It all started Valentine’s Day weekend. I came down with an awful cold that had me out for a couple of days. I thought the boys had escaped it, but then 2 weeks later Caleb started getting sick, and Andrew followed. I took both of them into the doctor’s office on Monday, March 3rd, and found out it was just a viral cold. Our pediatricien said that Caleb would do just fine, but to keep an eye on Andrew. Caleb started getting better, but Andrew got progressively worse. On Wednesday he really started to look bad. He was not eating well, was coughing, and he was whimpering. I took him into the doctor on Thursday, and the doctor said that it was a bad cold. They tested his oxygen level, and he was really low (67 at one point), so they called for an ambulance transport to Children’s Hospital. The fact that those exam rooms are not very big was confirmed when we tried to squish 4 EMTs, the doctor, nurse, myself, Caleb, and Andrew all in one room. It was chaotic! I called Don right away, and he was able to make it to the doctor’s office in time to take Caleb in our car while I went with Andrew in the ambulance. We stayed in the ER for about 7 hours before being moved to a room. Andrew had a bunch of tests done that were not fun to watch. They put an IV in, which took 2 pokes. They got a urine sample with a catheter. They stuck a tube up his nostrils to do a nasal test. And, the worst one was the spinal test for meningitis. The nurses suggested that I go outside the room, where I broke down in tears. Andrew was screaming. Don’s mom tried to comfort me, but after a minute or so, I couldn’t take it anymore, and I went into the room. I’m glad I did because his pacifier had fallen out, but the nurse couldn’t put it in since he was holding Andrew so he wouldn’t move. I put the pacifier in which calmed him down. I felt much better helping out rather than feeling helpless out in the hallway. Don’s mom took Caleb home with her. Since Andrew had RSV, we were in “isolation,” which means that we couldn’t really go outside our room except to go to the cafeteria. We were supposed to stay away from the other patients in the ward. Children under 12 couldn’t visit, so Caleb stayed with Don’s mom. It is such a blessing to have her nearby and so willing to help out! She is amazing! The doctors said that we would be there for at least 2 days, so Don came up with the plan to switch off staying overnight with Andrew. At first I felt like a bad mom leaving Andrew even though Don was there, but I quickly realized that hospital life is tough, and sleep is tough to come by with all the monitors and nurde disruptions. I actually got 3 of the best nights’ sleep I’ve gotten since the 2nd trimester of Andrew’s pregnancy. Unfortunately, the doctors couldn’t really do anything for Andrew except treat his symtoms, so we were basically playing the waiting game until Andrew’s body could fight off the nasty bug. He was on oxygen and IV fluids, and they used this awful suction tube to get the mucus out of his nose so he could breathe better. The poor little guy was poked and prodded way more than his fair share for a 2-month old. I felt awful for him, but I was so glad that he was getting the help he needed. I felt so helpless at home, and it was killing me to see him so sick! Children’s Hospital is an outstanding hospital, so I was glad that he was in such great care. Andrew went off oxygen on Monday, and he was able to keep his oxygen levels up through the night, so they let us take him home on Tuesday. It was so nice to be together again as a family. My heart goes out to the many families who are far away from their homes doing their best to make Children’s Hospital their home away from home while a child is very ill. I thought 5 days was rough; I can’t imagine spending months there. Andrew is back to normal now, and he’s smiling a ton!
Andrew wrapped in a blanket Don’s mom made for him…a little comfort from home.
Andrew’s oxygen tube Andrew happy to be off
oxygen, but still on IV
Andrew in his hospital gown, ready to get his IV removed, put on his "street clothes", and blow this joint.
Andrew back to being a happy little baby.
Tee, so sorry to hear about this experience. glad life is back to normal for you and that little Andrew is better. K
Just a bit of color commentary on this one from the husband (Don). The alternating nights was a life-saver… and admittedly, even then it was pretty tough…. Over the weekend, we were moved in with another baby that had RSV… His parents unfortunately were not completely as synced up on a family plan…. They arrived on the night where it was my shift to take the evening. The mom stayed during the night, and talked to her husband on her cellphone throughout the evening. I admit, I listened to the whole conversation and it was as if listening to a soap opera… And honestly, it was tough not to listen… I\’d probably have to do something quite elaborate to keep myself from hearing the conversation. What made it somewhat more interesting, is that I could only hear half of it, and I had to make up the other half in my head. The half that I heard started something like this: "Well if you don\’t care, than I don\’t care anymore." This was repeated over and over. At first I was unsure if she was talking to a husband, boyfriend, or an estranged father of the baby that no longer has a relationship with the mother. I figured out it was her husband when she started talking about divorce.
Much later in the night (2 or 3am), she answered her cellphone and asked, "You\’re where?! WHAT THE !@!$@!@ ARE YOU DOING AT MUCKLESHOOT?"
At this point, it\’s probably easy to judge and condemn this man… but there were other parts of the conversation that made the situation perhaps a bit more sad. She kept saying, "If we\’re the most important thing, why don\’t you get over here?" Indicating that the man knew where he should be, but there was something that kept him from doing what he knew was right.
The whole situation seemed not too different from our slight misprioritizations in our lives. How often have we put our time or effort into making money or a hobby at the expense of spending time or effort on something that might be a higher priority like our children, wife, or other family members. Sometimes we all say one thing, because we know what the right answer is, but our actions are different… Sometimes, it\’s due to an illness, addiction, or pride…
The woman went home to sleep on Tenille\’s night, but then came back again on my night. I heard another full evening of heart-wrenching cell phone conversations. This one was mostly about divorce. I prayed for them and tried to sleep. When I woke up, the husband was at the hospital with his wife sleeping together on the sofa next to their boy.
A sick child can bring a family together, or tear one apart… especially if there\’s already some perforations. I hope they can work out their issues. As for us, it gave me a good chance to reflect on my priorities and take inventory of my actions to make sure they are reflective of my priorities. But, best of all, it made me appreciate and be thankful for the wonderful wife I have and my relationship with her.