Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Rest of the Story...

You may already know that Ethan was admitted to Duke late Saturday night. He was having some difficulty breathing around 5:30 that evening and, after placing a call to the on-call cardiologist, everyone decided that he should be seen. We never really gave a ton of details about what happened, so here we go...

About 30 minutes before all the commotion happened, we were feeding him some peas at home. Admittedly, I gave him a spoonful before he was ready. It took him by surprise, and then he started gagging and choking. This will happen every now and then but he's usually able to recover from it just fine. On Saturday, however, he couldn't quite get it together. His cry was abnormal; it was as if he couldn't take in a deep breath in. We eventually got him to calm down, but even still his breathing pattern was not right. When he would try to yawn he stopped short of taking a deep breath. That's about the time we made the call.

Ethan was worn out before we even left for the hospital.

We took him to the new-to-us Pediatric Emergency Department at Duke (which is really nice, by the way!) and got the VIP treatment. It was, literally, no more than 3 minutes between the time we checked in, and the time we were put in a room. The doctor came in just a little bit after that and we were eventually wheeled off for a chest x-ray. (I say "we" because Ethan had fallen asleep on my chest, so the both of us took a ride down to radiology, gurney and all.)

"Just making a few calls to inform my peeps."

The results of that x-ray prompted the ED doctors to get IV access and start Ethan on some antibiotics, as they were fairly certain he had aspirated.

Now THAT was a scene.

Picture this: Ethan is asleep on my chest, again, and two nurses walk in with the IV kit. I'm secretly hoping that he'll sleep through the stick (I know, I know...), but that was most definitely NOT the case. He woke up, screaming bloody murder. The first attempt was not a success. Ethan screams louder. The 2nd attempt? Not successful. The nurses switch sides, hoping to find better access in his other foot. About this time, the ED doctor walks in to tell us that they're going to admit Ethan for overnight observation. I held it together, until he walked out the door and the nurses went for stick #3. At that point, Ethan began screaming, I started sobbing, and our poor nurse is wiping her tears with her sleeve, all while attempting to get access. We were a mess.

Finally, on the 4th try, they were successful. However, not 10 minutes after all of that, the floor doctors came in to tell us that they did NOT think he aspirated, and therefore would NOT be needing IV antibiotics. Are you freakin' kidding me?! Our nurse was livid, and later apologized for "wearing her heart on her sleeve", but said watching Ethan and I cry together just broke her heart. I appreciated the fact that she took a personal, emotional interest in our situation.

A few hours later, we were in our room on the 5th floor, with IV access (but not for long) and no antibiotics. Ethan and I shared a bed through the night, which was a new experience! We spoke with many doctors; some who even had first-hand experience with the last time Ethan aspirated (read: coded). Based on that, no one was quick to rush us home. We spent the better part of the day at Duke on Sunday, making sure he was breathing fine, and working up our confidence to take him back home. By that evening, he was feeling much better and even made an appearance at a Super Bowl party!

Taking a wagon ride around the 5th floor.

I am thankful it was a short stay, but I am even more thankful that we have a wonderful team of Duke doctors just right down the street. It is so reassuring to walk into that hospital and know that someone will know us, and will be understanding of our concerns and fears. I realize that any doctor can learn a patient's history, but to be there the night they code and to see them fight for their life in days following, I think, changes the way that patient is treated the next time they're seen. I will never fault anyone for triple-checking, and we are so blessed to be surrounded by a group of medical professionals who feel the exact same way.

"Who needs doctors when we have Mr. Monkey on call?!"

Thanks to those of you who visited, called, e-mailed, Twittered, sent Facebook messages and, most of all, prayed. Y'all are the best!



Anonymous said...

Oh God....How I love that precious little baby.

Anonymous said...

That was Granma B

Stefenie said...

How scary! Glad he is doing well now. Poor guy!

Stef, Ryan, Wyatt and Logan

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