Thursday, November 20, 2008

Alyson's First Hospital Stay, Part 2

This is a continuation of Alyson's First Hospital Stay, Part 1.

For the first night, Casey and I were both able to stay with Alyson since Casey's parents had Emma, Madison and Kaetlyn spend the night. Alyson was required to stay under a baby warmer which means she couldn't be held. It was quite a sight to see our little baby laying there naked with oxygen, an IV, an O2 sensor and a temperature probe. She barely had any awake time, and when she did open her eyes she seemed all doped up (even though she hadn't been given any painkillers). The nurse we got was a contractor that had been a pediatric nurse for 21 years. She had a lot of experience at Children's Medical Center, so that made us feel good. However, she was very intense. It's rare to get a nurse that explains everything, but it's actually possible that she explained more than everything to us. We quickly were overloaded with information, but at the same time it was a nice experience to feel like I was an insider. Alyson wasn't comfortable at all, but we knew they had done all that they could. We got a little sleep.

The next day, Saturday, we woke up when the doctor came in and he said he didn't see much improvement. A little while later though, we finally got the opportunity to feed her and she kept it down! We were told that she seemed to be doing well and that we might go home on Sunday. Alyson had some alert time where she didn't seem drunk, so we were very pleased. That night, I stayed with her so that Casey could take the girls home. She started vomiting again and didn't hold anything down overnight. She woke up coughing at 3 AM and the respiratory nurses came in to help her get out what she could.

On Sunday, we learned that Alyson had gained back most of the weight that she had lost due to being sick. However, because she hadn't been able to hold her formula down overnight she had to stay at least one more night. She started eating and holding everything down again. Casey stayed with her that night, but Alyson started throwing up again. She also had difficulty sleeping due to all of the coughing. The held us over for the same reason on Monday

On Tuesday they held us because of her cough and started breathing treatments. I had a conversation with the pediatrician where he indicated that the pneumonia could be caused by aspiration due to reflux. So, Wednesday morning we had a test called a "modified barium swallow". Basically, Alyson drank stuff that glows on an x-ray so they could see if it was coming back up and -- assuming it did come back up -- if it went down into her lungs. Madison had a similar test a long time ago. The test showed that when Alyson drinks, some of the formula starts to go down her trachea to her lungs. During the test it didn't actually travel all the way down, but the fact that it can go down means that it probably has, which would be the cause of her pneumonia. Per the therapist's instructions we're starting thickener right away (just like we did with Madison and Emma) and all should be well soon! We were discharged with instructions to carry on breathing treatments, chest percussion therapy (which helps her clear her lungs), an antibiotic as well as thickening her formula.

Hopefully we won't see pneumonia any time soon!

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