Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Hospital Stay

Little Joey is such a good baby. So laid back and easy going. He loves to watch the world around him when he’s awake – which is more often now – and loves to eat and sleep. So Saturday evening (the 14th) when he seemed a little fussier than usual I assumed it was a gassy issue. I would burp him to infinity and beyond hoping to ease his discomfort. And we did get some pretty good burps out and he would snuggle back up and be happy again.

That night though around 1 am (early morning technically) he woke up really fussy and then screaming and wouldn’t nurse. I again thought it was gas and tried to burp him but instead of calming down he got more upset. I finally realized he seemed warmer than normal so I ran to find a thermometer and took his temp and it was 102.2! I called the pediatricians office and left a message for the pediatrician on call. When she called back and asked his age she said I needed to take him to the emergency room immediately.

Apparently when babies under 2 months have a temp over 100.4 they have to go to the hospital and get the work up done. Their immune systems are not mature enough yet to handle even a simple virus like a common cold.

So off we went, just me and Joey while Daddy stayed home with Jimmy. We got checked in and the nurse in triage checked his temp and yep he still had one so we were shown to a room.

I was feeling so bad for him and worried about what they were going to do to him, what kind of tests they would run and what the results would be. Two nurses came in and told me what the immediate future held for us. They would insert a catheter to take a urine sample, then they would do a spinal tap, insert an IV and take blood for labs. Then one of them said “he won’t like us very much for a little while”. I laughed and said “I won’t either” and then cried. Then I patted her arm and assured her that I was kidding. Sorta. Not really.

I tried to distract myself by texting people while they did the catheter and it worked pretty well. They got it in, got the pee and got it out pretty quickly. Then the Dr came in to do the spinal tap. Poor Joey, he didn’t know what was going on and people were holding him down and doing things to him that didn’t feel good and he didn’t feel good and Mamma seemed to have disappeared. He was getting so tired and was almost cried out.

It took the Dr two tries to get spinal fluid and little Joey was being held hunched over in the most uncomfortable looking position. I didn’t cry…probably because I had already cried earlier…but my heart broke for him. It was so pitiful.

As awful as that was I think the most traumatic thing was finding a vein for the IV. They finally, finally found one and got the line in and then couldn’t get much blood out…certainly not enough for labs. So they sent another guy in to find a vein. After about 10 minutes of rubber bands squeezed around his legs and arms and a few futile pokes the guy gave up and said he would send someone else in. While we were waiting another man came and got us and took us for a chest x-ray.

Not long after we got back to the room a lady came in to try to find a vein again. It wasn’t very reassuring that she kept referring to him as “she” and “her” and called him “pretty”. Even after she asked if he was a boy or girl she called him “her”. Her method of finding a good vein was simple….just poke until you get one. Thank God it only took her two tries and she found the mother lode.

We were both so exhausted and I wasn’t sure what else they were going to do, how long it was going to take and no one in the world seemed to be awake except for me, Joey and the hospital staff.

Somewhere in there another Dr came in and said that the early results of the spinal fluid labs showed that he probably had meningitis but that we would have to wait 48 hours for the cultures to be sure that it wasn’t bacterial.
Right before we were transported upstairs to our room the nurse came back in and did a nasal swab to check for different viruses. And then it was over. We were finally moved upstairs and into our own room where Joey had a bed and Mamma had a bed and there was no more poking.

Joey didn’t feel good for a couple of days and had to have Tylenol suppositories every four hours for awhile to help with the fever and just general crummy-ness. He did express his feelings about the suppositories quite dramatically in the middle of the night on Monday. He had a blowout right as the nurse was putting it in and poop was everywhere! That showed her!

The final results were that he had rhino virus (found with the nasal swab) and viral menengititis (found with the spinal fluid cultures). Thankfullly it wasn’t anything bacterial and he was able to go home Tuesday afternoon.

We are so grateful for everyone’s prayers, encouragement and support and we were so happy to get home.

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