Monday, April 16, 2012

Grayson's Hospitlization Part 1: The ER

Hello there blog.  It has been almost a year since I have seen you last.  I would make excuses, but who has time for that.  The reality is that I am here now and I have a very important story to tell.  This blog, back when it was active, has always served to document our lives, the good and the bad, the exciting and the scary.  Well, a few short weeks ago, I have never been more terrified in my entire life.  It started simply enough.  Perron started coughing over a  weekend.  I wasn't alarmed.  I assumed it was allergies due to the early spring we have had.  Well, by Monday the cough had turned into a fever and a full blown cold.  We toughed it out and I tried to keep the boys separated as best I could.  For those of you with more than one child, especially one child who is a very exciting to big brother newborn, you know that is impossible.  We took Perron to the pediatrician's on a Thursday and he was diagnosed with a sinus infection and put on antibiotics.  All was well in the Crigler household...until Saturday.

We went to the zoo with my parents Saturday morning and I remember mentioning at some point that Grayson was getting a stuffy nose, but I didn't think much of it.  Then some of our sweet friend brought dinner over for us Saturday night.  While they were there I felt Grayson's head and he felt really warm.  I took his temperature and it was only 99.9 degrees, elevated but below the 100.4 cut off.  I called the ped's office and she paged the doctor on call because Grayson was so young (17 days old at this point).  The doctor told us we could hold off on going to the hospital but if anything changed she was sending us to the ER.  He stayed about the same Saturday night and still had an elevated temp on Sunday so she sent us in to get checked out.  We were checked out and at that point there was nothing really they could do so we were sent back home.

Fast forward to Monday.  I woke Grayson up to feed him at about 7 am and he went directly back to sleep.  I had to go to the grocery store since I hadn't gone over the weekend due to his illness, so I left Grayson with the nanny and headed out.  When I got back home he was still sleeping.  I thought he might be wheezing some and I could see his clothes moving as he breathed, so I knew he was working a little hard to breathe.  I called my dad, who is a doctor, and asked him what he thought a newborn wheezing sounded like.  He basically said it sounds like going to the doctor's office.  I don't know why I was so hesitant, but I guess I was afraid that I would look like some paranoid first time mom, even though this was my second child.  Luckily after my mom called and said dad had called her, I agreed and made an appointment for 10:45.

My mom and I took him in and we got to see the same doctor that we had been working with over the weekend.  Our regular pediatrician was in Africa on a medical mission for two weeks.  We saw the FABULOUS Dr. M and she said that although is oxygen saturation was 98 percent she didn't like the amount of work he was having to do to breath.  He was retracting and doing some very slight grunting at that point.  She said she was sure that they were going to laugh at her for admitting us, but she would feel most comfortable admitting him for observation.  She said she was sure we would just be in there for 24 hours and things would be fine.  I completely agreed, because I was sick of being a nervous wreck at home watching him 24 hours a day.  She said that we didn't need an ambulance and we could just go straight to the ER and we could be admitted through there.  She called ahead and let them know we were coming.  I still thank God to this day, and I will forever, that she had the foresight to send us to the hospital immediately.

So mom and I loaded up and headed down to the hospital.  I was perfectly calm and relaxed.  I called Stephen and let him know what was going on.  I told him to leave work and go home and pack us a bag, get lunch, and meet us at the ER.  I called the nanny who was with Perron and let her know what was going on.  I was chatting and having a gay old time in the car.  In fact, I even went the wrong way to the hospital because I wasn't paying attention and was headed back home until my mom asked me where I was going.  Long story short, the entire time were were in the car was probably not more than 15 minutes.  As we were coming off of the highway, I happened to look in my rearview mirror at Grayson and he looked horrible.  He was gray and he was working so hard to breath that I could literally see his head jumping up and down in the mirror.  I asked my mom to turn around and look at him and she agreed that he did not look that good.  At that point, I had her take off her seat belt and turn around in the seat and watch him the rest of the ride to make sure he was still breathing.  It's funny because I clearly knew that he was worse, but I didn't know how much worse and I was not really panicked at that point.

We get to the ER and I take Grayson in while mom gets all of our stuff out of the car.  I head to the triage desk and tell them that we were the people who had been sent in.  The triage nurse asked if he could listen to Grayson really quick.  I pulled back the blanket that had been covering him and he listened to him for two seconds and said that I needed to come back to the triage room.  I quickly got him out of his carseat and the nurse put a pulse ox on his foot.  I looked at the machine and it said 78 (it should be a minimum of 92).  I remember asking the nurse if that was accurate.  He didn't answer me and quickly but the pulse ox on his other foot.  The reading came back as an 80.  The next thing I know he was yelling come with me and we were running through the ER trying to get to a room.  We got to the room and two nurses and a respiratory therapist started working on him.  I will never forget that scene for as long as I live.  Grayson was a horrible grayish, white, his capillary re-fill was 7 seconds (it should be less than two), he was retracting so hard that I could see each of his ribs, and was grunting so loud trying to get air in.  The nurses were trying to get an IV in him and he kept blowing veins left and right.  The respiratory therapist had a mask that was pushing 5 liters of oxygen in him and I was just standing there in total shock.  Not even 15 minutes prior he had been fine and now he is in critical condition in the ER.

The ER attending doctor came in and I told her the story and she said that she needed to get a PICU consult down to the ER because they thought that they were going to intubate him in the ER.  WHAT!!!  That is when it really sunk in how sick he was.  I couldn't believe that they were talking about intubating my 19 day old.  As I mentioned, I was just in total shock and my adrenaline was pumping like a million miles an hour.  Thank God my mom was with me.  she immediately called Stephen and told him to stop whatever he was doing and get to the hospital immediately.  She also called my dad and as soon as she said he was satting in the 80s he rushed from his office to the hospital and met us in the ER room.

They kept giving him breathing treatments, stuck him a million more time to try and get blood because his iv wouldn't return blood, took chest X-rays, and pushed several boluses of fluid to try and get him re-hydrated.  Stephen finally made it to the ER and we just stood there staring at our precious baby as he was being worked on.  The PICU doctor's came down and talked to us about the intubation process and what the criteria were for intubation and then said we had to be admitted to the PICU.  He said they were really full in the PICU so they would have to move beds around to make space for us.  They left us in the ER while that happened and again I can not stress enough that we just stood there in shock.  I didn't really cry the whole time in the ER, I was able to joke with our wonderful RN's and REspiratory Therapist (all males by the way).  The main thing I remember doing is just pacing back and forth over and over.  They finally  let me sit on a gurney and hold him and we just waited to be transferred.  When it was time to be transferred the loaded up his monitors, oxygen tank, and me on the stretcher and wheeled us off.

We were on the way to the PICU.  Stay tuned for part 2 of the story...the PICU.

1 comment:

  1. WOW!! I can't even imagine, Julia. You sounds amazingly calm during your time in the ER and even recounting the story. Thank God he is so much better and you had great medical team to help him.