It all started with a GP visit and a diagnosed cold. A week later, his paed diagnosed Bronchiolitis, gave meds and advised us to get a nebuliser, which I gave religiously.
Add another week, A2 landed up in hospital with pneumonia. He also had crazy ear infection which led to him getting grommets on the Tuesday. By the end of that week, on the Wednesday, he was just about back to his normal jolly self. He’d even started drinking 180 mls every 3 or so hours – which was a first for him. He never received physio though. He was discharged with a sack full of medicine and I followed all the instructions to the T.
Come the weekend, he started becoming niggly and restless again. He’d drink less than half a bottle and have very short, fitful naps. At night he would moan and whine in his sleep. (We’ve since found out the high-pitched whine actually assists in expanding his tiny lungs a bit more, making breathing a bit easier. But that also aggravates his throat, causing it to become sore and swollen, which makes him not want to eat or drink. Can anyone say Counter-Productive?)
On Monday this week, it was back to the paed for us. He could only see us at 10, so A2 had to pop in to the office with me for about an hour. We got to the doc and he gave us some more of the same meds, including Adrenaline to be nebbed every 6 hours. He was weighed also, and by then he’d already lost 100gms since being discharged. The paed sent us straight to physio from his office. He also advised us that if there’s no improvement in 2 or 3 days time, he may need to be re-admitted to hospital again.
By that time my baby had last had only 100mls of milk at 1am, and it was already 10:30. I tried a gajillion times to get him to drink something, to no avail. He was also exhausted! This turned physio into an absolute nightmare, and I ended up holding him to my chest so the therapist could do her thing. She also sucked the gunk out of his nose. Oh my, what a lot of stuff that came out there! It was so thick and gunky, it actually blocked the catheter tube and was sticking to the outside of the tube.
At around 12, I dropped him at his gran’s, where he had some milk finally. We nebbed him and he promptly passed out. He had some cereal later, but no milk and only drank a small amount again somewhere around 6 pm…
The rest of the night was rather uneventful, except that he didn’t drink too much. I thought finally, we are on the road to recovery. On Tuesday, he had more physio, and the therapist didn’t even suck out a quarter of the amount of gunk from the previous day. But still, he wasn’t drinking anywhere near enough. That night however, was absolutely awful! TF and I had hardly any sleep, because A2 was constantly moaning and whining in his sleep. And I mean the WHOLE time!
Wednesday morning, we had early morning physio again. It went so well that A2 actually fell asleep during the process! What an improvement from Monday! The therapist was so pleased and didn’t even deem it necessary to clean out his nose. Yay for major improvement!!
On a side note: Because A2 wasn’t drinking anything, I was concerned that he had gone off the taste of his milk. I thought that maybe all the meds had altered the taste, so he didn’t want to drink it because it tasted yuck. So TF and I decided that maybe we should try a different brand. I bought a small tin of Lactogen 2 – because Lactogen actually tastes really good, even to my taste buds
I dropped him off again with his new milk and he had a full 120mls and I went to work with a happy heart.
However, by that afternoon, when TF went to go fetch him, he was informed that A2 had drank nothing the whole day again. This was at 4. I immediately started phoning around for new paeds (I wasn’t going to take him back to a doc that’s not fixing him!), all based on recommendations from friends (twitter and facebook). No one could give us an emergency appointment, even after I explained to them the urgency of the situation – my 6 month old baby, his whole 4 week history and stressing the fact that the child is not eating or drinking anything! One receptionist could only give us an appointment for the 1st of April!?! Thanks lady, but no thanks. The earliest I could get one for was for Friday (today) but even that was too far away from Wednesday afternoon.
We decided to take him to ER, and brought him to Roseacres Clinic in Primrose. It’s closer for us than Arwyp and it gave us a chance to see a new doctor immediately. The doctor on call checked him out, sent him for more lung x-rays and decided to phone the paed on call. She showed me on the x-rays all the white cotton-like bits, that indicated gunk. There was a lot, and it was all over. Eventually they decided to admit him over night for observation. On admission, he had again lost 250gms over the last 2 days…
The doctor was only going to come see him in the morning, but the night nurse got so concerned after my kid started performing, that she made the paed come out and see him straight away. When he arrived, he inspected A2 and immediately had him put on permanent oxygen, an IV line and some medication including Stilpain. They also took blood samples for testing.
What made me feel slightly better, was that A2 was given entirely new meds than what he had previously had. The other doctor kept on giving him the same stuff over and over. While that was helping him, it wasn’t fixing him! So WHY keep on giving him the same stuff when obviously it’s not working?
That night wasn’t unlike any of the previous nights with my sick child and I was up every 1.5 hours consoling him, coaxing him to drink and trying to get him to settle. A million hours later, it was morning again. The doc came to see him and diagnosed Broncholpneumonia, probably based on the blood tests. He reckoned it would take about 4-5 days here at the hospital…
A2 was assigned physio twice a day, where they would also suck his nose clean of any excess gunk. Because he’s so small, he can’t expel the phlegm by himself, so the sucking helps greatly! After his second session yesterday, the therapist said she could already notice a difference. Shortly thereafter, he developed a cough. Not a nice, chesty expelling cough, but a wet, wheezy tight one. This concerns me. Fortunately, he’s on direct oxygen, because I think otherwise the coughing fits he’s having would leave him gasping for breath and blue in the face. Its already taking its toll on him… The cough worsened overnight to fits lasting to about 5 minutes at a time. That’s long for a little person.
I informed the doctor about the cough this morning, but he doesn’t seem too perturbed about it. The doctor also reckons A2 might even be able to go home tomorrow (tomorrow will be the day of night 4).
That’s good news, right? Well, yeah, it would’ve been if he wasn’t coughing, or if he was drinking more milk than 150mls every 30 hours (the IV is currently sustaining him), or if he didn’t rely so much on his 6 hourly stilpain doses, or if he was off his permanent oxygen already, or if he didn’t need the twice daily physio including nasal suction, or if he didn’t need his Valoron sleeping drops to carry him through the pain at night, or if his tonsils weren’t still red and swollen (even though they’re somewhat better)…
He’s been on 4 courses of antibiotics in as many weeks. At least now he is also getting Reuteri drops.
Initially, I was fine with being assigned the current doctor, because he came highly recommended by my cousin who’s little one was here two weeks ago. But after seeing him this morning, I’m not so sure any more. Also, I’ve spoken with other parents here at the hospital, and most of them have switched docs from him to the other available one here, saying its the best decision they’ve ever made :/
At the moment, we won’t be able to switch to him even if we wanted to, because he doesn’t accept patients mid-admission, if they were admitted under another doctor. This is according to the nurses. They reckon when we come back, we should ask for the other doctor. I’m sorry, but there really shouldn’t be a next time! Right now, I’m not too sure what to do anymore.
In other news, A2′s drip stopped working this morning. Initially the nurse stabbed him twice to get it in elsewhere, but she couldn’t. Then later the senior sister was going to do it. And she did, but only on her fourth try! Apparently A2 has deep and short veins. By the end my kid was hysterical, and I had started crying too. When they were finally finished, he passed out cold! I know sleeping is good, but I hate him falling asleep in that manner!
While I prefer this hospital to the other one, I’m not too keen on the day staff. It feels though his nurse is just ‘doing a job’ and lacks the compassion required to be a nurse. The night staff are wonderfully awesome though and I wish they could’ve been on duty 24/7.
I’m also not gonna allow them to send A2 home prematurely. I may not be a doctor, but I do know my kid and how he normally is when he’s not sick. We are NOT going to end up back here 5 days from now if I can help it!
People have been asking me whether he’s been getting better and how’s it going. Honestly, this time I can’t tell you. I don’t know if he’s actually improving, as per the doctor, or if it just looks like that due to all the medicine and being drugged up all the time. And believe me, he *needs* his meds, stilpain and oxygen specially, like I need my smokes! Don’t judge me…