Our fifth hospital stay since Jan 21st. Reece has had a rough year and our family has had to endure a lot of heartache watching her go through this difficult time. Less than a month after she got out of the hospital after having RSV, Turner got a runny nose AGAIN. I again thought “Reece is bound to catch this”…. But I was hoping that this would pass right past her. Sunday April 8th Reece woke up with a nasty running nose and a horrible cough. She cough’s ALL the time but this was a cough I knew was going to put her in the hospital. Monday her coughing and running nose got worse and she was sneezing almost as much as she coughed. I was giving her Neb treatments a couple times a day. Tuesday morning she woke up very wheezy and coughing around 4am we started Neb treatments and within an hour she was wheezing and coughing again. All day Tuesday I had to give her treatments about 2-3 hours apart. If I’m giving her those more than 4 hours the Dr told us to go to the ER. Just after dinner time we had the Elders come over and help Clinton give her a blessing. She was so exhausted from all her coughing and wheezing all day that by 6pm I gave her a bath and she had fallen asleep in Clinton’s arms. Later that night she threw up 2 times and I spent the entire night with her up every 2 hours coughing. At 6am she woke up crying and coughing/wheezing and throwing up. I then told myself “I have to take her in” I didn’t want to b/c I knew she would end up back in the hospital. As much as she needed to go, it breaks my heart each time we go back.
I got to the ER around 6:30am and her oxygen was at 83-85% not the best # to see. They gave her an IV, drew some blood, tested her for RSV and Influenza and did a chest X-Ray. She was negative for flu and RSV but her X-ray showed early pneumonia and a collapsed left lung (which she had back in Feb). They admitted her and we were put up in the ICU by 8:30am the Dr came in and checked her out and told me the plan. Reece was on 6 liters of Oxygen and her sats were dropping. At 10:30 am the Dr came back and checked her again and said we might have to transfer her to Spokane, she was now up to 12 liters of oxygen and not able to keep her sats up. When I saw that my jaw dropped, the max amount of oxygen you can get is 15 liters! Reece was so exhausted and sleepy. Without any oxygen her O2 sats would go down to 70-73% which was scary, I had never seen her that low before. The Dr was worried about her needing to be intubated so she was air-evaced to Spokane. I will say that Clinton was very jealous he didn’t get to ride in the helicopter, he was nervous as can be but he really wanted to ride. Throughout all this I was very calm, I think I was in shock and so exhausted. It was a nice short ride but very choppy. Reece was not too excited to be strapped to the stretcher and cried for the first 5 minutes b/c I was sitting in the front but after we took off she was sound asleep.
Once we got to Spokane she was put in the PICU. Since they are a children’s hospital they have more equipment and she was hooked up to a “high flow” nasal canella which would allow them to push more air into her without using a mask and she was happy with that. She was weaned down to 7 liters and was sating at 88-90% which they are ok with. We had a long day and Reece slept lots and by 7pm she had crashed for the night. The next morning when I got up Reece looked horrible she was pale and her face and neck was swollen, her nose was covered in dried blood and snot. I noticed she was drooling like a baby would when they are teething so I told this to the Dr. They thought she might have swollen glands or something else so they did a neck x-ray and it was normal. Later that day they weaned her down to 4 liters of oxygen and then by 3pm we had moved out of the ICU and over to the Ped’s department. She was starting to look and feel better. Her oxygen levels were looking better and we were slowing weaning her off the oxygen. She was getting Neb treatments every 2-4 hours and they were really helping, her lungs were sounding much clearer as the day progressed. By the next morning she was really perking up and wanted to go for a walk. We started the day with an upper GI test that looked good and then the x-ray of her lungs which had improved a lot. Around noon she had another study done that was called a “swallow study”. Were they gave her different foods and liquids to drink all different consistencies and watched her swallow with an x-ray machine. It was really awesome to watch. The speech therapist noticed with thin liquids she was doing what they call “micro-aspiration” which meant she was aspirating a tiny amount of fluid into her lungs when she drank THIN liquids. So from this finding we are now thickening all her liquids for a while and after she is healthy for an entire month we will repeat the test again.
Reece was exhausted by the time we got back to her room and fell right to sleep; she was completely off oxygen and was keeping her sats at 95% during her nap. The Dr came to chat with us and Clinton did a lot of persuading to allow us to leave that day. Reece had really turned a corner and we were comfortable with going home. Our wish was granted and we headed home by 6:30pm.
Reece is doing well, she is back to her normal toddler self and we have some new plans to help keep her asthma under control and hope they work. The latest diagnosis of “micro-aspiration” we hope this will help improve her chronic respiratory illnesses. Now we just need to keep her healthy and totally free from any respiratory illnesses for a month so we can see if this new plan is working.
I keep saying with each hospitalization “this was the worst” and they do seem to get worse and worse each time. This last illness was scary b/c she was on such a high volume of oxygen and seeing her yet again cough and struggle to breathe is so hard. Reece does so well and she is such a tough girl. I’ll be honest she puts a fight with some things but she does really well for her age. She gets scared and cries but after the procedure is over she is so polite and says “bye bye, thank you”! I know she will never remember this time in her life but I want to do my best at keeping record so she can have something to read about.
I was super calm and have been that way every time she is in the hospital and it kind of bothered me. But I looked back and think that it was good that I was calm. Had I been frantic and stressed things would have been very difficult. This last time, after we got home about 2 days later I broke and realized I had been holding a lot of emotions and feelings inside. I try my hardest to keep my composer while she is sick and going through everything b/c im sure if I lost control I would be a mess and I know I need to keep strong. I know with each time she is put back in the hospital and each time she gets sick I am blessed with a greater power to muscle through. I know I need to be strong for Reece. We are so blessed and I am grateful for all the help we get from my family and all those who are always praying for us and for Reece.
I found this quote and I really like it…..
“If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it”