
4. Birth of Ezra and recovery from c-section, 4 days
5. Incision infection, drained and re-packed - probably the grossest thing that's ever happened to me
6. Ezra's recent stint at the Children's hospital

Needless to say I'm a pro at getting to the hospital and the entire intake process.  But when it's your son and not you (or your husband) it's so much worse.

Ezra woke up Tuesday morning (or should I say in the middle of the night on Monday) having lots of trouble breathing and just being generally upset.  He was in and out of sleep with lots of crying and coughing in between.  He wouldn't eat and he had lots of boogers.

Around 4:30 we tried to feed him again but he only ate about 2 oz, and he was wheezing (by my definition) and breathing quickly and not seeming to get enough air.  After 3 different dialed numbers from the dr's office I finally talked to a nurse and she told me to head to the ER.

Just an interjection - if you ever feel like you should take your baby to the ER, take them to the ER.  Dr's have an uncanny ability to make you question your panic (and sanity at times) but usually your instinct is much closer to correct.  I've had one dr tell me to bring the baby in quickly and when I got to the office they tell me that he's just fussy and I should take him for a walk.  Seriously.  Moral of the story, just trust your instinct and don't waste the time with the answering service and trying to explain why you are panicking.

Once we got to the ER, the intake nurse noticed his very heavy breathing and was quick to admit him into a room.  Once we got into the room they checked on him fairly quickly and said that he was in fact working really hard to breathe.  Again, trust your instincts, mom.

Then they put him through baby torture deep suction.  Which basically means they put a tube through his nose into his throat and tried to suck out whatever goop was in there.  His nose bled and he SCREAMED.  It was painful... for me.  I'm just thankful that I didn't have to help her hold him down.

After deep suction, they decided he was still struggling to breathe and tried albuterol.  He actually took to the mask pretty well.  We rocked and sang and he stayed pretty calm.  The albuterol didn't do much for his breathing but it turned him back into the wild man that I know.  He was  Rolling, grabbing things, jumping, laughing, trying to crawl, eating the sheets, throwing his toys.  I imagined he felt better, but his belly was really working fast at breathing.

They checked on him again and his breathing rate was an 80, which I guess its supposed to be around 30 or 40.  Yikes.  They all kept commenting about how happy he was and how healthy he looked.  He really loved all the people coming in to smile at him.  He is going to be such a flirt.

They decided to try another albuterol treatment to see if that would calm him down.  No go.  Now they had to decide if they should admit him or not.  I guess the difficulty in the decision was how happy he was - of course happiness is more important that efficient breathing. Right.

I convinced them since I was a nervous wreck that if they sent me home, I would probably turn around in the parking lot and just come back in.  I don't think I could handle having him at home when his breathing was double what it should be.

So we were admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay.  Ezra loved meeting all the nurses and doctors and was rolling around in his cage crib.  I made sure that we had plenty of toys and he seemed to be doing ok.  He was still not eating as much as usual, and was still breathing really quickly, but at least he wasn't struggling to breathe the way he was before.

The know-it-all resident also had to make me feel like a moron right after we were admitted.  I (without a medical degree) mistakingly called the stressed breathing sound that Ezra was making "wheezing."  Apparently, you can only hear wheezing with a stethoscope. Thank you for correcting me Dr, but what should I call the sound that everyone else on earth without a stethoscope calls wheezing?  It's like she knew what I was talking about but she had to correct me.  Annoying.  If I wasn't so worried about Ezra, I might've punched her.

Overnight was great for the baby, but terrible for mommy.  He slept with no complaint (until a 4:30 bottle) but 2 complaints that I have:
why on earth don't they have rocking chairs in a children's hospital?
and what's up with the chairbed? Could we get an air mattress or something?  My legs were legit hanging from the knees down off the end of it and the head part is lower than the butt part so I ended up with a headache.

Not to mention the know-it-all resident Dr scared the BEJEEZUS out of me at 7 in the morning to tell me that Ezra looked ok.  Great, why did you wake me up if he is sleeping and he looks ok????

Ezra loved his cage crib! He was definitely feeling better in the morning

Although his breathing was still fast, I felt comfortable heading home because he wasn't breathing so hard anymore.  His tests came back with a positive for rhino virus, (aka a cold).  Now they are concerned that he is more at risk for asthma.

We are supplied with a nebulizer, and not-so-high-tech snot sucker at home and antibiotics for a snot caused ear infection.  And my baby woke up this morning literally covered with boogers.  All over his face.  Crusty boogers.  It was gross, but I'm so happy he's home!


  1. OMG!!!! Wow! What a shitty couple of days! Good thing you brought him in, sounds like he was one sick little boy! I can understand what they mean about the "happy" thing, since kids can't tell you what is bothering them, we often rely on their demeanor to gauge how sick they are (in additional to vital signs and tests and such, its just a little added extra). However, if a kid was breathing 80, there is no way I would send him home, even if he was spewing glitter out of his grin.
    Oh, and that wheezing sound that you heard? It was probably stridor, which is swelling of the upper airways. That you don't need a stethoscope to hear. And FWIW, some people are wheezing so.bad. that you CAN hear it without a stethoscope. That resident was an ass, don't they know you never question or doubt the mom? MOM IS ALWAYS RIGHT!

  2. I was hoping you would comment Shannon! I was wondering about the wheezing and why she seemed to have such an issue with my not-completely incorrect statement. I agree, mom is always right!

  3. I'm glad Ezra is okay! Hospital stays are never fun. We did one when Lorelei was 3 months old because she had bronchiolitis.

  4. WOW! So sorry you had to go through that!!! I've been there with both of my kids having RSV before they were 6 months and hospital stays briefly. Huge (((HUGS)))!

  5. Oh God, that's horrible! Now that I'm pregnant I'm
    Already thinking about how i will know when to take my baby to the ER.
    But what you had to go through, watching your baby suffer... That's just awful.
    I'm sorry, hon and hope your hospital streak changes!


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