This isn’t our first rodeo with the nasty bug, nor is it Brady’s. He had it last year as a 4 month old. It was brutal then and it was just as brutal this time around. Unfortunately, it was even more so aggressive this time around and it landed him in the hospital Thursday night.
It started last week Saturday as a normal winter time cold. When you live in the Midwest a cold and cough is pretty much par for the course and one of those inevitably will happen to a child in daycare or school. Sunday-Tuesday were about the same. Dry, hacking cough, runny nose, and irritability but no fever. Wednesday, I got a phone call from daycare late afternoon letting me know that he was running a low grade fever, 99.8, and that he hadn’t had a wet diaper since that morning. So I picked him and Makenzie up and brought them home. While I made dinner, he fell asleep on Brian which NEVER HAPPENS. This 16 month old is go, go, go once we get home. Mostly he is go, go, go right into the pantry because he acts like he doesn’t eat all day. Not the case. Daycare feeds him and he eats.
For dinner he ate applesauce and then said he was, “all done”. We gave him Motrin, a quick nebulizer treatment, followed it up with a bath, and he was sleeping by 6:30. The next morning he woke up happy, with an appetite and without a fever so we went ahead and sent him to daycare.
3:15p- I got a call from daycare but on the other end was Makenzie’s teacher letting me know that although she wasn’t running a fever she wasn’t feeling well. Brady had a doctor appointment at 4:15 so I told her I would be there soon to pick her up. I finished a couple things up for work and then headed out the door. On my way to picking up the kids I got another call from daycare but this time from Brady’s teacher saying that he was running a low grade fever, irritable, and not having a lot of wet diapers.
4p- Makenzie, Brady, and I got to the doctor’s office for our 4:15 appointment. While waiting, Makenzie watched one of the movies playing in the office and Brady slept on me leaving a gigantic drool pile on my shoulder. It was so massive that one of the dad’s looked over and said, “Oh wow, is that drool?!” I just laughed and said, “Probably!” It did seem a little wet.
5p- We FINALLY got called back.
He was weighed and the nurse took his vitals. Long story short, he now had a fever of 101, he was wheezing, rapidly breathing, retracting badly, and making a grunting noise with every single breath. It was visible under his rib cage, up by his collar bone, and under his trachea.
5:10p- The doctor came in, listened to him, checked his ears, nose, mouth, and then ordered a nebulizer treatment.
5:20p- First nebulizer treatment began. He fought it at first but then gave in and just sat there and was such a good boy. Makenzie on the other hand was so patient. She never once asked when we were leaving as she was very concerned for her brother. She rubbed his back, sang him songs, and held his hand while he slept.
5:35p- After the first treatment his doc came back in, listened to his lungs, counted his breaths/minute and ordered a dose of Motrin to help with the fever and ordered another neb treatment. He said Brady was moving air BETTER than before but his breathing still hadn’t changed. He was breathing well into the 50’s per minute. The “normal” for a toddler is between 30 – 40.
5:45p-During this chaos I managed to text Brian and he came to pick Makenzie up. Thankfully, the pediatrician’s office is less than 5 minutes from our house. Brian came picked Makenzie up and fed her mac n cheese from Noodles that I had strategically bought before I got to daycare earlier.
6p- Second neb treatment which he slept through the entire thing.
6:15p- Doc came back in, checked him out once again. His breathing still hadn’t changed so the pediatrician ordered us to go to the ER in Naperville for a chest X-Ray. He also said we may be admitted based on what he was seeing.
6:30p- I got Brady into the car and we drove home quick to pick up a few little things. Mostly diapers, wipes, a change of clothes for Brady, and a snack too since I hadn’t eaten anything since well before 11:30a.
6:55p- Pulled back out of the driveway and Brady and I were on our way to Edwards Hospital in Naperville.
7:20p- We walked into the ER and were taken back right away as his pediatrician called and told them we were coming. Brady was hooked up to an O2 monitor and given 30 minutes of nebulizer treatments right off the bat. His o2 sats were 89% and he was breathing between 52 breathes per minute.
8p- Chest x-ray was done (he hated). They swabbed his nose (he equally hated). Took his blood pressure (annoyed the shit out of him having something on his leg), took his temperature (didn’t mind), and lastly put him on oxygen to help him breath. At this point, he was too tired to care so he didn’t fight it.
8:15p- The on call pediatrician came in to talk with me and said the neb treatments were not helping him and his 02 sats were too low for me to take him home. They wanted to monitor his vitals overnight so we were going to be admitted and they were working on getting us a room. They also gave him a dose of Azithromycin for his pneumonia.
8:30p- The pediatrician from the Pediatric Care Unit/PICU came down to talk with me. She said the radiologist confirmed pneumonia but she wasn’t convinced just yet (waiting for the nasal swab for extra confirmation). She also said we could skip an IV for now but if Brady didn’t start having some output or drinking fluids, they wouldn’t hesitate to put one in. So I pushed water as much as I possibly could with him but he’s a stubborn little guy. She said they were going to give him a breathing treatment every 4 hours and chest therapy every 4 hour which sounds scarier than it is. It’s a little rubber devices that they “pound” on his chest, avoiding the cardiac area, to help loosen up all the mucous in the lungs.
9:30p- We got wheeled to the PCU/PICU. Brady was exhausted and confused. I was exhausted and hungry. The night before this all happened, both Brian and I went to bed at 9p as we both were struck with a little tummy bug. I felt awful all night long and I woke up that Thursday morning to Brian dry heaving in the bathroom. So I ate a very small lunch at 11a and that was it for the entire day. When we finally got to the PCU/PICU I was so happy to see a small bag of Goldfish and snack items in his room.
9:45p- Took his measurements (weight, height, head circumference). Got him dressed in his hospital gown. Hooked him up to the monitors. I was told to save all diapers so they could weigh them. I tried to push water, milk, apple juice. He said no, no, no. The nurses got Brady settled in his crib and he actually did really well. The rest of the night was a blur but here is what I remember.
10p- Brady was dozing on and off in between me trying to shove water down his throat which he did not appreciate.
10:30p- Texting with Brian and called my mom.
11:30p- First nebulizer treatment in his room. He didn’t fight it. He just laid there, very tired. After the neb treatment, she did his first chest therapy treatment. 2 minutes of pounding on the left side, 2 minutes of pounding on the right side. Again, he didn’t seem bothered by this at all. He actually seemed to like it.
12-3a: He was really restless during this time. I imagine part of the blame was on the albuterol. He had gotten 6 treatments in a matter of 5 hours. He was tired but his little legs and arms kept twitching. I remember when I was younger and had to take my inhaler, I hated how it made me feel. Very jittery and shaky. I can imagine that was how he felt x10.
1a- o2 monitor would beep every time it would drop under 93%.
2a- Night nurse came in to take vitals. Fever was up to 102.5. I had JUST fallen asleep when I heard, “HI!” He was greeting his nurse and boy she fell hard for him! She also asked if he had drank much of anything and he didn’t.
2:15a- No better time than force feeding my child a cherry popsicle. I had a better time in college trying to kick drunk, feisty people out of the bar than the struggle this little guy put up over a popsicle. That is, until he gave in and took a lick. Then he turned into a ravenous bear, eating and biting it.
Post cherry popsicle.
3a- I knew it was only a matter of time before respiratory would be back in so I didn’t even attempt to fall back asleep.
3:15a- Second nebulizer and chest therapy. He slept through this entire session which was so sweet.
3:20a- I decided to ask for some Normal Saline solution and take my ever so dry, crusted to my eyes, contacts out and try to get some sleep.
6:55a- I woke up to another, “HI!” I rolled over only to see Brady staring at me through the crib bars apparently waiting for me to get my lazy ass up. I rolled out of bed and changed his diaper. Good sign. Pee and poop is good. His poor nose was crusted which meant we got to try the wall suction. Can I just say, I want one of these in my house. I have the Nose Frida which I get a very gross satisfaction from all the boogers I suck from his nose when he is sick but this hospital grade wall suction was AMAZING. At least I thought so. Brady, not so much.
7:15-8:45a- He and I watched Frozen, ate snacks, drank more water, and snuggled during this time. The pediatrician also came in and said he did really well over night. He was able to sleep most of the night without oxygen and his 02 sats started off at 89% but climbed up to between 94-97% throughout the night and were maintaining 97/98% in the morning. She said his nose swab came back positive for RSV but the micros that they tested for pneumonia came back negative. She said the soft tissues in his lungs were inflamed but she still wasn’t convinced and therefore not going to treat him for it but was sure we would be able to go home that afternoon. She also said that days 4 and 5 are the worst for RSV which was very apparent for Brady’s case.
8:45a- Brian came to give me a little relief and I headed out back for home to take a shower, get a quick bite of food, some Starbucks, and head back to the hospital.
9a- I left and Brian took over Daddy duty.
9:15-11:45a- Brady got some much needed cuddles on daddy taking a 2.5 hour nap.
11:45a- I got back to the hospital with food, Starbucks, a change of clothes for Brady, and a few toys and books.
12p- The pediatrician came in and said we were free to go home! We were told to continue with the nebulizer treatments at home as needed and give Motrin if he seemed uncomfortable or for fever. She said he “should” be fever free by Monday and if he wasn’t to call and let them know. We were told to watch for the things that brought us in, in the first place.
The rest of the weekend was spent snuggling, sleeping, and just relaxing. He had been fever free since early Friday morning and the fever did not return at all over the weekend. His breathing was much better and the only lingering symptoms right now are the horrendous, hacking cough and constant runny nose and mucous/snot. So – Much – Snot. His appetite is ok, though not what it normally is, but he is definitely on the mend.
Makenzie on the other hand….
I just said to Brian the other day, “Makenzie hasn’t been sick in a really long time. Not since she got scarlet fever last year.” I never should have said that. Its like I was just taunting the universe.
I got a call today from daycare that Makenzie had a fever and wasn’t feeling well.
Sigh. It’s definitely cold and flu season in the Midwest. I’m just hoping hers is short lived and she will be feeling better in no time, right along with her little brother.
Saying goodbye to Ronald McDonald and the Ronald McDonald house in the PCU/PICU at Edwards Hospital in Naperville.