Thursday, March 09, 2006

A night away from home

Only not in a good way. Yesterday afternoon Sophie started with a runny nose. By bedtime she was a bit noisy in breathing, and I reflected on how with her last three colds (yes so many colds are unusual in a breastfed baby, but she does have three siblings and spends a lot of time visiting childcares, schools and preschools) she has gotten wheezy and noisy, but not bad enough for me to even get to the steamy bathroom stage. This time, she woke up about 8pm, in ‘acute respiratory distress’. And oh boy, it was. She was crying, I guess because her throat was painful, and exhaling huge amounts of air as she wailed, only not able to get in the same amount of air on the inhalation as her airway was so restricted. Her lips were turning blue, she couldn’t calm down and wouldn’t nurse at all. Finally got her a little calmer, but the tell-tale pull in the throat and under the ribs as she tried to take each breath sent me scurrying to the hospital. Good call, as it turns out. Straight away they put oxygen on her (well, I had to hold the tube near her nose as they had no paediatric masks in Emergency) and then some prednisolone. Her O2 stats went as low as 79, not really what you want to see in a baby. Fortunately the pred worked its magic nice and quickly, but not quite quick enough for the doctor, who began talking about having to intubate her and mentioning that they don’t have the facilities for doing that to an 8 month old at our lovely little country hospital so it would mean a trip down to the big city an hour away. That’s really what you want to hear, with three other kids sleeping peacefully at home and a husband who has to leave for work at 5.30am.

As it was, she settled quickly enough (with a slight setback as she vomited the Panadol/Tylenol along with her dinner and possibly some of the pred, leading to that fun experience of a painkiller suppository). However, as you may have guessed by the doctor’s threats of sending her to Women’s and Children’s, he was a bit nervous about her. He admitted her and ordered her to be on oxygen all night, with obs done every hour and O2 sats three times overnight for 30 minutes a time. That lead to a nice peaceful night, with her hyped up from the steroid, bugged by the nasal tube taped to her face (I took a photo with my phone but the darn thing won’t download to the computer) and annoyed by the nurse all the time. Not to mention sleeping in a hospital cot, not snuggled next to mum like she is used to. All things considered, she slept okay, and only succeeded in finally ripping off the nasal tube at about 730am. I sneaked a bit of sleep too, and managed to end up feeling only very exhausted, not quite totally wiped.

Since Paul was unable to find someone else to cover for him in the morning, my mum as usual saved the day. She came around at 530 so he could go to work, got the kids dressed and ready, took them back to her house for breakfast, prepared and delivered the breakfast catering job we had, popped in with the kids to the hospital for a quick visit, and then dropped Ryan at school. She is truly an amazing person. Did all that with a smile, too.

While she was at the hospital with the kids, the doctor called in to see what was happening. Only, as luck would have it, it wasn’t the same doctor from the night before, but our regular doctor, the wonderful Dr Anthony. He was, as always, a pleasure. He sent us home with a two day course of prednisolone and a few jokes.

My wonderful mother took the older girls to her house so I could take Sophie home for a sleep and a long hot shower (shower for me, sleep for her). As of now, she is doing fine, a runny nose still and occasionally coughing, but otherwise quite happy.

Here's to a better night's sleep tonight!


Tanya said...

So glad that she responded to the treatments well and is home! Kudos to your mom. She sounds amazing. Hope you all catch up on sleep and rest soon.

Beth said...

Wow, what a night. I'm glad she's doing better, and I hope you grabbed some sleep as well.