Monday, March 29, 2010

"You'd better get inside or you're gonna catch pneumonia!"

How many of us have been told that line before?

I have been a mom for almost 10 years and, until this weekend, had never had any one of my four kids hospitalized. We've had our fair share of sickies and injuries, but none that have required stitches or broken bones or IV's...or anything more than a quick visit to the doc and some antibiotics for treatment. I consider it a blessing...for sure!

Early last week (3/23) Owen started in with a fever. He didn't have any other runny nose, no cough, no upset stomach. Just a fever that was making him feel really yucky. I did the usual tylenol/motrin treatment and in the midst of his medicine he would perk up and feel pretty good. The instant the that meds would wear off he was instantly very feverish and miserable.

We dealt with this for a good couple of days and having been through it before, I figured his body would eventually fight off whatever it working to get rid of and he would be fine.

On Friday night (3/26) he had been sleeping on the couch next to about 10pm. He woke up and was really uncomfortable and he started to breath very strange. Quick breaths with a grunt sound at the end. It seemed like this process was wearing him out, but he couldn't seem to relax. I couldn't get him in a position that would get his breathing under control so after watching him for a half hour or so, we decided that I would take him to the ER.

We left the house at about 10:30 and got to the hospital at right around 11pm. We headed in to the ER where we happened to be the only patients at the time! The nurse quickly brought us back to take an oral temperature and to check his oxygen levels. She immediately realized that his oxygen was pretty low (not crazy low...but low enough to worry) and that he had a pretty good fever.

She got him set up in a room only a few minutes later with the ER doc by his side. Poor Owen saw the bed and immediately laid down. They quickly assessed that he was very dehydrated, that his heart rate was very high (170's) and that his O2 was not in a happy place (low 90's)...and they took a rectal temp that read 103.something.

They told me that he was "very sick" but that they didn't know what it was yet. After one failed attempt at starting an IV they managed to get one in on only the second try! This was a feat for them as he was very dehydrated and he's just little so that makes hitting a vein very difficult. They had just been given this little machine as a trial that used some sort of light (maybe UV?) to help find the veins. I'm pretty sure that without that, they wouldn't have been able to find his vein. They were very concerned about Owen because he hardly fought the IV process at all...he just didn't have the energy. He was sad though..he cried and said "Owwwwe!" was sad.

Once they got the IV in they started pushing fluids right away. They monitored his O2 levels for a while and his heart rate and eventually he calmed down a little bit. As soon as they got him calmed down a bit he went back for an xray. Owen was too cute...he was SO sick and had zero energy, but as he was being wheeled down the hall in his bed he said "weeeeeeeeee!" in his little pathetic energyless voice. The nurses could not get over how sweet he was as he thanked them for giving him drinks and was just a sweet sweet boy the entire time.

Sure enough, the xray showed a clear pneumonia..a bacterial one. IV antibiotics were started right away and we were told that we were getting a room in the ICU (not because he needed intensive care, but because he needed constant monitoring and there was a bed open in there). After some more waiting while paper works was filled and nurses and docs reported all of the 'happenings' we were finally brought up to the ICU at about 2:30 am.

We stayed in the ICU from then until Sunday. The nurses were super great. The continued to monitor him and his breathing was still not good. His fever stuck around for all of Saturday with mid 90's O2 levels. By Saturday night, his fever seemed to be more under control and his O2 level was back to 98 or so. I knew he was starting to feel better. He slept for probably 8 hours of that day. He would sit up to watch tv, but after 5 minutes or so he would get tired and his grunty breathing would start again so he would ask to lay back down and would always go right back to sleep.

This whole day was just Owen and I, because everyone else that I knew was involved with the One Voice Easter show. Cindy took Ethan and Luke for the day and Josh and Jessalyn did the One Voice thing. Then my mom took Jessalyn, Ethan and Luke for the night so that Josh could come out and visit at the hospital. Granny and Papa came to visit too! Even after sleeping for most of the day, Owen went right to sleep and slept all night long. A second dose of IV abx was started that night and by morning with two doses of abx and LOTS and I mean LOTS and LOTS of prayers, he was much better Sunday morning. Still definitely sick, but I felt more comfortable taking him they let us leave.

We were able to make it for the Sunday afternoon One Voice show, but that definitely wore Owen out. By the end he was pretty grunty again...but managed to relax. He slept well Sunday night at home ( and out of my bed) and as of now (Monday) is ok. He is still pretty grunty at times..but I am told that it will likely take a week or so for his lungs to heal. It is much harder to keep him resting at home...he wants to play with his brothers and sissy. One trip up the stairs or around the house and he gets very tired and the grunting starts.

We will go in later this week for a lung check and hopefully there will be a noticeable improvement.

Owen has certainly been a sweet boy throughout this whole ordeal. today as we were leaving to pick up the kids from school in the rain I told Owen "you better put your hood on...its raining outside and you'll catch pneumonia! Oh already have pneumonia."


Kann said...

Poor Owee! My boys were praying for him and were very concerned! i am glad he is healing well! Praise God!

Anonymous said...

Kristin, so sorry to hear about Owen - such a scary thing! I am dreading that first ER visit myself. It is so hard with kids to know when to go and when it isn't needed. Kiss him for me.