Friday, March 4, 2011

Gavin's Hospital Adventure

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post this...I think my body has been pushed to its limit and I've been sick this week:( We went through quite the adventure last week! I'm going to try and blog about as much as I can remember to keep everyone informed and for my own "documentation". Our total stay was 5 nights and 6 days...holy cow it seemed like an eternity! I'm going to apologize up front for this being a LONG post and for any misspellings of medical terms! MRI: Tuesday, March 1st Gavin had an MRI scheduled. We had to be at the hospital at 7:30 and the MRI was scheduled to begin at 9:30. We were told it could last up to 5 hours. In the morning, Brian took Macie to daycare and my mom came to pick up Gavin and I. Gavin had a little bit of jello and some apple juice and then we were on our way. Brian met us at the hospital and because I'd already answered most of the questions over the phone, we were sent straight to a room. In the room we were met by someone who would turned out to be a God send, Tammi. She is a nurse and developmental therapist. Her job was to entertain him until time for the MRI. She brought him a stuffed Eeyore and a pillow case to make it seem more homey. She went back with him and stayed until he fell asleep. She was supposed to be there when he woke up, but it took longer then we thought. The MRI took 6 hours! My mom, Brian, and I sat in the waiting room forever, but I have to say the time went fast. The last hour and a half was the hardest for me because I kept feeling like it should be over. When they finally wheeled him by us and let us know he was in recovery, I was anxious and relieved that it was over. However, we didn't get to go back into recovery to be with him. At around 4:00 pm..yes that many hours later...we were called back but were met by the anesthesiologist instead. He told us the actual MRI went well, but that he didn't wake up well. His breathing was labored and there was an issue with the tube. Evidently, he was on the verge of getting sick and the procedure was more than he could handle. A few minutes later, a nurse came in and told us that he was going to have to go upstairs to be admitted, but they wanted me to go back and be with him. Brian couldn't go. This was one of the most heartbreaking moments I've ever experienced! I walked back there and they handed me my limp baby with sad eyes who was hooked up to a MILLION things! I was holding him in a chair and I felt like he weighed a ton! I quickly realized my arms couldn't hold him like that so they moved me onto the gurney. I was able to hold him on there. I was trying not to move so I wouldn't mess up the wires. My right arm and leg were falling asleep, but I didn't dare give up holding my baby! They let me ride upstairs on the gurney with him. He had to have oxygen blowing in front of his face because they were worried about him moving upstairs. Talk about scary! I kept asking about Brian and they grabbed him on the way up. I knew he would be freaked out when he saw Gavin and his eyes said it all. I told him it would be OK and off we went. Macie: Besides being concerned about Gavin, I was also very concerned about Macie. She is such a trooper and did well, but it is hard to leave her for that long. Tuesday night when we realized that we may have to stay, I sent my parents to pick her up from daycare. They ended up keeping her most of the time. We did send her to daycare some and Brian and I each kept her one night. I only got to see Macie once and I was so exhausted. The most heart wrenching moment for me was when Gavin got to come home and we quickly realized that he needed to go back. Macie only got to see him for 10 minutes. She was devastated and crying at the window asking for him. She quickly got over it when she realized she got to go back to Grandma and Grandpa's house. She did get to do some fun things like going to McDonalds and the zoo and she even got some presents. When we were all finally together as a family Sunday night, she was SO happy. It has been great being a family again! PICU: Gavin was admitted into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. They told us it was to protect him from all of the RSV on the floor. We later found out that it was a miracle he wasn't on a ventilator for days. When we got upstairs, they took Gavin from me and started going to work. There were a lot of people in a small space! Brian and I felt like we were in the way, but they kept asking us questions so we needed to stay. Gavin was screaming which was so hard for us because he rarely cries. I didn't know whether or comfort him, or not. He wasn't in pain, he was just tired of them holding him down. We knew he was tired and hungry. They finally gave him a bottle of apple juice. He drank a little bit of it. Once things calmed down, Brian got to hold him. They held oxygen in front of his face because he wouldn't keep the mask on. They actually taped it to Brian's shirt. Once things calmed down, Dr. Burkehead sat down to talk to us. She brought us some water and chips because she knew we were overwhelmed. She was SO sweet! She explained everything that was going on and said he may be here a few days, we will just have to see. She also thought we needed some good news so she told us the results for the MRI. His brain and spine were normal! Thank God!!! He did have superficial veins in his leg which makes his birthmark vascular. We will have more procedures ahead, but I put that in the back of my head at that time. Gavin stayed in the PICU for 3 of the 5 nights. We were able to come and go whenever and immediate family was also allowed to visit. Allie and my parents came to see him. Father Burns also came and did the Anointing of the Sick on Thursday morning. Dr. Burkehead and Tammi were wonderful. They would come and hold Gavin just because and offered to give us a break from time to time. I don't know what we would have done without them! Our days in the PICU consisted of breathing treatments every 2-4 hours and trying to entertain a restless 13 month old in between. He was hooked up to lots of wires and they drove me crazy! Not only did he unplug them every time he moved (causing his monitor to beep like crazy), but they also got wrapped around his neck several times. Talk about scary! I kept asking the nurse why they don't have wireless monitors in the pediatric wing! Ups and Downs: As with any stressful event, there are always ups and downs. We had more than our fair share! I felt like an emotional wreck, but I had my biggest meltdown Thursday afternoon. Up until then, I'd only left the hospital to shower and come right back. Brian convinced me to go and spend time with Macie and get a good nights sleep. I knew I had to because I was beyond exhausted. I was doing fine until I got outside. Then, I started balling hysterically. I was crying because I felt guilty leaving Gavin and because I felt sorry for Brian. He had no one...he was there all alone. I know how hard that can be. Thankfully, my parents came to the rescue and brought him dinner and hung out with him for a bit. The next morning, I took Macie to daycare and my gas light came on. I pulled into a gas station and realized that I'd left my wallet at the hospital. Crap...I called Brian and thankfully my dad was there so he said he would bring me my wallet. I dropped Macie off and came back to pump gas. After pumping, I sat there waiting for my dad. The attendant came out and asked if everything was OK. I just started crying and told them that my son was in hospital and I left my wallet and I wasn't trying to steal the gas, but my dad was bringing me my wallet. I think they felt bad and invited me in for a drink. Then they jokingly said that if I was trying to steal it I wouldn't have sat there for so long! Besides having the strider (barking cough kind of like croup), Gavin also developed double ear infections while he was at the hospital. The Little Things: When you go through an experience like that, the little things matter the most. Dr. Burkehead and Tammi were life savers! They would spend time with Gavin to give us a break and visit him just because they fell in love with him! Tammi colored and painted with Gavin one afternoon and they brought him presents. Brian joked that those stuffed animals cost a lot of money! One morning I woke up and one of my student's moms had dropped off some muffins. We also got a free meal ticket in the cafeteria one day. Room #s: We ended up being in 4 different rooms and crazily enough were in all 4 within a 24 hour period. We started out in room 4505 (PICU) and were there for three nights. Then, Gavin got moved into 4517 until he was discharged. When we came back in he was put into room 4507 (PICU) for a few hours before moving into 4519 until we got to go home. Going Home (the 1st Time): We went home for the first time on Friday around 12:40. Friday morning, Dr. Burkehead came in and said that she was going to try a different breathing treatment that could be sent home. The one he was on couldn't be sent home because you have to be hooked up to monitors. It can cause cardiac problems. The problem was, his lungs were fine, it was his throat that needed the treatment. The new kind seemed to work OK, so they moved Gavin out of his room and on to the main floor until everything could be taken care of. We had to rent a nebulizer machine, he had one more round of antibiotics for the ear infections, and we had papers to sign. We were put in a room with a little boy who just had his tonsils out. He was not a happy camper because they hadn't given him any pain meds. I felt so badly for the parents because there is no privacy in those rooms. We finally had everything we needed, and we went home. I took Gavin straight home and Brian ran to get to breathing treatments at CVS. It took forever because our insurance network was down. I was starting to get worried because I thought his breathing was a bit rough. I kind of panicked and called Brian all upset. He finally got home and we gave him a treatment and laid him down for a nap. During his nap, his breathing wasn't good. Brian and I ate lunch and then Brian went to pick up Macie. This was a big mistake! When Brian was gone, I got even more worried about the breathing. I did another treatment (we could do it every 2 hours) hoping that would help. It didn't. I called the hospital because Dr. Burkehead gave us her direct number for any concerns. She told me that if he didn't seem scared or distressed, it should be fine, but to call Dr. Voyles to see if he could be seen. Dr. Voyles had an opening at 4:20 so we took it. Macie and Brian were home for about 10 minutes before Gavin and I rushed back out the door. She was hysterical and we felt so bad! As soon as the nurses and Dr. V saw Gavin, they said I couldn't take him home. We had to go back:( I lost it. I called Brian and he quickly made plans for Macie. They held us at the office for a bit until they had a spot for him. Before I knew it, we were back at the hospital for stay #2!

It could always be worse...: While we were at the hospital, we had the opportunity to meet a lot of families. Even though we were going thru hell, there were many parents going through a LOT worse! RSV was rampant and the pediatric floor was packed! Many of the nurses said they've worked there for 10 years or more and never seen anything like this. We especially bonded with two families. I honestly can't get them out of my mind. I almost feel guilty for being able to take my baby home. One thing we learned was it could always be worse!

Stay #2: I had a lot of concerns/worries about going back. I didn't want to go alone, I didn't want to hold him down for the iv, and I didn't want to share a room. I cried the whole way to the hospital. Luckily, we didn't have to go to the emergency room, they knew we were coming and some of my prayers were answered. Brian showed up as they were taking us upstairs, he didn't have to have an iv, and they put us in a private PICU room. I was kicking myself for not giving him a bath at home. The nurse let us bathe and feed him before completely hooking him up. Then, I put Gavin to sleep. Crazily enough, he was happy to see that jail again! Once he was asleep, we stepped out of the room to make a plan. Macie stayed with my parents for the weekend and I sent Brian home to get the computer for me. Then, he was going home to sleep because he had to bartend on Saturday night. As soon as Brian left, they told me they were moving Gavin to another room. I was very upset. They wanted Gavin in isolation and I didn't want my sleeping baby moved. I did not win that battle and Friday night was the worst night of the whole stay! They moved us into a room with a little guy named Christian who was there for a month! Like I said, it could always be worse! His mom was nice, but had a lot of drama! The room was so crowded that there was no where to sleep. At one point, both moms were up in the cribs with the babies. This didn't work for Gavin...he thought it was playtime. In fact, they took us to the playroom at 1 am so he could get out some energy. The steroids started making him crazy! He was so full of energy...he would either throw fits and bite us or laugh uncontrollably! That night I literally got less than 1 hour sleep. I called Brian at 5 am and told him he had to come so I could sleep a few hours before he left again. I left to sleep for 3 hours and then was right back. On Saturday, Gavin had several visitors because he was out of the PICU. Brian's aunt and cousins came as well as my friend, Jamie. He even got some presents! Aunt Poggy was kind enough to stay with Gavin so I could get some dinner. Little things like that meant so much! Later that evening, my mom and Allie came to stay with me. All of a sudden, Gavin's oxygen levels dropped. They had to put him on oxygen which he wasn't a fan of. We were afraid that would prolong our stay, but luckily it didn't!

Going Home (For Real): Sunday morning, they told us that he would get to go home. Brian and I were excited at the thought, but honestly we were a little skeptical. We'd been home once and we didn't want to come back! They gave him his last breathing treatment around 8 am and they wanted to check him out at 2 pm. We even took him into the playroom and then checked his levels afterwards to make sure nothing would happen. Everything checked out fine! Brian's parents spent the day with us until check out. Once we left the hospital, I didn't get Macie right away. We learned the hard way from the last time! Gavin and I crashed immediately and Brian ran a few errands. Later that evening, we got Macie. It was so nice to be together again! I kept Gavin home on Monday and Dr. V didn't even need to see him. On Tuesday, he went back to daycare! Bad Habits: While in the hospital, Gavin picked up some bad habits:( He has started biting. He also cries all of the time wanting to be held and we had to break him of the bottle again! Random Extras: There are a few things I don't want to forget about Gavin's stay in the hospital. 1. We brought his glow worm from the home and that seemed to comfort him and help him sleep at night. 2. I sang the song, Masterpiece, to Gavin a lot. In fact, the first time I saw him and I felt so helpless, I just started singing. Gavin immediately responded and it felt so good to comfort my baby boy. 3. The nurses called him "Bam Bam" because he was SOO strong and kept ripping off the wires. Not only did he rip them off, but he would break them. He would also hold onto the bars and we would have to pry him off. He is one strong little booger! Lessons Learned: We've learned so much this last week, but here are the top 3 lessons I'm taking from this adventure. 1. We have a lot to be thankful for! 2. We have a lot of family and friends who truly care for us and would do anything for us. We learned who our TRUE support system is! 3. If someone is going thru a similar situation, don't offer to do it! We are very grateful for all of the offers and we know that people don't know what to say or do, but when you are in a stressful situation like that, you can't make decisions. I know now that the best way to help is to find something to do.

1 comment:

Holly said...

Oh my, that is quite an adventure! I'm glad Gavin is ok! Ewan contracted RSV at 3 weeks old and while he didn't have to be admitted to the hospital, it was very scary and I spent several nights awake watching him breathe. I can't imagine seeing my baby hooked up to everything.