Sunday, May 27, 2012

New Years Grief - A Forgettable Way To Ring In The New Year

Sorry, Bud, but pediatrics doesn't have a ball drop
By Joel Brens

Since we have been out of the hospital we have been fortunate that Jayden has maintained relatively good health. He has had the sniffles and a cough probably a half dozen times or so. We were always happy to see him rebound relatively quickly.

This past winter was bizarre on many accounts. I am no fan of frigid cold days, and I lose interest in snow around December 27th. In a lot of ways this winter was ideal for me from a weather standpoint. Unfortunately the mild weather allowed for germs to linger. My wife got the 24 hour bug. I got the 24 hour bug, and a few days later Jayden's sniffles came back. We told ourselves that a humidifier, plenty of liquids and rest should do the trick. After a week of not seeing significant improvement we knew we might be dealing something more serious.

The next day we took Jayden to see the doctor. Much to our dismay, they heard buildup in his lungs. We were asked to go have an X-Ray done to confirm what we were concerned about, pneumonia. We were given a nebulizer and asked to give him treatments 4 times a day.

Over the course of the week of Christmas his condition was STILL not improving. We went in for a third doctors appointment on New Years Eve we discovered his blood oxygen level had dropped to 92%. That was low enough to warrant a trip to the ER. Lovely. We spent approximately 5 hours sitting in a room having my sons blood drawn, taking temp and blood oxygen levels. We were informed he would be held overnight. While we were not surprised, I hadn't considered watching Dick Clark ringing in the New Year from a hospital bed. Turns out our little trooper was dealing with a viral infection, so two weeks of antibiotics really didn't do anything. Grrr!

It had been a long couple of weeks. Sleepless nights being worried sick about about my son. Hoping every morning we would start to see progress only to land back in the hospital for overnight observation. My heart ached for Jayden. Trying to level with an 19 month old is difficult. He didn't understand why we were there. Internally, being back in the hospital drummed up old feelings about the NICU. I had to get that out of my head quickly because I needed to focus on comforting my son as opposed to being distracted by my own concerns. We got to our room and I was unnerved with the site of the "crib". For obvious liability reasons the hospital must ensure safety of a child. Large movable metal bars on either side made it look like a cage. I thought to myself "Chances he'll sleep in the crib tonight-less than 0." The thought was equal parts upsetting and funny, because what could I do? Every two hours someone would be in to check blood pressure, his blood/oxygen, listen to his lungs and administer nebulizer treatments. He was so upset. I wish I could get him to understand that the strange people who are coming in here to see you really want you to feel better. Every time he took the Nebulizer we tried to get him to lay down in the crib. He freaked out each time, tossing his body all around. We gave up on that after the second time. Luckily we were able to get him to sleep on our chests for about three to four hours. Whenever he wanted up there was a playroom not 15 feet from the room we were in. By the time the morning came around we were thrilled to find out his prognosis had improved enough to send him home. Within three days his health was back to normal. But a stay in the hospital, on NYE of all days, is something I won't soon forget.

1 comment:

  1. NOTHING worse than a sick child. It DOES get a bit better when they are old enough to communicate and understand, at least in part. Bribes, patience, and prayers.