Sunday, February 5, 2012

Archer's trip to the hospital

On January 24th I took Archer to the doctor for a cough. He had been coughing for a few days but it didn't seem like a big deal. I was primarily taking him as a precaution since we were headed into the weekend. I'm so glad I did. He ended up being diagnosed with RSV, which came as a total surprise to me. We immediately put him on steroids and breathing treatments. He was doing so well, we anticipated we would be able to treat it at home with no problem. He did great the rest of Friday and Saturday. Except for his little cough he didn't seem to be sick at all. However, by Saturday night he really began to struggle. Sometime during the night he stopped eating and would wake up screaming and inconsolable. By 7 a.m. I realized that we needed to get him to the hospital. I took him to Baptist hospital here in Edmond because it is so close to where we are living. They immediately told me that he would need to be transferred and admitted to Baptist downtown. That meant an ambulance ride across town.  I may have started to freak out a little at this point as lots of difficult memories started coming back.  By 11 a.m. we were in our room at Baptist.

Archer on Friday after seeing the doctor
By that time he was really struggling to breathe. His lungs were so tired and he was having to use all his tummy muscles to help. The doctor saw Immediately and put him on vapotherm, which is a heated and humidified high flow oxygen, hoping to help his lungs out enough to slow his respirations down. At this point I had stop trying to feed him because he was breathing so hard and fast. They put in an IV and started him on fluids.

I could tell from the moment we arrived on the floor that our nurse wanted to get rid him as quickly as possible.  He was way too little and too sick to have on the floor and she knew it.  She kept hovering over him and saying "he's really working hard."  We were only on the floor a couple of hours when the doctor decided that he needed to be in the PICU. He anticipated that Archer was going to get too tired to breathe on his own a would need to be intubated. This scared me to death. I was already having a hard time dealing with the fact that we had to ride over in the ambulance and that my little guy was being admitted to the same hospital where we spent so many months with Lilly. However, when we got to the PICU, I immediately had a peace about the whole situation. The doctor did not immediately intubate, to my great releif, and all the staff were friends from our Lilly days. It was so reassuring and comforting.  Despite all my fears and reservations, the Lord knew the whole time that we needed to be in the PICU at Baptist.  All the time knowing Archer would be strong enough to breathe on his own without additional help and only Mommy and Daddy needed the comfort and familiarity of the PICU.  Only HE is big enough to turn my biggerst fear (the PICU) into my greatest comfort!!

Still my happy boy!
Once archer was moved to the PICU, my parents decided to go ahead and come into town. My mom and Scott stayed with him Sunday night. It was a lot of work keeping him swaddled so he wouldn't move around and would sleep as much as possible so his lungs wouldn't have to work so hard. By Monday, he had obviously made it through the scariest part. He was past the danger of being intubated even though he was still laboring pretty hard to breathe. Me, Scott, and my mom rotated in and out of the hospital so we could all take care of Archer and the girls. My dad held down the fort at home--keeping the house clean, kids fed, and helping Liberty with school so she wouldn't get behind. The doctor kept us in the PICU because they were so busy on the floor. This was such a huge huge blessing. There are obviously fewer patients in the ICU, which means we had fewer germs to contend with and Archer continued to be cared for by nurses we know and love!
Still happy and waiting to be discharged
By Wednesday he was almost back to normal. He was breastfeeding great and was being weaned from all the oxygen. Although he still had a cough he was doing really great and we were sent home Thursday morning.
I can't believe how quickly he got sick and equally how quickly he recovered. As hospital visits go, it had to be one of the best experiences. I truly did not anticipate being in the hospital with my 6 week old, but it couldn't have gone better. I am so thankful for my parents who made it so much easier on the girls and for amazing nurses to who immediately welcomed us as old friends and put us as ease. Not to mention our dear friends who brought us food throughout the week and prayed without ceasing for our entire family. We are so grateful.

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