Emergency Room Visit

Clara's first time in the hospital. Like really, really the first since she wasn't even born in one.

Why I went:
Clara had been feverish all day (March 11th) only in the 99's. She woke at night around 10PM I went in to console and nurse her (she's usually sleeping through the night and doesn't wake at that hour). When I picked her up in her crib I could clearly see that her fontanel (soft spot) was a bit swollen and bulging.

I don't remember if it was my first thought, but I quickly thought of meningitis (I knew a woman who contracted it and also read about it in a book recently). This picture points out the variety of symptoms that may or may not manifest themselves when a baby has meningitis.

Source: http://www.meningitis.org/symptoms/babies/
She almost always has cold hands and feet and had a little rash too, but my main concerns were the fever with the bulging fontanel. After not being able to reach the pediatrician/on call nurse and consulting with a friend' husband who works in the Emergency Department I decided to take her in. I would rather go and have them check her out than not have gone in when I should have. By the time we got to the Emergency Department her fever was up to 103.

Instead of a detailed play-by-play here's some thoughts from the whole ordeal.

The Good:
Anna's husband was able to advise us to go in and Anna was so supportive and willing to come be with us.
We bypassed the long wait time and were emitted to the Emergency Department quite quickly.
We we moved through their system relatively quickly and got lots of test done mostly before 2 am.
Clara was pretty good about getting her blood drawn and IV put in.
All of her tests came back with no viruses or bacterial infections positive (I guess this could be bad too)
Her CT scan was normal.
They decided to not do a spinal tap until they monitored her more --she never had to have one.
Since they hadn't diagnosed her with anything we got a room to ourselves when we were admitted to the children's hospital.
By morning she was mostly her normal self just had a fever but no more swollen head.
We had an alright nurse at night and an awesome nurse during the day.
Trevor was able to be excused from work and be with Jeremy all day Thursday.
Trevor came to the rescue with food for Clara and me.
Clara was able to eat half the lunch plate they brought for me because it was mushy peas and carrots and mushy turkey.
A dear friend came to the rescue with a home-cooked meal and comforting conversation.
Another friend brought dinner for Trevor at home.
Yet another friend took Jeremy half the day on Friday.
There was a child life specialist who brought some toys and music I could use to entertain Clara, since hospital rooms aren't generally the most baby-friendly.

Her little hand all taped up with her IV stuff

The Bad:
We bypassed the long wait time and were emitted to the Emergency Department quite quickly, jumping to the front of the line in the ED isn't the kind of fastpass that means good things!
The nurse literally tried to choke tons of Tylenol down Clara's throat causing her gag and to throw-up all over her own face, poor baby. (Why she didn't just do a few drops at a time so she could just swallow it, I will never know!)
Clara fell asleep just before they came in to do the CT scan.
Clara fell asleep just as they were moving us from the Emergency Department to the hospital room.
Clara fell asleep just as the doctors were making their rounds in the morning.
Clara fell asleep just as they delivered food.
Clara startled awake as I bit in to a sandwich.
Clara fell asleep just as they delivered food.
Clara and I got about 4 hours of sleep within a 20 hour period because of all the interruptions.
Just as I finally got a fussy, overtired Clara to bed at 6:30 PM a man came in to empty the garbage! I wanted to yell and cry. I did neither.
Every time she would get startled in her crib she would sit up or fall over and then end up bonking her head on the metal rails, with no hope of her being able to get herself back to sleep.
The hospital wouldn't give Clara food other than a jar of gerber pears (which she won't really eat because she eats solid solids like an actual pear) and the hospital refused to bring me more peas and carrots when I requested them. So frustrating to not be able to get food from the hospital for my baby!
Even though Clara appeared to be recovering the doctor seemed convinced we needed to wait another (almost sleepless) night to be discharged in spite of my mother's instinct and answer to my prayers that at this point all she needed was rest.

The victorious moment of getting her to sleep . . . moments before she wakes up again!

The Miracle:
I don't know why her head was ever bulging, but I said a lot of prayers and Trevor and another friend of ours came to give her a blessing of healing. And that she did. She recovered quickly and seemed to suffer only from a couple days of fever which ended in the anticipated rash.

Our happy Clara home again!

All and all it everything turned out fine. And I am so grateful for the love and support from so many friends and family members. I would be lying if I didn't include the parts of the story I felt were bad and though not too bad compared to what it could have been if she had actually been seriously ill or compared to friends of mine who have babies with severe health problems (my heart goes out to them in a whole new way because of our short stay in the hospital),  it doesn't change the fact that it was stressful and completely exhausting. We are so happy a feel so blessed to all be home with a healthy Clara.

1 comment:

  1. Oh poor baby and poor mommy! I'm glad everyone is doing better.