Friday, December 19, 2014

Our First Hospital Stay {Part Two: Diagnosis and Getting Admitted}

The story left off where I was taking the kiddos to the after hours clinic* to confirm my suspicion that David had a double ear infection.

I drove to the location near our home, but there was a single parking spot left, so it was incredibly busy. I didn't think I had time for that, so I drove to the other location. It is across town, but it was closer to our church, which is where Phil was. By the time I got to that location, it had two parking spots left. Knowing I certainly didn't have time to go back, I just took the kids inside anyways. I made Jillian sit and stay in the stroller. There were so many people, and the words "flu" and "strep" were floating around the room as much as the rosy cheeks and coughs. I did NOT let Jillian get out of the stroller since she was my well child! We settled down to wait. After one hour, we still had about 10 people ahead of us in line. Luckily, David slept the whole time.

By the two hour mark of waiting, Phil was done with church and offered to sit with us in the waiting room.

At the three hour mark, David suddenly felt cooler to me. Phil even confirmed that he was much cooler than he had been all weekend. Did his fever really break while we were waiting? How ridiculous. I almost just suggested that we leave. We still had about 3 people ahead of us. Thankfully, my stubbornness worked in my favor. Between being there for hours and the fact that I had paid $20, I wanted him to be seen before we left. Phil said that was fine, so we stayed.

We ended up waiting a little over three hours before we were called back. They took his vitals, then took us to the exam room. The doctor came in, we told our story, and then she looked him over. She touched his tummy on the lower right side and he got really upset. She paused a moment, then touched his legs. He fussed a little, but not as much. She had Phil calm him down, then touched his tummy again, and again he cried out loudly. The Dr. told us that the clinic had made a small note about his tummy, so she wanted to do a quick x-ray of his abs to see if something was wrong. After the x-ray, Dr. B told us that he needed an ultrasound to confirm, but she was suspecting he had an intussusception, or some other type of inflammation in his tummy. She offered to call ahead to the ER to let them know we were on our way.

At this point, the play I was in charge of was meeting at the church in 15 minutes. None of us had had lunch, and I didn't even put deodorant on that morning because I thought it was an in and out situation at the clinic. Phil gave me a choice, he could take David to the hospital for the ultrasound, or I could and Phil would be in charge of the play for me. I knew I couldn't leave my baby without knowing what was wrong. After a quick cry in the parking lot, Phil gave me a hug, and he took Jillian with him while David and I drove to the hospital. I called my folks to tell them what was happening. I'm sure it was hard to understand me since I was just crying. I also called my brother and his fiancé since she is a recent med school graduate. She was able to give me a little insight into what they would be looking for, and gave me peace of mind by telling me the hospital we were going to was a really good one.

I ended up missing the parking area and had to circle around the hospital before we got to the ER. They actually got us checked in and seen very quickly. My friend Angie quickly came to be with me so I wouldn't have to be alone. They got an ultrasound in, and then another x-ray to confirm, but they did see an intussusception. This is basically when part of the intestines folds into another part, causing a blockage in the intestines. {They explained that it's like when you take your sock off, and part of the sock rolls up into itself.} There are different treatments for this, one of them being surgery. That option made me the most nervous. However, in order to not just open him up if it is unnecessary, they wanted to try another treatment. Sometimes doing a barium enema can correct this blockage. Being the less evasive option, (that's right), that's what the doctor wanted to do.

By this time, Phil's folks were on their way from Tulsa in case he did need surgery. Also, as a "fun" side note, there was a tornado warning in our county. Luckily, it was not near us, and it wasn't even a strong tornado. I would have had no idea since the ER was in the basement of the hospital. I was also told there was an earthquake as well. Good grief!

I knew I couldn't be in the room while they did the treatment, so I stayed with him until the started to get him ready. I was told they try 3 times to fix the intussusception via enema before they have to look at other options. Occasionally they try a 4th time, but those are special cases. During each attempt, they take x-rays to see if it was successful or not. After an excruciating time of hearing him crying, the radiological resident came out to tell us that they were having a hard time pushing the enema into the small intestines. Not sure what that exactly meant, he contacted his supervisor who said they could attempt a 4th time after giving him some rest. I was allowed to hold him, and he slept pretty well while they set up for a 4th try. They promised me that his stats were great and that he was doing really well for such a stressful procedure. Before I knew it, it was time to hand him over for the final try. Thankfully, Phil and Jillian showed up while we were waiting. I gave Jill a big hug, and she started acting a little pitiful. I thought she felt warm, but Phil was convinced she was just tired from running around at the Christmas program.

After the 4th attempt, we were told that they still couldn't get to the small intestines. They discussed it and decided to turn him over to the pediatric surgery team to determine how they wanted to proceed. They handed him to me, and he was fast asleep. The radiology team was really great though, and they even gave both kiddos a bear to keep. {Jill is still really attached to hers!} We went back to the ER bay, and Phil's folks showed up shortly thereafter. Then, a pediatric surgeon came by. We were told they would be reviewing his case. It didn't seem to be an emergency situation, but they would admit him anyways while they determined the next course of action. If he would need surgery, he would have it in the morning. My friend Angie excused herself, and Phil and his dad took Jillian home. Phil's mom, Darla, stayed with me, and we were taken to his room about 45 minutes later. We got him settled in his room, and hooked up to all the monitors and an IV. Eventually, Darla went back to the house to watch over Jillian, and Phil stayed overnight with me in the hospital. Now we were just waiting to hear what would be next for our little bug.

To be continued...

*We go to this particular after hours clinic because it is run by the doctors at our pediatrician's office, and a few other doctors around town. We have never seen our actual pediatrician there, but I'm sure he's only there a few times a week. It is a good clinic, but I think all the yuckiness going around is making it impossible to go anywhere in a timely manner :-/

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