As I've alluded to several times, Little One got sick again. It was one long stinkin' road to recovery. Just about a month ago, to the date (of getting sick again) she had Influenza A. We thought we had our fair share of scary sickies. I thought Influenza A was bad, and it was. But this was a different kind of bad.
FYI - this is long, and mostly for my own personal documentation. Browse the pictures to get the quick dirty details.
She had her regular 6 month check up on a Thursday. Got her shots and checked out healthy. The next day daycare texted that she had a slight fever and wasn't feeling well. So we picked her up. Momma's inclination that day was that she had Influenza B - she just seemed achy and cranky and her head seemed heavy (I think I even told my Mom I thought it was the flu). However, I knew her legs could be sore from vaccinations. Saturday and Sunday came and at this point we were thinking the fever was a result for her vaccinations and irritable from possibly teething. She went through the whole weekend with a low-grade fever and just irritable. Nothing too serious seeming at the time. Monday hit and we knew she still wasn't her normal self. Around the same time, Grace had some tummy trouble and spiked a bit of a fever. There were so many variables on what Annie could have been dealing with - we just figured it was a common cold + teething + shots.
Tuesday rolled around and this Momma knew something was up. Still didn't know what. So I took her in. Basically, right away the nurses called the Dr. into our room. Her breathing was out of control, and her oxygen levels were low. She was working way too hard to get oxygen. They ended up sucking her out with small feeding tube type hoses hooked to a vacuum type machine. The nurses used the snot they garnered to bring to lab for a culture to test for Influenza and RSV. They gave her some time to rest, hoping that with her snot cleared out she'd be breathing better. No such luck. We waiting awhile in the room until the lab results came back. She napped comfortably in my arms after all the drama of getting sucked out. She was still working pretty hard, even while resting. They came back and no RSV or Influenza - somewhat surprising, and irritating because I wanted a quick diagnosis. At this point, they could still hear her breathing from across the room and her respiratory rates (RR - number of times she's breathing in a minute) were way too high. Our Dr. decided to admit her into the hospital to get it all worked out.
Of course, they had some trouble with our drama queen getting an IV set in, only took three tries! Cody and I waiting in the hallway and tried to keep a conversation going between us to drown out her little cry. Before we knew it she was on oxygen, IVs and they were monitoring her RR and oxygen levels. She had eaten that Tuesday morning around 7:30, but they didn't want her to eat until her RR was under 60 - just in case she were to aspirate her milk into her lungs, causing pneumonia. We did a chest x-ray shortly after getting hooked up to IVs and that came back with no pneumonia, but showed that her diagnosis was bronchiolitis.
Her nasty sickies went on through the entire day on Tuesday, and into Wednesday. On Wednesday morning she still hadn't improved much, if any. We'd periodically take her off oxygen to test her out to see if she could hold her own without. No luck. We stayed at the hospital on Wednesday night too. I think it was Wednesday late in the afternoon she went off oxygen completely, but still had a high RR. Thursday rolled around and she was still breathing fast and heavy and working too hard. They didn't have an answer for why she was breathing that way, when she hadn't had a temp since Tuesday and her oxygen levels were looking good. She continuously had nebulizer treatments and often got her nose vacuumed out just to keep things moving in the right direction.
So, the Dr. ordered another chest x-ray. Poor thing, scared and screaming while getting that done. My eyes fill with tears every time she gets poked, prodded, and laid out for some procedure. Her chest x-ray came back the same on Thursday as it did on Tuesday. Which was good news - nothing new. But, I was also just wanting answers. I didn't have any. Late on Thursday afternoon the respiratory therapists and our Dr. came in, we spoke about what was best for Annie, home or staying at the hospital another night. The only things she was getting at the hospital that she couldn't at home was the IV. We tried slowing bottle feeding her that day - she was so excited to eat again. It had been 2 days since she last ate from a bottle. We decided to take her home that evening, we were only a few minutes away from the hospital if we needed to come back.
Having her off IVs, in our arms, and in the comfort of our house was very nice. She perked up immediately when we got home. Was so excited to see big sister again, and THE CAT. WOW! The cat. Exciting stuff. She was still working pretty hard to get oxygen, but we were ready to do whatever it took at home to heal her fast. Nebs every four hours, snot sucker at hand, slow bottle feeds, lots of sleep and snuggles.
Cody stayed home with her on Friday, and I flew to Sioux Falls for work stuff. Half my mind was on work, half was on my sweet little. (Hope my boss doesn't read this!) Friday I was pretty concerned for her, and concerned getting her back into care and on IVs/oxygen to help her relax. We powered through. Everyday over the weekend she improved a little. Her RR dropped by the 10s each day. Thank goodness. God is good! It was just taking time, and I think Him for patience.
Through all of this, Grace of course was very concerned for her sister (and told anyone any everyone she knew that Annie was sick in the hospital). Grace did come to visit Annie briefly on Tuesday night. I was glad she did so that she could see her sister was doing okay. She had a pretty yucky vision of what it looked like for Annie to be in the hospital I think. Once Grace saw that she was somewhat alert and could play with toys and still visit with us, it helped calm her down.
You'll notice a few things in the pictures below: I was exhausted. Annie was exhausted. She loved her paci in there (I think it soothed her sucking that she wasn't able to do from a bottle). We snuggled constantly. She loves blankees (just like her mother and sister). She slept a lot (thank God!). She was trying so hard to be alert and healthy and play with toys - even the iPad. We called her oxygen monitor her glow toe - she thought that thing was pretty cool. The baby leggings (meant for crawling) were perfect for her little exposed legs and feet.
Also have to note that the first picture on the top left is after Annie and I woke up one morning. Her eye was half glued shut (still has clogged tear ducts) and I was looking mighty fine too. I probably would have looked better if my eyes were half glued shut also!
I think that about covers Annie's first hospitalization! Poor little thing.
We also want to thank EVERYONE who supported us through this. Our family, friends, co-workers and the staff the hospital and clinic. Those that sent texts, made phone calls, or just lifted us up in prayers for rest, healthy bodies, and knowledge of the staff. It was appreciated. Thanks to my Mom for driving out in some nasty weather to keep me company and to run charge on Grace. Thanks to Cody's parents, Kevin and Michele (and all my sister in laws) for the continuous check-ins so we knew you were thinking of us. Thanks to my Dad for checking in and the funny texts. Curtis - right Dad? Thank you to Cody's Grandparents who stopped down - unfortunately they couldn't get too close to her or hold her so they wouldn't get sick. And again, thanks for ALL of your prayers.
A special thanks to my best friend Jen (who is also conveniently a nurse and deals with babies everyday). I swear she has a special ability to "be there for me" in a way that it feels like she is actually in Pierre, South Dakota. Rather than 10 hours away in Wisconsin. She's impressive, everyone needs a friend like her.
And thank you to my friend Tasha in Pierre who continuously checked in on us, and offered to do anything we needed her to do. It's comforting to know that we have someone right here in town that we could ask to pick up Grace, feed the cat and dog, hang out with Grace, or just run and get me a coffee. She arranged for Grace to go to daycare with her kids on Friday and then picked up Grace and hung out with her until 8 when I got home from Sioux Falls so Cody could concentrate on Annie. Friends are amazing. I'm so happy I have good ones.
My co-workers. I feel bad calling them that - because they are really friends. My boss sent an awesome e-mail to me along with several other folks in the office while we were in the hospital. They let me know they were thinking of me, and were praying for Annie. My boss told me to not worry about one thing at work, that it was all taken care of. My manager let me know she had shared Annie's story with her mom in the southeast part of the state and her mom would sharing with her "prayer warriors" at church. It touched us. We are so blessed and thankful.
Update: for those of you wondering what bronchiolitis does, here is a small TERRIBLE drawing of the situation. Those of you with medical minds, please ignore my Lehman terms and drawings.