Saturday, January 2, 2010

ER and Back

Yesterday afternoon when Blair woke up from a nap, I put her in the bath, because she likes it. I noticed that she was breathing really fast and loud and retracting pretty badly -- this is when her skin sinks into her ribs when she breathes, a sign of distress. She retracts a little normally, but it was definitely a lot worse than usual, and her nose was flaring, which is another distress sign. I gave her a breathing treatment and her scheduled dose of steroid, and after 30 minutes, she was the same. I gave her another breathing treatment, and it didn't help. Since she's been sick, I've been periodically checking her oxygen saturation while she's awake during the day to make sure that it's ok. At this point, she began to require supplemental oxygen while awake, which is not normal. Her saturation was dipping into the mid 80s whereas it's normally mid 90s and above during the day. Since she's been sick, she's needed oxygen while sleeping day and night but until this point had not while awake.
I called her doctor, and he suggested that we take her to the ER and have her looked at. The only thing that made me feel the least bit better was that Blair wanted to play while we were packing. She hasn't played much in the last few days, so I was happy to see that.

So, we packed up and made the long drive to the ER over an hour away. We have travel oxygen tanks, so that was not a problem. Her breathing was not labored and she wasn't wheezing, so it wasn't necessary to call an ambulance. Plus, the ambulance here won't take us to the hospital where Blair's doctor is and where the Children's Hospital is, so if she is stable enough that we can take her, that is the best thing.

On the way to the hospital, I was very scared and nervous. I almost made myself sick. We could hear Blair breathing in the back seat above noise of the car. Her respiratory rate was around 80. We got to the ER and immediately went to triage. She had
a low fever of 100.6. They got us back in a pediatric private room and we saw a nurse practitioner. Blair, of course, was all of a sudden a whole lot better. I wanted to go home! The hospital felt so germy! They monitored her, did lab work, and took chest x-rays. The x-ray tech came and got us, and I asked him to carry the oxygen. We don't have small tanks that fit in our travel bag anymore, since she doesn't need them. We have larger mobile tanks that we use when we go away for the night. He made a comment about how they usually had a rolling cart for the tank. When I told him it was ours, he said, "My, you came prepared!" I didn't think a think about toting that tank in there, but I guess it was a tad odd!

Blair was exhausted. By the time we got settled after being worked on on and off for a couple of hours, it was after 10pm and way past Miss Blair's bedtime. She was so good though. She is the toughest little thing. She didn't even cry very long when they put in the IV to draw blood. After that though, when the nurses came it, she didn't want them to touch her! She finally went to sleep. Her chest x-ray wasn't too bad, and her labs were all normal. I couldn't believe she wasn't dehydrated. I've gotten her to take at most 10 ounces of fluid each day since she got sick, and I've tried everything! She doesn't have an infection either, which is fantastic. She is fighting a regular old cold. A cold that sent her to the ER and confirmed that we've been doing the right thing by being to strict about her seeing people and going places! I'm so thankful that she didn't get one earlier, because she might not have been able to handle it well at all.

Sacked out in the hospital. After a while, she didn't want to be held, so I sat next to the bed to grab her if she rolled.

The NP paged Blair's doctor, who said that we could go on home, and we got out around 1am with instructions to call him if we had questions or come back to the ER if she had more problems. She slept until 9am this morning. There are a few good things about our ER trip: we've seen her lungs and know she doesn't have in infection or RSV (they retested her), knowing that the doctor can help us out even better over the phone, and we got great care there.


Faris Connor said...

Oh Ashlee, how incredibly scary. Praying for Blair!

Julia said...

Ashlee! I am so sorry. I know you must be a wreck. I totally understand. Y'all have done an unbelievable job keeping her well for as long as you guys have. I hope she starts feeling better soon and you and Brad can breathe a little easier...