For those of you interested, I thought I’d write down exactly what happened this past weekend with Devlin.
Sean had promised that he’d babysit Dev and Ceilidh so that Hubby and I could go out on Valentine’s Day, but we realized that we’d never be able to make it on a date on Saturday because Sean’s hockey game didn’t start until 7:30 or so, so Hubby and I decided to go out after I finished work on Friday.
But when Hubby came to get me he told me that Dev had suffered a severe asthma attack and we agreed that neither of us felt safe leaving Sean with Dev after that, so we went home. And a good thing to, because as of midnight Dev went into Respiratory Distress.
His whole body was rocking with each breath, his head was nodding up and down and his shoulders were rocking back and forth with each breath. He was pale, almost white and the area around his eyes were blue. It was bad. So I got Hubby up out of bed, he’d been in bed for almost an hour, since he had been up at 2:00 in the morning for work, he was a bit tired.
We packed up quick and drove down to the hospital for sick kids and the triage nurse took Dev’s vitals, no fever but his oxygen saturation was only at 88% (less than 93% and you’re in danger of brain damage) and we were taken to a room where he was hooked up with an IV and an oxygen mask and nebulizer where they gave him ventolin.
After a few hours he improved his colour and he wasn’t working so hard for each breath, but his sats weren’t where they should be and he wasn’t progressing like the doctors felt he should be. They were worried about pneumonia, so off to get a chest x-ray done, which let me tell you, isn’t an easy thing to get with a child who has low tone in his torso and can’t sit unsupported. I had to hold him in such uncomfortable poses and the poor boy wasn’t happy, not one bit.
But when the x-rays came back the doctors came in and told us that one of Dev’s lungs had collapsed, it look like he has some mucus or something blocking his airway, and then they apologized and told us that he’d have to be admitted.
By 10:00 on Saturday morning Dev was ushered up to the 7th floor of HSC and put on an oxygen mask, continued getting his Ventolin and he was on hydro cortisone and another steroid as well.
All this time Hubby and I had been taking turns holding the little gaffer as he fought against the mask, it actually took the both of us at times to wrangle him into keeping the mask on as well as getting him to sit in the best position to open his airways up for taking in the oxygen.
At least up on the 7th floor he had his own bed that he was happy to lie in.
The therapist came up, pushed on his lung as he exhaled, trying to get him to cough up and dislodge the mucus. Doctors came in and poked and prodded and decided that Dev wasn’t allowed any food or drinks, in case the cause of the blockage was due to aspiration from food or drink.
Let me tell you, my little boy loves to eat and he was less than happy with not being allowed to eat. The screams could be heard down the hall.
We were lucky and had a good day nurse, sadly it seems I’m doomed to run into the hellishly incompetent night nurses, and let me tell you this night nurse was no exception. At one point I wanted to hit her in the head.
By the time we got up to the 7th floor we were no longer fighting to keep the mask on his face, instead we were holding the oxygen hose up next to his face and giving him ‘by blow oxygen’.
The day nurse asked if the nasal prongs would be better for Dev and I laughed, telling her that he’d hate it and we’d have to sedate him if they put those in.
The night nurse came on duty and the first thing she wanted to do was put the nose prongs in, even though his sats at that point were running at about 97%. I told her the same thing I’d told the day nurse, and she just looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language.
I should explain to you that to read Dev’s sat levels they taped a little tab onto this toe that kept track of his pulse and his saturation levels, and anyone who knows Dev knows that he loves to kick, and that’s what he did, non stop. He kicked and kicked and kicked and managed to kick that toe thing off hundreds of times, not to mention he kept kicking it against the railing of his bed.
About half way through Saturday night Dev’s saturation reading dropped below 80% and the nurse came in, and after we’d spent about 3 hours trying to get him to sleep she came in and woke him up by jabbing nose prongs into his face. She didn’t even check the toe monitor, even though Hubby and I tried to get her to.
Dev reached up and ripped the nasal prongs out of his face, and she jabbed them right back up his nose, and this time she taped them to his face with surgical tape. So now we’re holding a child whose entire body is jerking and flailing, and Hubby and I are stuck trying to keep his hands away from his face. It was a lot harder than it sounds.
Finally I got fed up and went to go and find that nurse and tell her that if she wanted those prongs up Dev’s nose she’d either have to sedate him or she could come and hold him and keep him from ripping them out.
As I was starting to talk to her a horrible scream came from Dev’s room and we rushed to the room to discover that his hand had gotten away from Hubby and the poor boy had ripped the prongs away from his face, along with the surgical tape.
Now I don’t know if you’ve ever encountered this surgical tape, but the stuff doesn’t come off without an adhesive remover, and Dev had just managed to rip off the tape and a layer of skin on top of it.
It was at that point she checked the toe monitor and discovered that it had come off. Stupid Bitch!
So now my child was exhausted, his face had angry red marks on it from when he ripped the tape off and his breathing still was hard.
I keep trying to tell her that Dev is a nose breather and you can’t plug his nasal passages up with those prongs but she won’t listen to me. The nurse from across the hall comes in and hears me trying to tell the night nurse about Dev being a nose breather and she grabs her and tells the night nurse that you can’t use the nose prongs because he breaths through his nose. The night nurse just looks annoyed at this, but she goes back to the ‘by blow oxygen’ and leaves the room in a huff.
Hubby and I managed to get Dev to sleep again and we took turns holding the oxygen hose up by his face.
A few hours later Dev’s IV starts to beep like mad, and it’s flashing a warning that there is air in the line, when I open the door the nurse from the room across is sitting there and she hears the beeping and comes in, she gives a disgusted clucking sound and tells me the IV is empty.
The night nurse never checked it all through the night.
The day nurse comes back and we tell her about fun filled, action packed night, she doesn’t seem amused.
The day goes well, the therapist comes and puts Dev through his paces and then the day nurse decides to have an experiment and takes the oxygen hose away, it’s still running but now it’s not even near the bed and Dev’s sats stay up. The day nurse also gets a hold of the doctor and gets him to lift the restrictions on Dev’s food and drink and he gets to have lunch and dinner. Not that he ate a lot, but at least he had something in his tummy, which made him a bit happier.
The night nurse comes in, gives Dev his Ventolin and takes off. While I’m feeding Dev his dinner I notice that his IV is leaking all over the place and his shirt is soaked, his blanket is drenched and the floor is covered in the sticky liquid.
I call the night nurse and she comes and redoes his IV, with the help of another nurse, thank god because if the other nurse hadn’t been there who knows what the hell that woman would have done. The other nurse had to keep pointing out mistakes the night nurse was making. Grrr!
After all that excitement Dev crashed, as did I. Sadly Hubby, who hadn’t slept at all up until now, was only able to get about 20 minutes or so at a time, because the bed he had was super uncomfortable.
Come the morning the IV starts to beep again, air in the line. By now the day nurse is back and she gets really mad at the fact that the night nurse let the IV go all night without touching it. The steroids had run out, and so had the saline. “I’m going to have to talk to her” was all the day nurse said, but you know she was pissed.
When the therapist came in she said that Dev sounded great and she didn’t do any therapy with him. The doctors came in a little after that and told us that Dev’s lungs sounded great and that he could go home that day.
This was Monday, Family Day and Hubby and I were anxious to get home and see the other two kids who’d been staying with my Mom since Saturday. But it wasn’t to be.
There was some sort of emergency and that meant that the doctor was busy and unable to do the paperwork for Dev’s release. We waited from 11:00am to 4:00pm, for that paperwork to be done.
We managed to get home at about 5:00pm, just in time to enjoy dinner with Sean and Ceilidh and make them get ready for school.
And that’s how Hubby and I spent the Family Day Long Weekend.