Friday, March 23, 2012

Nice to be Home

It is so nice to have Ryan at home again.  He is doing so much better and life seems to have returned to our normal. 

As I have thought about our time at the hospital and the circumstances around it, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.  I am so blessed with so many wonderful friends.  Dwight was out of town and yet my family was well cared for during the entire time.  I did not have to worry at all about them. 

If you are well acquainted with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you are probably familiar with the Visiting Teaching program.  It is a program where each sister is given two sisters who watch over a particular sister.  Ideally each sister has visiting teachers and each sister is a visiting teaching.  I love the visiting teaching program. 

I am especially fortunate in that I have two amazing women as Visiting Teachers.  One has been my Visiting Teacher and good friend for several years now.  The other just moved here maybe a year or so ago and has been my Visiting Teacher and friend since then.  They are both women of influence and both are great examples to me.

I have had numerous great women as Visiting Teachers over the years and I have been so fortunate to visit women that I have learned so much from over the years.  So you might say the Visiting Teaching program is sort of an assignment to become friends.  Cool, right?

Anyway, one of my Visiting Teachers happened to call just as I was walking out the door Monday to take Ryan to the Pediatrician.  She was calling to make an appointment to come see me this coming week.  I explained that Ryan was sick and I was on my way to the Pediatrician.  I promised her I would call her back when I got home and I'd let her know if I needed anything.

So as I was following the ambulance to the hospital, I called her to let her know what was happening and that I would in fact need something.  Then she coordinated everything else with other people.  It was such a blessing not to have to worry about calling and asking for help from so many people.  I could focus on Ryan and my other children. 

Dear friends came to the hospital late at night and stayed with Ryan caring for him.  (I would say "slept at the hospital," but I'm fairly confident they didn't get much sleep.  I've stayed at the hospital enough to know there's not much sleeping at hospitals.)  I was able to go home at night and comfort my children.  This was especially important for Johnathon and Deborah who were feeling really anxious about the situation.

Other sweet friends brought in dinners for the family.  Yes, my older kids could have made food for the family, but it was so nice for them that they didn't have to do it. 

I was very proud of my children as they did keep the chores around the house done, and Jessica and David helped a lot with Deborah and Johnathon. I love that they were so thoughtful!

I also felt very blessed by the type of care we received at North Central Baptist Hospital.  We have been admitted before by the Hospitalist, Dr. Armstrong, and so it was nice to have him again.  It was nice that he remembered us.  It was also nice when the nurse, Jenn remembered us as we went back in to try again for IV.  Somehow just being remembered built confidence.  And, Jenn and CJ were so kind as they worked together seamlessly to place his IV.

The Respiratory Therapist, Max, was so friendly and I enjoyed talking with her so much. I loved our conversations. It felt like I was talking with someone I had known for years.  The same was true of several of the nurses, especially Jana, Laura, and Dannielle. They just seemed to go out of their way to make Ryan and I feel comfortable.  It felt as though we had friends on the unit.  Although I won't miss being in the hospital, I will miss those conversations and I will wonder how each of them and their families are doing.

I also feel very thankful for all of your prayers.  I know without a doubt that we have been blessed so many times in Ryan's life ... and throughout my life ... by prayers.   I know He hears you when you pray and I'm so thankful for the prayers that you offer on Ryan's behalf.  They have worked. We have seen him healed so many times.

Thank you!

PS Today is the 101st day without a seizure!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Going Home

Ryan's doctor came into the hospital room this morning and said that we get to go home!  Ryan's lungs are clear and his breath sounds are good again.  His oxygen levels are back to where they should be without any supplemental oxygen.  He is resting so much better and is breathing is no longer labored.  He is even being sent home without orders for breathing treatments. 

It's really quite amazing a blessing how quickly he has recovered from this bout with RSV. I am confident it is due to the love, faith and prayers of you and so many friends and family. Thank you!  We are so appreciative and thankful for the Lord's blessings and the miracles we see in our lives on a regular blessings.  We thank you for your faith and your prayers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The doctor had thought that perhaps they would consider sending him home this evening since we have a nurse who could administer the breathing treatments and watch him closely.  However, I'm not sure what will happen now.  He just started running a fever of 101.3 and vomited.  The doctor is making rounds now. It'll be interesting to hear what he says. 

Prayer Works

Ryan is doing much better.  They were able to take him off the supplemental oxygen and he is keeping his oxygen saturation levels up.  Thank you for your prayers.  They're working!  :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

This morning's update

Ryan had a rough night last night. He coughed up A LOT of mucous and his respiration rate stayed much too high and his oxygen saturation levels were not high enough.

This morning the doctor has him on breathing treatments every two hours and IV fluids only (no food still).  They are having to suction his nose and mouth due to all the blood and mucous that he is excreting/coughing up.  It's good that he's getting it up. 

This morning he had a tiny air bubble on his tummy and even just that small air bubble caused respiratory distress by pressing against his lungs.  Thus the need to still keep him off all food and only on IV fluids.  

The doctor estimates we will be here for 4 days.  Just an hour after his breathing treatments today his oxygen levels were only 88 and that's while on 1 liter of oxygen. We need him to be able to maintain above 93 on his own, ideally around 95 without any oxygen.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Final Update for the Night on Ryan

Preliminary test results show that Ryan is positive for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).  We're not sure if this is all that is going on, but it does certainly explain a lot of his symptoms.  I'm still waiting to talk with the doctor, but it will probably be morning before I see him again.  

He is still on 1 liter of Oxygen in order to maintain his Oxygen Saturation levels, but he is resting peacefully.  Please keep him in your prayers tonight and I'll update you tomorrow. 

Update on Ryan

Tried to get blood labs and place the IV.  Three unsuccessful sticks later and all no IV.  Thankfully, they were able to get enough blood to at least get the blood culture and hopefully the CBC.  They also did the nose swab for the viral panel.

They are going to let him rest for about an hour and try again.  I wonder if we're letting Ryan rest or the nurses.  I know I'd need to rest.  I'm sure thankful it's not me in their shoes.  I always pray for them when they are about to stick Ryan.  It's gotta stink to be in their place at that moment, especially after you miss the first one.  No normal caring individual wants to hurt a little one.

I hope the next stick works.  This little guy needs some fluid or it's only going to get tougher to place the IV.

Got it!

The PICC nurse, CJ hit the vein on the first attempt! Whewhoo!  CJ and her nurse assistant, Jenn, worked together so perfectly.  It was neat to watch how they anticipated each other's needs.  I'll be sure to ask for CJ in the future, or at the very least for a PICC nurse. 

Another Ambulance Ride

Today we went to visit Dr. Rhame because Ryan had been very sick over the weekend.  He was running a high fever (103.9), had a lot of congestion, was vomiting, and had a dark discharge from his right ear.  Ryan does not normally run fevers at all, even with ear infections, and the fevers were barely responding to Tylenol or Motrin.  Then last night he started gagging and/or vomiting with any food beyond just a slow drip of Gatorade.  

In retrospect, I probably should have taken him to the Emergency Room last night, but I thought I'd wait until the Pediatrician was back in his office.  It was just Feb 28th that we were in the Pediatrician's office for very similiar symptoms and he gave Ryan a 10-day course of Amoxicillin.  He had only finished that about a week ago.

Now it seems the same symptoms are back with a vengeance, plus a few new ones ... fever and vomiting. 

So, we arrived at the Dr's appointment and within just a few minutes after arriving, probably less than 20 minutes, we were leaving with Ryan on a stretcher in an ambulance.

Why?  Because when they checked his Oxygen saturation levels they were in the 70's.  

So Nelda rode with Ryan in the back of the ambulance and I followed them to the hospital.  When we got settled in our room, Dr. Armstrong met us.  As he walked in he said, "It's been just over a year."  He was right.  Last March we were at this hospital for very similar symptoms.  Nelda and I had just been discussing that.  We were discharged on March 13, 2011 with metopneumoviral pneumonia.  

So, Dr. Armstrong examined Ryan.  He discovered that the right ear is indeed infected.  His ear drum "doesn't look right."  It is yellow and inflamed, and draining.  His left ear is okay with no abnormal drainage.  The right lower lobe of Ryan's lung has no breathe sounds and the left lung sounds crackly.  However, it doesn't sound like last year.  

He ordered a chest x-ray, blood work and breathing treatments.  He also wants to hold off on any food for now to give his stomach a rest.  Sometimes lower respiratory stress can cause upper gi stress as well.  He'll give just IV fluids for now.