Daily Archives: March 14, 2011

She Says… 1st Trip to the ER

The 1st of many, I’m sure, with our rambunctious little boy. Let me cut right to the chase — Owen’s doing great. Three days after said trip to the ER (and two more doctor’s appointments later), he’s practically symptom-free and feeling like himself again. Babies are amazing like that.

On Friday after my last blog post, we had yet another doctor’s appointment to check up on Owen’s breathing. We had seen the same doc for a few days in a row and she wanted to be very sure that Owen was improving and wasn’t on the verge of (scary) respiratory distress. At our appointment she heard some fluid in his lungs that bothered her a bit and though he was still “borderline” to be admitted to the hospital, she sent us to the ER for monitoring. She called ahead and asked the docs there to admit us overnight.

Benjamin was supposed to go out of town for work for the night and all day Saturday, and he was ready to drop everything to stay home with us. However, I really felt like things were under control and we were just going to the hospital for monitoring (it wasn’t like anything acute had happened and we weren’t rushing there… it was more of a precautionary visit). I also know that Benjamin tends to be, how do I put this, incredibly emotional in times of crises/emergency, and I’m 100% business. I figured that toting a crying Daddy along wasn’t going to make the trip any easier (no offense, honey!). So I made the decision to encourage him to go on his trip, and Owen and I headed off to the hospital. In fact, I had such a strong feeling that the doctor was going to send us to the hospital that I had already packed Owen’s bag with toys and clothes, let the dog out, and left a key in the mailbox for a friend to get in if they needed to. Always thinkin’ ahead :)

I was super calm when heading to the ER, since I had sort of prepared myself for the doctor to say that. The hardest part was navigating the drive there — Children’s Hospital in Boston may be one of the top children’s hospitals in the world, but it’s NOT convenient to drive to! When we got to the ER I calmly told the docs what the issue was and they took his vitals. Between my calm demeanor and Owen’s dimply smile, they almost didn’t take us seriously! We would have gotten more attention if Owen had been pathetic and I had been panicked, I think.

Anyway, the docs agreed that his respiratory distress was real, but his oxygen level was good, and he was in great spirits. So they had us hang out for a few hours while they looked into admitting us. In those next few hours, Owen seemed to improve a lot. He got happier and started climbing all over me and the hospital bed, his breathing sounds got quieter and his cough became more productive (which was good because it meant that he was getting the gunk OUT of his body instead of choking on it). I fed him and he perked up even more. By 6:30pm he was getting sleepy and a little cranky, since it was bedtime. The docs had come by every hour or so, listened to his breathing, and pronounced him “fine”. He wasn’t hooked up to any machines or monitoring devices, which meant to me that his situation really wasn’t that dire. I began to feel like a good night’s sleep in his own bed and continuing the at-home nebulizer treatments around the clock, might be just what the doctor ordered (Dr. Mom, that is). NOT a night of no sleep in a loud, bright, germy hospital!

I called the nurse and explained my reasoning: He was getting the same thing at the hospital as he would at home — someone watching his breathing for changes, and neb treatments every 4 hours. In addition, I added, I think he would sleep better at home, and I was a lot less nervous than I was earlier today at the doc’s office. The more I talked to the docs it seemed like they were planning on admitting me simply because my doctor asked them to, not because they thought we needed to be. So after checking with them that they did NOT see any reason for us to stay, I sort of asked them to send us home.

Just like the instinct I had to bring him in to the doc last week, even when his wheezing was very faint, I think the instinct I had to take him home was right on. At 8:30pm we arrived home, I gave him his bedtime bottle (2 hours late — my poor hungry baby!) and put him to bed. I went in his nursery to check on him many times that night and to give him breathing treatments, and he slept soundly right through them. Saturday morning he woke up still coughing and breathing kind of hard, but worlds better than the night before. And he’s only gotten better since.

Two doctor’s appointments later (just to check his breathing one. more. time.), he’s doing awesome. He’s no longer contagious, breathing fine, and as happy as can be. We’re still doing the full course of amoxicillin and breathing treatments whenever I think they are necessary, but he’s wholly cured.

Wow. So glad that’s behind us!