Friday, 5 November 2010
A long night
On Monday night we had to take poor little Charlie to hospital. He had caught a cold from Lil about two weeks earlier and after initially getting better he had started to get worse again over the weekend. He was having trouble feeding and couldn't sleep properly on his back because it made it too hard to breathe through his snuffly nose.
We took him to the doctor on Monday afternoon and he told us that he was in 'respiratory distress' and might have bronchiolitis. He showed us that all his chest muscles were straining to breathe properly and that his skin was getting mottled due to a lack of oxygen. Needless to say we took him straight to Emergency. (Well, my Dad dropped me off while P stayed home with Lil. After I'd been there a while I called my Mum who came in to help me out.)
They took us straight through and started to treat him immediately. They hooked up a monitor to him to check his oxygen levels and his heart rate and they did a chest X-ray to see if it was badly infected. Turns out he was oxygenating his blood quite well, but he was really struggling hard to do it. His heart and breathing rate were way too high and this was really stressing his little body.
It took a while, but after a while they hooked him up to oxygen (you can see the nasal prongs in his little face in the photo above) and he started to get better almost instantly. It was so nice to see. Not long after he fell into a calm sleep.
We were finally admitted up to the paediatrics ward after midnight. Mum was able to go home and I got to lie down on a creaky pull out bed next to Charlie's cot (between feeds and resettling him after they aspirated him a few times). They gradually dialed back the oxygen and by 4:00am he was off the oxygen support and breathing pretty well. At 5:30am a paediatrician came by and told me that they were still waiting on the test results from his mucous sample, but that they expected to discharge him later that day.
In the morning my Dad came in to help me out (and to bring in some more nappies for Charlie). I went downstairs to drink a coffee (no hot drinks are allowed in the ward) and to stare at the wall for a bit. While I was there our real estate agent called to tell me that our landlord was willing to extend our lease (otherwise we would have had to move next week), so that was nice.
Around 9:30am Lily decided that she wanted to see us and so she and P got the bus in to the hospital. She seems fascinated by all things medical at the moment and enjoyed being there when the main paediatricians did their rounds and checked on Charlie. They declared him well enough to go home and told us that his chest was all clear (it had been really noisy the night before simply because it was so hard for him to breathe, but there was no infection there at all) it was all upper respiratory. So then we just had to wait for the paperwork to get done. (We finally got home at 4pm)
I have to say that the hospital staff were all fantastic. The nurses (and we saw about 10 of them) were all simply lovely and so were the doctors and other medical staff. The whole thing also drove home to us how good it is to have supportive family nearby. It would have been so hard without the help of my parents (and P's parents would also have been there in a flash if we'd asked).
Charlie also lived up to his Little Buddha nickname. He was astonishingly calm throughout the whole experience and spent much of the time fast asleep (and much of that all by himself in a cot - a place I never expected to see any of my children sleeping!). Munchkin!