What a ride!
I finally have time to sit down and write this stuff down.
The past week has been all about getting and keeping Ralph and Theo well again. Theo made a quick turnaround and only spent one night in the hospital. Ralph on the other hand...
I had not seen my little rock star work so hard to breathe in ages. He was frightfully ill with an adenovirus on his first Christmas in 2007. The atypical pneumonia he was diagnosed with this time was just as awful. His oxygen saturation would plummet if he knocked his mask off at night. The doctors were attempting to arrange a transfer to the big city children's hospital, but there were no beds available for Ralph!
We were in limbo.
On Friday evening, I requested the respiratory therapists to perform CPT (chest physiotherapy) on Ralph after his treatments. I am convinced that this patting (or pounding, depending on the therapist!) is helpful in breaking up crud in the lungs.
After a horrible night, chocked full of wild and scary desats, Ralph was transferred to PICU on Sunday morning. This was so that he could have cpap or bipap support if he had another scary night. We were still waiting on word from Kansas City about a transfer.
Wouldn't you know it, as soon as the little stinker was transferred to PICU, he started perking up. After a CPT session that afternoon, Ralph coughed real big and his O2 sats jumped up...and stayed up! He had a great night that night. Me? Not so much. The unit was full of screaming, super-sick kiddos seperated by curtains, and I slept in a stupid recliner.
If you want to call it sleeping, that is. I cracked an eye open and struggled to focus on the sat monitor every so often...or whenever I would hear an alarm...any alarm...which was probably every five minutes. When Ralph was sitting at 95% around 2am I started to get excited. In my mind, I began to rehearse my arguments for taking Ralph home with a sat monitor and supplemental oxygen. (I know I can still change an oxygen tank while half asleep, in the dark!) I got myself so worked up that I ended up running to the restroom every hour after that...3am, 4am, 5am...
|Ralph ate two plates of eggs...feeling better for real!!|
The morning of Christmas eve, when the day nurse arrived, I told her my plan. Ralph needed to be going home and they needed to get the discharge paperwork going. We had to wait until rounds to speak to the docs. They insisted on an EKG to check for heart damage before they would release Ralph. They were not happy with the chart, but I explained that he had an enlarged right heart as a baby.
With promises to follow up with Ralph's cardiologist, we finally busted him out around lunchtime!! Then we sat in the home oxygen office for an hour, trying to get him set up with new equipment. Blech! Ralph tried to open the fake Christmas presents under the tree there! haha! He wanted to play and run around, but he had been in bed for a week and was really clumsy and uncoordinated.
By the time we were done there, my favorite pharmacy was closed for Christmas Eve. I checked three more pharmacies before finding an open one. I was so happy to finally get Ralph home. It was the best Christmas present. Ever.