Friday, November 11, 2011

Rough Week

It has been a rough week in the Adam's household. Poor Mary Hyatt still hasn't been well. We have been fighting the ear infections and virus for forever it feels like. Her cough kept getting worse, especially at night, and she got to the point where she was waking up every 2-3 hours. Ben and I were exhausted. She was also VERY needy. We couldn't put her down or else she would scream, and even while holding her we often had to work really hard to keep her happy. We felt like we were going through the newborn stage again, and it wasn't fun. Since I had missed a day last week with her and she didn't seem any better over the weekend, Ben stayed home with her on Monday. On Tuesday she seemed a little better so I took her on to Cullman and actually had someone at work look in her ears. One ear was better, but the other wasn't. Although she didn't look great, she wasn't acting horribly fussy so I took her on to daycare. Her teachers ended up calling me a couple of times throughout the day because they couldn't seem to console her. I ended up leaving work for a little while to help her. After I got her calmed down, I headed back to work and pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out what to do. I made several phone calls to her pediatrician and ended up making an appointment with both her pediatrician and an ENT for the next morning.

Surprisingly enough, probably because I spent so much time researching and trying to figure out what to do for her, that night MH slept the best she ever had in the last three weeks. On Wednesday morning, I even debated canceling the appointments because she was acting so much better but decided that one good night wasn't a sure sign of improvement. So we did go to the ENT appointment but I cancelled the appointment with her pediatrician, and headed on to work since MH appeared much better. During the day, I got a text message from MH's teacher saying that said she had had a big coughing spell that choked her and that her teacher had to pull out some thick phlegm from her mouth (sorry if that grosses you out!). In my mind, I was thinking, "Great! That means its finally all getting out of there!" A little later, her other teacher told me that MH wasn't doing well. I went to pick her up and her teacher explained that after the choking incident (which apparently was a little more dramatic than I thought), MH seemed fine. She was asleep in her swing and this one particular teacher looked over and noticed that MH's face had turned completely white with blue areas around her eyes. She quickly called for the other teacher and both ran to MH. They said MH was still breathing great, but looked very very pale, almost as if her skin was translucent. It didn't last long and her color quickly came back in to her face, but they kept a very close watch on her. A few minutes later she did the same thing again.

As her teacher was telling me this, my heart sank and I wanted to burst in to tears right then. I was so scared and confused and didn't know what to do. I ended up calling another teacher that wasn't there when I got there to get another side of the story and make sure things weren't exaggerated. She told me the exact same thing, and said that after those moments and between them, MH seemed perfectly fine.

After I got home, MH appeared fine to me. She was smiling and laughing at me, which she hadn't done in 3 weeks. While I was changing her diaper, she did have a huge coughing spell where her face turned bright red and she looked as if she were choking. At the end of the cough, she had a huge, loud whistling sound. In that moment, I panicked and decided I was calling the doctor. However, as I was waiting for the nurse to call me back, she seemed perfectly fine and again I started second guessing myself. I ended up talking to the nurse who said that I needed to take MH in to the after hours clinic to be evaluated. Since I had been to the doctor and the ER about 5 times that week, I really wanted to make sure it was totally necessary. I mean, don't get me wrong, I will go to the doctor 100 times a week if she really needs it and if it means making my sweet girl better, but at this moment she appeared totally fine so I didn't want to make her go through all of that for nothing, and I also didn't want to expose her to all of the germs in the hospital if she didn't need to be there. I knew I wouldn't sleep a wink all night due to worry, but I thought I could sit up and hold her all night and then take her in to her pediatrician first thing the next morning. However, I ended up talking to 4 different nurses and explained the whole background story over the last 3 weeks along with everything that had happened that day and I continuously explained that MH looked perfectly normal at the time, but all said that she needed to be evaluated. Since she had had the pale spell with blue around her eyes, they couldn't see us at the after hours clinic and made us go back to the ER.

When Ben got home, MH was still just as happy as ever. She definitely still looked a little yucky in that her eyes were still goopy and swollen again, but her mood was much much better than it had been in a while. Ben and I both decided we would rather be safe than sorry, and since we had talked to several nurses at different practices and all said she needed to be evaluated, we would just take her. We packed her diaper bag full of snacks because we figured it would be a long, drawn out night but we had no idea what we were in for. We even laughed the whole way to the hospital because we figured the doctors and nurses would look at us like we were completely crazy bringing a pleasant baby to the ER.

While waiting in the ER, there were several small children in the room that were screaming and throwing fits. It was funny because two parents referred to MH while talking to their child and said "look, that baby is being so good. She's not crying. She's a big girl. You are acting like a baby." MH was just being a perfect little angel...but she did look a little yucky and I think she was wondering what in the world we were doing...
You can tell her little eyes were goopy and she still had a cold and probably wasn't feeling 100%...but to us, this was 100 times better than she had been in three weeks so we were thinking things were good.

Fortunately, we didn't have to wait too terribly long. When we were back in our room, a nurse had stopped by to get some information from us. While she was in there, MH let out a huuge loud screeching cough. It startled us all. In that moment, Ben and I were glad we had brought her.

The doctor came by and looked at MH and then informed us that she was afraid MH had pertussis (whooping cough) and explained that she wanted to run some tests and do an X-Ray. After the X-Ray, she told us that luckily her lungs didn't look horrible like she had pneumonia or anything, but that she could definitely tell there was some type of virus going on in there. She then informed us that MH needed to be admitted and watched over night so that they could run some more tests for a few other viruses. Ben and I were totally shocked. We had not expected that at all, but at the same time we were kind of relieved that maybe we would get this whole thing taken care of and MH would be back on track to being completely normal again.

So after several other evaluations by other doctors, they took us up to her room. Because they suspected she had pertussis which is highly contagious, they put us on isolation precautions. That meant that they put a big sign on our door stating that everybody that entered the room had to wear a gown, gloves, and a mask. We weren't allowed to bring anything in/out of the room (like an ice bucket or cups etc). By this time of the night, MH was totally exhausted and it was way past her bedtime. The nurses came by and gathered some stuff for more tests and then I put her to sleep.

She slept pretty good that night despite a few interruptions from nurses. Luckily, the doctor said that as long as MH continued to eat ok, they would not have to put an IV in. They just hooked her up to an oxygen level monitor.

They brought in these lovely chairs for Ben and I to sleep on...

The next morning, we hoped to be able to go home by lunch time. However, when the doctor made his rounds, he said that we needed to stay at least through the entire day. They came around and gathered a few more samples for some tests and went ahead and started MH on a new very strong antibiotic that would help prevent the spreading of pertussis, even though they didn't know whether she for sure had it or not. They also started giving her some medicated drops in her eyes. She spent the majority of the day doing this...

She hadn't slept that much during the day or night in seriously 3 weeks. She must have been catching up on all that she had missed. By that evening, she appeared much much better.. look how much clearer her eyes look and how happy she looks with this sweet smile...

The doctor came by and pretty much said that the results weren't back yet and that we could choose to either stay another night or go on home if we felt comfortable with it. Ben and I of course both wanted to go home. They made us watch a video about infant CPR and then had a lady come talk to us and have us practice on a dummy, and then we were free to go. The doctor encouraged us to continue giving her the strong antibiotic treatment until we found out the results.

So, we left the hospital, picked up the prescription, and headed home. As soon as we got home, we gave MH a bath and all of us were in bed asleep by 7:45. We were totally exhausted. The next day, I stayed home with MH and as of today we still haven't gotten the results back from all of her tests. The hospital and her pediatricians office both called me today stating that they weren't back yet, and just recommended we continue treating her for it regardless. They said that MH had to be on the antibiotic for five days before she could go back to school, which means that she can't go back until Tuesday. They said that they hope to have the results back by Monday, but that really it wouldn't matter since she will finish the last antibiotic treatment that day. I guess it will be more for us to inform her daycare if she did in fact have it since it is so contagious.

So, it has been a very busy, emotional and hectic week, but we feel like MH really is getting back to normal. She is still having some coughing episodes and still sounds a little congested, but she is sleeping a little better at night and has more happy moments than she has had in a while. She is also finally starting to be a little more content on her own without needing so much from us. I guess she has just been too easy of a baby for us until now, so she had to go all out on this one. I knew being in day care she would get sick often during the first year, but I just hope that next time it isn't this big of an ordeal! It is so pitiful watching her feel so badly and makes us feel totally helpless. We are definitely doing everything we can to keep her healthy during these next few months with the cold weather coming in! I'm just hoping and praying that this antibiotic works completely and all of this virus or whatever it is is gone ASAP!

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