Friday, February 5, 2010

Broken Again

After enjoying one whole beautiful week with my "fixed" baby, poor Bethany ended up in the hospital with RSV. She has been battling a cold for most of the week, which became worse over the weekend. By Monday, Bethany's breathing sounded quite poor, and was reminiscent of Laura's respiratory crisises. For a baby who has never before shown any signs of respiratory distress, it was quite disturbing. Meanwhile, Tubby was on the same viral course, and had developed a probable pneumonia. However, he was responding well to frequent nebs and the antibiotics were making a drastic change in his sickness level.
I tried to manage Bethany the best I could at home with nebs round the clock, and we started oral steroids to try to decrease her airway swelling, and antibiotics just in case she had a pneumonia brewing as well. All she could manage was to sleep. Or cry. No smiles, or anything else at all. Despite the continuous care, she just continued crumping. By Tuesday, I was very much wishing I had simply brought her to the hospital the day before. Upon Bob's return home from work that evening, Bethany's poor respiratory status was confirmed with a borrowed oximeter......her oxygen level was resting in the low 80's (100% is good and normal!) best.

Another neb tried, with no positive result. Watching her desat into the high 70's was enough for me to pack an overnight bag for she and myself, and after a 4 hour layover in the ER, we checked ourselves into Waconia's finest B & B-----the hospital----for a few days.
Poor Bethany was pathetic and scared as she lay confined to a bed, though always in my arms(no crib for our Princess, as she co-sleeps with her Momma). Connected on one side to an oxygen saturation monitor, and oxygen tubing and an IV on the other, she really had no choice than to take it easy and rest. Rest is exactly what she needed. Well, that and oxygen. And time....simply time. Each time the oxygen was lowered, she would desat quickly....within a minute being well below the threshold for normal. Poor baby.
Alex came to visit us every morning, bringing me some fabulous coffee from Mocha Monkey, and spending time snuggling with his special little sister before heading down to Mankato for the day.
I just held my baby and cherished the sweet, quiet and calm moments with just her.
One evening, the respiratory therapist suggested that Bethany may be in pain....a sore throat....evidenced by wincing when she coughed. I had noticed the wincing too, but had figured it was reflux returning since we had just discontinued the Zantac a week ago. We decided to give her a dose of Tylenol. At least, it couldn't hurt!

My mom came to visit shortly after the Tylenol was given. She was on her way home after holding down the fort with the other seven kids until Bob got home. About ten minutes after she arrived, the Tylenol kicked in, and out of the blue, Bethany sat up like a shot, smiled, and was raring to climb over the side rails! It was so bizarre and amazing! One minute, she was just laying there like the most pathetically sad and sick slug, and the next, she was full of life and vigor! As she continued to smile and "climb" around, we decided to try removing her oxygen again. So far, she had failed each of these trials immediately within two minutes of oxygen removal.....even the test only 2 hours prior. This time, she was satting at 97%! On her own! Continuously! I don't know if the Tylenol helped ease some pain in her chest too, allowing her to breathe more freely, or what, but the waiting game we were playing as the RSV wore on appeared to be over.

She made it through the rest of the evening and through the night without of whiff of O2 from the wall unit. By the next morning, it was clear that my baby was good as new (well, despite needing an occasional neb or two), and we were sent packing back home. Oh happy day!

This season has seen a significantly virulent strain of RSV. Out of the 10 kids admitted during the time of our stay, 8 of them had RSV. Those respiratory therapists were hopping! We have been so lucky to have not experienced this before with our other kids. Laura had received shots for two years to ward it off due to her prematurity at 32 weeks, and her poor respiratory health. Bethany, though born early at 34 weeks, had no respiratory history, and had not received any precautionary measures. Poor girl. I am sad that her lungs were affected in this way....and Tubby as well. Melissa now remains the only child of ours without some type of asthma reaction. She also has an immune system of steel, and is the only one who avoided H1N1 from this fall.

Glad to be home!


MoDLin said...

Wow, you folks have been through a lot this winter! Glad to hear that Bethany was able to kick the RSV and is home feeling better. May the rest of the winter be calm and uneventful for all of you.

Alison said...

Wow, how scary! I'm glad everyone's okay. Our two youngest got RSV too - and although we didn't end up in the hospital - they were VERY sick for a couple weeks. It WAS a bad one!

Shannon (Coupon Mommy Of 2 ... Now 3) said...

Wow sorry to hear that you have gone through so much!