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Baby RayRay fights off respiratory therapist & pneumonia!

By January 30, 2012 , ,

Thursday night was a rough one in our home. It was like a switch flipped. One second we had a healthy baby girl on our hands and the next second our Sweet Baby RayRay was screaming, vomiting (five to six times), breathing heavy, feverish coughing, congested... I think you get the picture. Friday morning, I called my boss and said I wouldn't be in to the office and then made an appointment with the pediatrician for RayRay, the first available time. She has been sick alot and usually there's not alot they can do for the common cold, but something about this was different.

Once we got to the doctor's office and met with the nurse practitioner, she took RayRay's vitals and easily noticed her heavy, labored breathing and weezing. She gave her a breathing treatment and checked her oxygen level. It was 85. Now I don't know much about oxygen levels, but apparently 85 is really bad. The nurse said she'd get the doctor, then three additional nurses rolled in with an oxygen tank for my baby girl to try to get her oxygen level up. It was a scary scene. The doctor sat down on her swirly stool, got out her stethoscope and checked RayRay's breathing. She confirmed she had pneumonia in her upper lung lobe, as well as an ear infection, in addition to dangerously low oxygen levels (hypoxia).

Next, she tells me we are going to have to admit RayRay to the hospital. The what? The hospital? She asked me which hospital - the local one or St. Vincent's Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. I've never had to make that kind of decision ... I felt like my mouth was moving, but no words came out. I was pretty scared at this point, I mean how bad is this?! My go to - on medical decisions for RayRay is the pediatrician - what would she do - she is a mother, a well-respected pediatrician and absolutely adores my girl. She said to go local and if it gets worse we'll have to transfer her.....ugh.

We head on over to the hospital and check in to our room. The last time I spent much time at a hospital was when RayRay was born a year and a half ago, and I'd prefer to keep it that way. We get settled in and eventually the nurse comes in bearing gifts and goodies - stuffed animals, books, the works. Then she breaks the news, RayRay will be put on an IV antibiotic, needs a chest x-ray and blood work done. Oh holy moses. How on Earth will we get an IV in my wiggly little baby's arm?

First was the chest x-ray ... easily the least frightening of them all. They put my girl in this egg like contraption where her feet stick through two holes in the bottom and her arms fit through these two plastic sleeves straight toward the air. It was pretty silly looking, but she battled through that experience with relatively few tears. And the best part was (there wasn't a whole ton of highlights), we got to ride in a wheelchair on the way down and the way back up.

Once we got upstairs, it was time to put the IV in, I think the nurse wanted to do it even less than I did. I could tell she was a little nervous, which only continued to elevate my nerves and stress level. Big D was holding her upper body and I was at her feet. Two nurses were at her left arm, trying to find a vein. I can't quite put into words how terrible this was to witness as a mother. Your child screaming and literally convulsing in pain and agony as she's poked and proded with an ugly needle. The nurses couldn't keep the needle in, it was popping all around her poor little arm. Tears streamed down my face. Honestly, I just wanted to grab her up and take her out of there after what seemed like the most tortuous experience of my (and no doubt her) life. But I knew in the end, this was her best chance at getting well again. Eventually, they got it in and got the IV running and we all breathed a sigh of relief. After SEVERAL minutes, RayRay finally calmed down - but I didn't mind holding her and rocking her - I think I needed it as much as she did.

As she was sitting in our lap several minutes later, I looked down at her hot pinked bandage wrapped arm and her little fingers sticking out were a shade of purple-blue. I called the nurse in and asked if this was normal. She said absolutely not and pulled back the bandages/tape. The needle came out and the IV fluid had filled up in her arm/hand. Her little hand/fingers were blue and her hand swelled up to the size of an orange. At the same time, my eyes filled up with tears and I finally just lost it. All I wanted to do was help her, but I felt like it was just getting worse.

Once the IV was out, I found myself just holding RayRay tight in my arms, rocking her with tears in my eyes. Thank goodness, the nurse confirmed we wouldn't have to put another IV in and the swelling would go down. I'm not sure if I could've handled another IV event - but I would've if needed. Because that's the kind of stuff moms do. They roll up their sleeves and take any hits necessary for their children.

Next up was the breathing treatment - basically an oxygen mask with air flowing filled with albuteryol sulfate for 10 long, drawn-out minutes. I find myself in tears again, trying to restrain my poor sweet girl from taking out the respiratory therapist or grabbing the mask and using it as a weapon against us. She is so strong - she certainly didn't want to be restrained, no less have a mask on her face. More screaming, convulsing, sweating - it was bad, folks.....more ugh.

After some blood work and several more breathing treatments, the doctor noted significant improvement and thought if things continued to improve through the night, we'd go home on Saturday. I stayed with her at the hospital overnight because I couldn't imagine being away from her. Actually both Big D and I passed out in the hospital bed, while RayRay finally gave up earlier at 10 p.m. and fell asleep in her hospital crib (which I might add looked like a lion cub cage).

The next morning and through the night meant more blood samples and breathing treatments, a struggle everytime. But happily, the doctor released us that afternoon and we were homeward bound. My girl was soooo glad to be back home running around the house - laughing and smiling, even though she'd lost her cute lil voice because she'd cried and screamed so much the day before.

So here we are now with a daily oral antibiotic and regular breathing treatments every 6 to 8 hours.We've found the best way to give her the breathing treatment is when she sleeps - she hasn't woke up during a treatment yet. Cross your fingers ... still one more to do tonight.

All I can say, is that I'm happy to be home (nothing fun about a hospital) and I'm so glad that the worst is behind us. RayRay is well on the road to being her healthy, happy self. But this was a serious scare for this Hoosier momma - not something I felt very prepared to deal with. It's an emotion that I've never tapped into before. When your child is sick and in the hospital on an IV - its frightening and you feel helpless. I know it's part of being a mother and I hope that I can learn something from this experience though I'm not sure what that is yet. One thing I do know is the ridiculous level at which I love our Sweet Baby RayRay -she is so special, so vibrant, so every wonderful adjective I can conjur up. When she's sick and in pain, my heart aches and if I could I'd take the pain, I'd take her place. I'm learning the ropes of motherhood and boy, they can pretty a pretty emotional rope course for this momma!

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  1. So feel your pain, and we are glad your well back on the road to recovery. We had that happen to us with our oldest only we were in the middle of a road trip to South Padre Island! We stopped in Beaumont, Texas because K was running a fever and just not feeling well. We found a Med Express-type place, and they sent us right to the hospital with her in the beginning stages of pneumonia. When they took her in for her chest x-ray, Steve and two other BIG tech guys could not hold her still. She was a grand total of 2 1/2, and she fought like a tiger! She was all arms and legs then, just like her daddy! It was all very draining, and they ended up giving her a shot instead of oral medicine because she fought us so hard on that that it kept coming back out and up. So do not miss those days. We made it to the end of Texas and spent the week recovering. Crazy times!