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Monday, March 28, 2011

The Saddest Place on Earth

Wow... has it really been a month since I published my "poor, poor me" treatise? Wow. Well... here comes some more!

About ten days ago, I was at my absolute wits end with my elder child. I love this little person more than I thought humanly possible, but really, does he have to do everything he shouldn't when I'm changing the baby's diaper, or nursing him, or (God forbid) going to the bathroom. After the one hundredth time of jumping on his train table while shouting "LOOK AT ME, MOMMY!" I took it apart. I mean, he wasn't going to not jump on it, so I had to do something. Then, I removed everything else I could from his room. There's currently a dresser with a changing table top, a bed, and an end table where the lamp and piggy bank sit. I was a bundle of nerves when Joe got home.

On most Thursdays, Joe's parents take Nathan. Now that I'm not at work, it's ridiculously inconvenient for everyone involved, but it gives Nathan good attention and it gives me a break. So, yay. The next day was Thursday.

That night, Nathan came home completely lethargic and running a fever of 102.9. I was up with him all night, because of course I was, and also with the newborn. The next morning, I called his pediatrician's office and they said not to worry about it, until he'd been feverish for three days. I mentioned that Daniel had his 2 month check up that day and could they possibly schedule Nathan for a sick appointment that day? Basically, they made me feel silly for wanting to bring him in and I let it slide. This is the one and only negative experience I've had with my pediatricians office. I love them.

So, I took the boys in for Daniel's appointment. He was fine, but I mentioned at least 8 times that Nathan was sick with a fever and that Daniel seemed more snuffly than usual. The doctor warned me that Daniel was likely to get more colds than Nathan, since Nathan would be bringing stuff home to him. That was that. We basically tried to keep Nathan comfortable that night. But, he was really sick, just no fever.

The next morning (Saturday), Daniel woke up fussier than usual. Nathan was still pretty miserable. On Sunday, Daniel was quite obviously sick. His nose was congested and he had a hard time nursing, and his normal screaminess was about ten-fold. I'll let that sink in. And poor Nathan was still coughing up his liver. It really sucked. Joe kept claiming he was getting sick too. The heat of my glare may have staved that off for a while. Up to this point, my sleeping sucked. But once Nathan got sick, I was probably sleeping less than 3 hours a night. Seriously, anxiety much?

I dealt with two sick kids by myself on Monday. (I don't know how you real people do it! Seriously, I was a mess with just two and those of you with three or more? Wow. I stand in awe.) Joe's parents offered to take Nathan on Tuesday if he was feeling better. Woo!

Monday night, going into Tuesday morning, I woke up when the baby had a coughing fit. He felt a little warm, but not too concerning. I snuggled with him and fell back to sleep. About 3 am, I woke up to him burning up. ER here I come!!! We went to the ER at Children's Memorial Hospital and he was quickly triaged. The nurse who saw him monitored him for a while and suctioned his nose and throat, trying to get him to breathe a little better. The pediatrician said there was nothing they could do, because it was just a bad cold. But, once we got home, I should suction him a couple times a day and steam him in the bathroom too. No problem .. with that three year old DEMON in the house. We got home around 6:30 am, I took Nathan to Joe's dad at 8 am and hoped to have the rest of the day to nap.

Around noon, I noticed Daniel's breathing had gotten much worse. It was much more labored, and he was having a longer time recovering from the coughing fits. I called his pediatrician's office, hoping to get seen that day. Instead, they called me back 3 hours later and told me to go back to the ER.

We got there around 4:30. At 6, the doctor who had seen us told us she'd like to admit us overnight for observation. (I keep saying "us" because someone had to be with him.) We got to the medical observation unit (a halfway house of sorts) around 10. It was ten feet away from the emergency department.

That first night, I didn't sleep at all. Daniel's O2 levels kept dropping while he slept, so they gave him a breathing treatment and then put him on oxygen. I was so sad to see him like that, but truly relieved that we were at the best place for him and that he wasn't as sick as so many other children there.

Every morning, the doctors who saw him thought he looked a lot better, but by evening, he was again failing to maintain his oxygen levels. So, after four days, they let us go home. It was so freaking stressful, and I barely slept. Thankfully, Joe's parents had Nathan and were able to keep him the whole time.

We've been home since Friday morning. We're adjusting. Nathan isn't sleeping. Daniel is, but more during the day than at night. And my mama ears are on high alert. Every cough wakes me up.

Again, I'm grateful for Children's Memorial - what an amazing place. But man, is it a sad place. During our second visit to the ER, a small boy came into triage behind us. He was the victim of a sexual assault. I saw another small child with some sort of severely debilitating disease. Just sad.

We're lucky. We're blessed.


Becca said...

That sounds so awful and stressful. I am so, so sorry. And you're right. I don't know how people whose kids are very sick, chronically sick do it. Heartbreaking.

AJU5's Mom said...

I am glad everyone is recovering now. I remember AJU5 being in the NICU and how thankful I was that she was so much better off than most of the babies. I was also SO thankful that she wasn't in a room with the critical ones (instead she was with those just needing to grow before going home).

Shannon said...

What a heart breaking experience. I am so happy Daniel is recovering. And I hope you recover soon. You know they always say terrible twos, but for me it has always been the terrible threes. Liam and Nathan seem to be on the same bad behavior train. Maybe better weather will allow them to funnel some of that energy on the playground. Sending lots of prayers and hugs.