Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

PICU

on April 30, 2014

The smell first hit me as I was riding in the front seat of the ambulance.

Sterile, yet pleasant, like nurses and latex and clean receiving blankets covered with blue and pink feet.

We are back in the hospital.

As I wrote the other day, Tessa has had a cough and a fever for a couple of days.  We decided to take her to the doctor to have her checked out.  She seemed to be breathing a little faster than normal and had not been able to eat as well as she normally can.

In the doctor’s office, the nurse wanted to get an oxygen level reading on Tessa to make sure her levels were good.  This is a reading that we are very familiar with.  It’s the blue number on the monitor.  We know quite well that it needs to be in the upper 90s-100.

It’s never a good thing when the nurse tells you that she doesn’t think her machine is working right and wants to try a different one.

When she left the room, John peered at the number.  77.  We knew that we were hospital-bound.

The nurse practitioner that we were scheduled to see came in quickly, did another reading on the new machine and said that she was sorry to have to tell us this, but she was going to call 911 and have the paramedics take us to the ER because Tessa was in respiratory distress.  Soon her pediatrician was in the room explaining things to us in more detail.  She was working really hard to breathe; at one point they counted 100 respirations a minute.

Meanwhile, Ellie is sitting next to me playing with my iPod and announced that it was time to dance.

The paramedics loaded me up onto the stretcher, Tessa in my arms, and sent us to the hospital.  It’s kind of odd to be wheeled out through the waiting room holding a teeny baby in an oxygen mask.  People stare.  I totally would stare, too.

Once Tessa and I left, Ellie looked up at John with a little quiver of the lip and he told her that everything would be fine.  She responded, “Yeah, but where are those boys??” She was far more concerned about the paramedics being gone!

In any case, we ended up in a Pediatric ER and once we had her stabilized there, they transferred us over to the hospital where Tessa was born.  We wanted to be where her doctors were, where her records and history were already established.  On the way over, they put her into a little isolette (one of those incubator things) and she was MAD.  Literally and figuratively, Tessa does not like to be put into a box.  She likes to be free to be herself.  🙂

Here is what we know:  Tessa has pneumonia in her left lung.  We have her on an antibiotic to fight any bacterial infection that may be present and are testing for viral infections.  She does not have RSV.  They are doing a full panel to try to find the cause of her illness.  When we were leaving the ER and headed to the NICU, she was on 100% oxygen.  She’s now down to 65%.  They have her on a Bubble CPAP (same type of thing used for sleep apnea).  The goal today is to get her off the CPAP and onto the high flow oxygen.  She has been on an IV for nourishment and they will place an NG feeding tube today so that she can get some food in her tummy.  She has felt very, very hungry and, like her momma, when she’s hungry, everyone suffers.  A full tummy should bring back some smiles!

Also, Ellie has pink eye.

When it rains, it pours.

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5 responses to “PICU

  1. This breaks my heart. I will be praying.

    • Maggie says:

      Thank you!! Just taking everything one day at a time and trusting that God is in control. It’s tricky, but she’s already acting more like herself.

  2. Oh my gosh! Literally been there! I can visualize every single thing you are writing. I’m so sorry. I’ll be praying for answers & home soon!
    xo

    • Maggie says:

      I have been thinking about you guys and your struggles and it’s been comforting to know that you have come through this in one piece. This totally sucks but at least we know we aren’t alone.

  3. […] warm weather, broke, and cranky, pneumonia struck and we spent a well-documented week in the PICU (here is the […]

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