This post comes from a hard green chair in my son’s hospital room, as I keep watch like a hawk, that I haven’t moved from in 48 hours.
As a mom, there is no worse feeling than when your child is sick. You feel completely helpless. When your child is admitted to the hospital, it’s a whole other story. Your world stops.
It started with a little cough on Tuesday. By Wednesday, you could tell Ryan wasn’t feeling up to par. He was coughing a lot, and he was uncomfortable. Each cough made him cry, and getting him to eat was a challenge…that was a huge red flag for me.
I was able to get Ryan to eat about 1 oz around 8pm, and then I put him down to bed. He woke up around 12:30, soaking wet everywhere. He had thrown up all over himself. I cleaned him up, fed him again, and about 20 minutes later he threw up all over again. And I mean everywhere. After we cleaned him up, and couldn’t rouse him from sleep, we called the pediatrician around 3:30 am who told us to go to the ER. So at 4:00 am we headed to the hospital for our first ever middle of the night ER visit. There they tested him for flu and RSV – both were negative, and he wasn’t running a fever so they sent us home with strict instructions to come back if a fever of 100.4 develops. Infants don’t usually have high fevers because they don’t have the antibodies needed to fight infections yet. Because infants can’t fight infections, a diagnosis of fever is almost always a hospital stay (including x-rays, spinal tap, blood and urine cultures) to determine what is causing the infection and provide supportive care.
Ryan spent most of Thursday in a sleepy state. Sometimes he would cry out in his sleep or cough but I couldn’t get him fully alert. He also hadn’t eaten, and you could tell he was becoming dehydrated. I took his temp around 1:30 when I noticed he was feeling warm, and got the dreaded 100.4 reading. Our pediatrician sent us immediately back to the ER.
(Waiting patiently in the ER)
We spent about 4 hours in the ER, where it took 2 different teams of NICU nurses to successfully inset his IV (he was so dehydrated). He got X-rays, they put a catheter in, checked his temperature and oxygen levels numerous times, and after 3 failed attempts at the spinal tap, they finally gave up. Our poor little guy was so brave. He had lost his voice so his little cry was barely a squeak. I cried a few times during all of this and had to leave the room.
(Sound asleep for X-rays)
They decided to admit us for observation and supportive care as is protocol in a baby less than 60 days old. Seeing our little man hooked up to tubes and wires in a hospital bed broke my heart. It was hard to hold him with all of his tubes, and his back was sore from the attempts at the spinal tap. He wanted to cry but had no voice.
By Friday, with the help of IV fluids, he had started to perk up a little. His eyes weren’t so sunken, his face had some color to it, and he was slowly starting to want to eat again. We found out that this time, he tested positive for RSV. We had a sign on our hospital door; we were put in “Containment Isolation”, and everyone who entered need to wear a gown and gloves. It all seemed very scary but at least we were starting to get some answers as to what was causing all of this.
Ryan mostly slept. He would wake long enough to nurse for 10 minutes, and grunt and groan a little.
(Brave, sleepy boy)
By Saturday afternoon, his IV was stopped to see how he would do without the extra fluids. We anxiously awaited results to see if we could go home.
At 5 pm they had good news for us. Ryan’s test results were negative…we could go home! And it was pretty amazing how much better Ryan seemed once we got home – smiling, eating.
Unfortunately, we were discharged just in time for Chloe to start running a high fever. Oy vey. On to the next one…