Monday, May 16, 2016

Been here too many times

So in the last 4 months we have had 4 visits to the emergency department. One of those was for Mr J when he was bitten by a dog and thankfully it was minor. In and out in a matter of hours! It was a Friday afternoon too so I got to go home and chill. The other 3 have been for Miss L and every one required admission and they were all on the weekend too?! So bizarre. Sadly they were all for the same thing. Respiratory distress and going downhill very quickly. Last time we were admitted a week before we left for Bali in December. When we left I asked for a care plan so we would know what to do next time. We got the letter of discharge saying there would be follow up and referrals to ENT and Respiratory but nothing came through. So we got to week 4 of full time school with a few hiccups...mysterious rashes and swollen lips, eating and mouthing things in the classroom and general tiredness. Then on Wednesday the teacher said she had a runny nose but it was clear and she acted fine. Thursday morning L was very snotty and had a temp. Andrew is home on long service leave at the moment and it happened to be the one day he was catching up with some friends. L and I stayed home together and she was very clingy and lethargic. On Friday she was getting worse and was very blocked up. By 10am she was falling asleep and had a moment when her breathing stopped and she jerked awake gasping. I had her right next to me and even took a few videos of her breathing. Just an FYI for Mummas the Drs really appreciated that. I put it close to her mouth and you could hear the wheeze and then showed the tug in her chest. By that afternoon I knew it would mean a trip to ED.

I'm so experienced by now as soon as I picked up the big kids from school I started packing a bag. Friday night and Andrew was supposed to be out for dinner and I had drinks with my girlfriends  and all was suddenly cancelled. I grabbed a backpack and started organising. For me I pack what I can in a few minutes including:

A night nappy for L and pajamas (The hospital has spare pjs so don't stress)
My phone, Kindle and charger
Lip balm, tissues, hairbrush, toothbrush
Snacks and any dry foods. Late nights often mean everything is closed
Coins for parking and vending machines
Spare clothes for me. Most times I've been up all night and don't even get to put pjs on.

Then off we go. PMH is a bit of a drive for us but last time we went to a different hospital we were sent via ambulance to PMH and told to go there direct next time. Parking around the back in Hay St is 60c per hour so I put in as much as possible covering me to 2pm the next day. ED wasn't too busy at 4:30pm but as soon as they saw L we went straight in. The nurses took our story then went ti read her notes. The last time we went in the Drs said the Ventolin didn't show much improvement but this time they wanted to try again. The problem being L knew where we were and was scared of anything they wanted to do to her. With her sensory aversions anything around or on her head is very sensitive. Hence why hair brushing is actually painful for her. So the idea of putting a mask on was not a good one. She was kicking and screaming and in the end we had to hold her down to get 6 puffs of ventolin in. Then they wanted her to hold the mask for oxygen but she was crying her eyes out by now. This of course increased her heart rate and the breathing went downhill. Eventually we managed to get her holding the mask as close to her face as possible without touching.

Oxygen sats dropped to 81 and heart rate was 142

Then the nurses put the "magic cream" on which is Emla numbing cream on the back of both hands and her inner elbow. As soon as they did she started crying no needles. So there is me trying to say no we won't need any needles it's just in case. Unfortunately we didn't have the most sympathetic nurse and she didn't understand that L is very smart and switched on and keeping her calm was the only way to get anything done. When it came time to put the cannula in we went into a separate room and had 4 people there. One held her legs, one held a book in front of her face so she saw nothing, one held her arm straight and another put the needle in. As soon as she saw the room L knew what they were doing and I tried to keep her calm. She was close to hyperventilating and we had to turn the monitors off. Finally it was in but it was the left arm and the elbow the trickiest spot as she is left handed.

After we had the cannula settled she was started on IV antibiotics and off for a chest X-ray. The tech said how smart she was knowing how to stand, I said no it's way too much practice. Finally we settled down in ED and then Radio Lollipop arrived. Just at the right time as they insisted the mask go back on. So L was promised a visit from the Lollipop ladies if she put the mask on and let it finish the Ventolin. At this moment I realised how bad it was that we were on our second lot with no improvement and needing oxygen in between. The volunteers for Radio Lollipop were awesome and made her a balloon dog and blew loads of bubbles to keep her calm.

We actually got up to the ward fairly early but there was no parent bed just a recliner. Those things are so incredibly uncomfortable!

We had a really bad night with oxygen needed all night and antibiotics. The nurses came in every hour and had to leave the light on to check on her. By the time the morning came I was a tired zombie and I headed down to the cafe for coffee. Miss L was coming round in the morning and seemed more settled.

Thankfully they sent us home that day with the promise of a follow up with our Paed....again.

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