So a little background. The last few mornings, Mommy has been waking up feeling like she is on the verge of getting a cold and last night after soccer she felt so crappy she finally took some allergy meds which helped a lot. She still wasn't convinced it was a cold until....
10 pm last night my parents hooked me up to my pulse oximeter machine and noticed my heart rate was elevated. Normally during sleeping it runs in the 80's or 90's but it was close to 120 - a sure sign something was brewing. Sure enough, the coughing started up around 11 pm - an URI was on it's way. The night was long and painful with lots of coughing from me and little sleep from my parents. Early this morning, I started to run a fever and my parents started up a feeding of Pedialite to prevent dehydration. Around 6 am I was up for the morning and started vomiting up some of the Pedialite I had just been given. Mommy got me changed and Daddy headed off to work. I went upstairs to hang with Grandma in the morning so Mommy could try to take some conference calls from home. By 7:30 I was feeling a little perkier and having some crackers and milk and a few hours later Grandma added some formula to my Pedialite since I seemed to be holding it down okay. By mid-morning Mommy was feeling a little better but that all changed at nap time. My oxygen saturations were terrible at some points (80's) and my heart rate was in the 160's. The worst, though, was my respirations. Although Mommy doesn't count them normally she could tell I was breathing REALLY fast and doing a lot of "belly breathing". So at 2 pm she called the pediatrician's office. Tonight was going to be my first appointment with Dr Norlin so she was hoping I might be able to get in a little early. Unfortunately, Dr Norlin didn't come on shift until 5 pm and all the other pediatricians were booked. The nurse listened to my symptoms and requested that Mommy hook me up to oxygen ASAP and head to the ER at Primary Children's. So off we went. Mommy tried to concentrate on the drive while Grandma tried to entertain me.
Once at the ER, Mommy got the receptionist what she needed. She told Mommy that her sister was a preemie and had a trach until she was 6. It's a good reminder to Mommy that trachs aren't completely unheard of out in the community. Just after getting all the paperwork completed, I got called right back to triage where a nurse and a respiratory therapist (RT) were waiting. As usual a trach patient who is SOB (short of breath) catches people's attention. They immeadiately hooked me up to oxygen and it only took about 15 minutes to get into my own room in the ER. Luckily, my saturations jumped right up with the oxygen so I was nice and stable while we waited for the chest xray to rule out pneumonia. Not surprisingly, there was no pneumonia which meant either a viral or bacterial infection. To rule out one or the other, I had to get a culture from the secretions in my nose and mouth. This was new for Mommy and I since UC Davis never took cultures and it wasn't a pleasant experience. I did okay while getting suctioned from my trach but when it came time to suction out of my nose I was a fighter and it took everything Mommy had to hold me down. Shortly afterward, though, I decided to "call" Papa on Mommy's cell phone and tell him how badly I had been treated as you can see in photos above. I started to dose a little but got woken up by a finger poke but that wasn't too bad and I kind of liked the cute band aid.
After the xrays, culture and finger poke, the ER doc let Mommy know I was going to be admitted and they were just getting all the paperwork completed. Since Dr Norlin hadn't yet established care with me they were going to have a hospitalist quickly take a look at me and get me admitted. Around 5 pm we were good to go and we all headed up to the 3rd flood and my waiting room. Because I seemed manageable, instead of going to the PICU I went to the Children's Medical Unit where I have a private room. But because of the trach, I have a tech that sits right outside my door 24/7 to monitor me - as far as Mommy is concerned that is the best of both worlds - a little privacy but someone close by to make sure I am doing okay. In addition, because of waiting for the cultures, I am on transmission precautions. That means that anyone from the medical team that comes into the room is required to be gowned, gloved and masked. However, my family and I don't need to be while in the room. But I can't leave the room myself for the time being.
For the first time, I am in a big girl hospital bed instead of a crib which Mommy appreciates. This is one hospital stay where she won't be climbing the crib rails to get into bed with me. I was starting to perk up a little so Mommy started up the TV and her and grandma waited as medical folks came in and out to ask questions and get me stabilized. I was still on oxygen and hadn't had a feeding for several hours and my fever was returning. I got a dose of Tylenol and the IV team came by to get my IV in place for fluids. Now, if you have read my blog over the years the IV is usually a very dramatic process - usually taking hours and multiple candidates to try to get it placed. I had just fallen off to sleep when they arrived and I kid you not that I just about slept through getting my IV had it not been for the stick itself. The nurse whipped out the light, found a vein immeadiately, washed my arm with alcohol and got the IV in on one try. Mommy swears it was about 30 seconds but no more than a minute for the entire process. She was ecstatic! With the IV in, I finally got some fluids and was starting to feel a lot better. About that time, Daddy and Papa showed up so Daddy stayed with me while Grandma, Mommy and Papa went to the cafeteria to eat. On the way, Mommy ran into someone she worked with several years ago - she is still amazed she was recognized since she hadn't showered in 24 hours and looked pretty ragged.
My grandparents and Mommy had an nice (short) meal while Daddy rocked me and then when they got back my grandparents went home for the night. Daddy had brought some items for Mommy and I to keep us entertained and he went home as well. Mommy got settled into bed with me and it didn't take me long to fall asleep. Although Mommy knew the day would come that I would have an admission in Utah she wasn't quite planning on it happening so soon. But she has to admit that Primary Children's is head and shoulders above any other hospital experience we have had to this point so if you got to be sick this is a great place to be!
Peyton Nicole Smith