Happy Easter! So my parents are feeling like slacker parents. I got lots of fun Easter packages in the mail in the last few weeks from family and friends. When I woke up this morning, though, there was nothing from the Easter Bunny! Apparently, there was some miscommunication and my parents forgot to communicate with the Easter Bunny about what to get me. Good thing for Uncle Jeff. My parents and I headed over to his apartment to celebrate his birthday with Jeff and his girlfriend. Uncle Jeff had gotten me a great big Easter basket, a huge chocolate bunny and hid eggs around his apartment for me to fine. Even his girlfriend had gotten me a beautiful lavendar stuffed bunny.
Although I was still coughing, I still didn't have a fever or any other of the normal signs of an upper respiratory infection. While everyone had a nice lunch I got to play with my new toys. Uncle Jeff's birthday was actually yesterday but he had gone to San Francisco for the day so we celebrated today instead. My parents are big fans of Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss. So when Mommy ran across an add for a local bakery and saw pictures of their custom cakes, she had a plan months ago to get Jeff a fun cake for his birthday this year. There has been an ongoing joke with Jeff on how immature it is for a man in his 40's to have a Miami Dolphins bed set that you usually only see on the bed of a 10 year old. So Mommy sent the cake company a picture of a similar bed and as you can see they did a great job making a cake that looks just like it! Uncle Jeff thought it was great and it tasted good too!
After the birthday celebration it was time to head home so I could nap. Because of the coughing I ended up sleeping in Mommy's arms while being rocked. When I woke up, though, I was in a good mood. In the evening I got my bath and my parents did my weekly trach change and then I got into bed. It took a while to fall asleep but eventually, I started to drift off. About that time, my pulse oximeter machine started alarming. Normally, my oxygen saturation level is between 96-100%. It had dropped to the 70's and when Daddy went to check on me, I was turning blue around my mouth. He quickly sat me up and woke me and then hooked me up to my oxygen tank. My parents have had oxygen in the house for several months "just in case" and were sure glad it was there. My oxygen saturation jumped back up to 100% and the blue color was mostly gone. At 10 am, my night nurse arrived. She listened to my lungs and said I was pretty gunky in all four lobes. She thought even with the oxygen and my saturations at 100% that I still looked a little blue so she recommended my parents take me to the ER. So my parents got my stuff together quickly and got in the car. They went ahead and hooked me up to the pulse ox machine in the car to monitor my oxygen levels and they brought the oxygen tank just in case. I was in an awesome mood! How fun to get to go for a car ride at 10:30 at night! And my oxygen saturations - no problem I was at 98% almost the entire way without any oxygen. My parents told me to stop looking so happy and a little more sick! We got right in to the triage nurse and on into a room. It was a quiet night in the ER and Dr. Fair Enough came right in. My parents called her Dr. Fair Enough partly because they can never remember everyone's name and partly because her response to everything was "fair enough". For example:
Dr: "How has Peyton's appetite been today?"
Daddy: "She is g tube fed and really eats very little by mouth normally."
Dr: "Fair enough. Has she been running a fever?"
Mommy: "We have been giving her Tylenol every four hours just in case so it's hard to say."
Dr: "Fair enough."
And so on and so forth...
The doctor was glad my parents had brought me in after the apnea spell but after talking with them, taking my vitals and listening to my lungs it was clear that I was just not that sick. They sent me on to xray to rule out pneumonia just in case. Normally, the process of obtaining a chest xray involves holding me down and lots of tears but I am growing up. Daddy sat me in the appropriate spot and asked me to hold up my arms in front of me and I went right along with the plan. Usually, chest xrays take 1/2 hour or more due to the struggling and having to retake them when they don't come out - today I had two xrays taken and was done in five minutes with no tears - my parents were so proud and the technician gave me three stickers for my good behavior.
A few minutes after returning to the room the doctor came in and said my xrays were clear and i was allowed to go home. In less than two hours we were back in the car and on the way home - a record! Once we got home the nurse came back to be with me the rest of the night and my parents got some much needed rest.
You know you are a frequent ER user when....
They recognize you when you come in.
Your Mom has your medical record number memorized.
You have been in every room in the pediatric ward.
You know how to get to Xray without any assistance.
Peyton Nicole Smith