Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Audrey's Stay at the Hospital

Audrey's hospital crib

Poor baby girl

Our sick little Bunkaboo

The stickers on her cheeks were to keep her oxygen cannula in place

Playing with Daddy

Audrey looking out the window

Part of our view from Audrey's hospital room

On October 4th Audrey was readmitted to the hospital - this time to the pediatrics ward rather than the NICU. She had begun to wheeze about a week earlier, and by Sunday it had gotten so bad that after her visit to the doctor's office, we agreed she should probably be monitored around the clock at the hospital. It was snowing really hard that day, so we bundled her up and headed back to St. Charles. The doctors were pretty sure it was croup (an infection of the respiratory system), so they started an IV with steroids to reduce the inflammation of her airway and began doing recemic epinephrine breathing treatments every few hours. We stayed at the hospital for 6 days and poor little Audrey had to have multiple swabs down her nose and even a camera scope down her nose into her throat. All of her flu swabs came back negative, and the scope didn't reveal anything, so the doctors wanted her flown to Portland immediately to have a bronchoscopy performed (a procedure where a scope is placed further down the airway past the vocal chords) to figure out why she was having so much difficulty breathing. The doctors were ready to have her on a flight within the hour, but Robert and I were not convinced it was the right thing to do, and just didn't feel comfortable with their plan. While we would like to know what is causing her to wheeze, the risks of exposing her to the germs of a flight to Portland and entrance into yet another hospital, coupled with the risks of putting her under anesthesia and sticking a scope down her throat (when she's already inflamed and having breathing problems!) felt riskier than just bringing her home and keeping a close eye on her. We were ready to sign an AMA (against medical advice) the next day, but thankfully the doctor on duty understood our concern and agreed to send Audrey home. We brought home a nebulizer machine so we can continue her steroid breathing treatments at home, and praise God, Audrey is actually doing much better! She's still wheezing throughout the day, but it is much less pronounced and there are many periods of time when she is completely silent and seems to be breathing with ease. Robert and I are so happy to be back home (we took turns spending the night with her at the hospital) and to finally be back together as a family with brother and sister! We have Audrey in our room with us at night so we can hear her breathing and keep a close eye on her, and Robert is administering her breathing treatments twice a day. Little did we know when we became parents we'd also be our babies' at-home nurses and respiratory therapists!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this update, Holly. And happy 5-months to the babes! I'm glad you guys stuck to your gut feeling about not flying her to Portland -- so, so, so important to do this as parents. And also so hard to go against a doctor's rec's, I know, when all you want to do is to do the safest thing for your child. Sometimes NOT being in the hospital can be more therapeutic than being there, no kidding! Congrats on making the tough decision and I'm glad she's doing better under her own roof at home. Sending many blessings to you all. Your family is a constant source of inspiration to me.

    With love, Sonja

    p.s. Thanks to your blog updates, I've started occasionally calling my kids "bunkaboo" which they think is hilarious. Caleb says "buck-a-boo" in immitation, so cute!