Posts tagged “oxygen

We Are On Call For PICU

Well, as I sit here and write this post so much goes through my head. We headed to the hospital yesterday to see A’s respirologist. As I have said in previous posts, I truly wish we had met this man sooner. He is amazing in every single way and really knows his stuff. And he is the ONLY doctor that has taken what A does VERY VERY seriously and is very confused as to why his issues have not already been dealt with.

So, as it sits right now we are waiting for “the call”. A is going to be admitted to the PICU for a period of time and will not be able to come home until he has some sort of ventilation.

His issues at night have continued and this use of oxygen has been very concerning to me as this is not something that he *needed* in the past. Yes, he has always had issues with desats, but not like it has been lately. I have been saying that I feel like he is going downhill and that is the same thing that his resp. doctor thinks. He told me that kids with issues that A has get worse, not better.

So the plan is going to be to try to get A used to wearing Bi-PAP at night while he sleeps. “Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure; Used to treat sleep apnea, and other sleep related breathing disorders; Delivers alternating levels of inspiratory pressure (IPAP), or higher pressure, to keep the airway open as a patient breathes in, and the expiratory pressure (EPAP) is lower to reduce the work of exhaling; the BiPAP can be set to drop the level at specific intervals, or upon demand.”

Children usually take some time to get used to this, so depending on how well A does with it will depend on the length of our stay. The good thing is that he has not had his soother since he was ill in October. This would definitely be an issue as the Bi-PAP mask goes around his nose and over his head. And with him only taking his soother upside down and sleeping on his belly, it would have been next to impossible.

The other added bonus is that he really really wants to sleep on his back now, however I have not been able to allow him as his saturations are always lower and he just doesn’t breathe well. Bi-PAP will be MUCH easier if he is sleeping on his back.

*IF* the Bi-PAP does not work then we will have to talk deeper about a tracheostomy. When he mentioned it to me yesterday I said that I didn’t know if I could do a trach to A. His exact words were “well here is the question to answer it for you. Do you want your son to live or die?” I started to cry. Of course I want A to live, but a trach is a HUGE deal. It is a major surgery. It would change his life completely and ours. It is not something I take lightly.

Now with all that has been going on, he is very concerned about A having issues with his heart because of how much harder it has to work for him with all of his breathing issues. So they will doing another echo to check on things. One of the big issues that can happen with severe sleep apnea and the apnea that A has daily is right heart failure.

Another thing that was talked about was these big “spells” that A has. He thinks that they *could* be sudden pulmonary hypertension spells where the vessels all clamp down which cause him to go very blue and not breathe. I sit here wondering why on earth no other doctor has even suggested this could be the problem????

So it looks like we are in for another hospital stay. I feel more comfort in the fact that this is being done in the ICU but I am still very scared of what the future holds yet again.

The other issue that we have to deal with is A’s night feeds. His respirologist wants him off night feeds, no ifs ands or buts. This is proving to be VERY difficult and for now I just can’t make it happen. I didn’t do a feed last night but today just did not work out to give him more feed. He was refluxing like crazy with his second feed and that was only at noon. I will be lowering the night feed by 10mls/hour but that is the best I can do for now.

A’s x-ray from our last appointment did show that he does have interstitial lung disease. I specifically asked A’s chest team at Sick Kids *if* he could have this and they said no. Yet again, another question in my mind.

This is day two of no beds being available. I just pray that we get one soon because I am so afraid that my little man is going to be spending Christmas in the PICU.

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Our Interesting Life Continued…

So the issues with A continue as usual at this household. We are having problems with feeding and sleeping and of course along with that comes the awful desats that go on ALL night.

For about the past week the nurses have had to use oxygen at some point with A during the night. I didn’t really think much of it because they have to administer oxygen if his saturations go below 90 for greater than two minutes. Well anyone who knows A knows that this happens A LOT. Anyhow, two nights ago, Friday night was HORRID. It brought me right back to the days when we brought A home from the NICU. I would never want to relive those days, and honestly sometimes I wonder how I even did survive back then.

When I put A down on Friday night and hooked him up to his monitor, he was sitting about mid 70s. He was sound asleep. I tipped his head back a little and he came and hovered around 84. This is NOT good enough. For about twenty minutes I just stood there watching him wondering what the heck was going on. I still don’t know what to think.

I came downstairs and grabbed some nasal prongs, tape and an oxygen tank. Once I got up to his room he went to 91 and stayed there. This is still not really good enough for me because it isn’t the norm when he is sound asleep.

Basically from 1am until 5:30am I was in there about every five minutes to place oxygen in front of his face or to try and move him to a position where his oxygen saturations would be better.

Feeds. I am having so much trouble getting the required amount into him in a 24 hour period. I really wish sometimes that we didn’t need food to survive! As you all know, he has been off of blended food since getting sick in October and gaining weight. I talked to his dietician on Thursday again and she said to maybe try adding just avocados in with the formula to make it a little thicker and maybe that would help go down easier. Well within thirty seconds of receiving only 30mls of food he threw up. He was gagging constantly and I had to pull all of the food back out of his tummy. This is very strange as well because he had avocado every single day in his blend of food.

So in the day time I have to give him a total of 750mls and at night he gets 500mls. This just does not work! I am so afraid that he is aspirating which in turn is causing his lungs to get worse-which we really CANNOT let happen. This would explain the crappy oxygen saturations. Thankfully we are seeing his respirologist in a weeks time and hopefully he will have some insight into what we should do. I know he did speak last time about admitting A into ICU for a couple of days to trial CPAP and BI PAP but I just didn’t think that would work because A has a soother. However he has not had his soother now in about six weeks! Something really needs to be done though because he cannot go on the way he has been.

A weighed in at 27.6lbs last night. Seems like he has stabalized there for a bit so that is good. Much better than 25lbs!

We just got home today from getting his second dose of the H1N1 vaccine. So the continuation of our hibernating will happen for about three more weeks. And even then we have to be careful as he has not had his regular season flu shot! Ugh neverending worry I’ll tell you!

On our way out of the mall where his doctor is we stopped at the one store. I was looking at the Toronto Maple Leaf stuff and a lady was trying to get around me and A. Once she got down the aisle she wanted she turned to me and asked me if I was his mom. I said yes. She held her hands to her chest and with tears in her eyes told me that she admired me. I said thank you. She told me she thought he was a gorgeous boy-ha we all know that!-I again said thank you. And she told me, no thank you for doing what you do. To give him life. I told her he gave himself life. He fought to be here. She gave me a hug and again said she admired me. I said thank you again and told her that it is nice to hear such kind comments from people. Totally made my day. It is not too often that a complete stranger says anything like this to you. Why can’t the world have more people like her in it???


Getting Back In The Groove

IMG_6623Well this is now A’s new website. It is a work in progress so be patient with me. I have a web designer working on it for me as well. As you all know, I would really appreciate if you do NOT add this to your blog list. There are reasons I had to go private before and I just don’t want certain people finding this new site. That is why we are now referring to my boy as “A”. So if you have A on your blog list, just leave his old address listed as I do not want this listed anywhere. SO PLEASE DO NOT HAVE THIS AS A LINK ON YOUR PAGE!!!! Thanks everyone!

 

So it has been kind of crazy around here once again. On October 16th my little man was really struggling in the morning. So much that I really thought that he was possibly heading into respiratory failure again as he did he March. By lunch time I was nervous so I took him into his doctor. I was so positive that we were going to be admitted that I packed all of my bags and A’s bags before heading. He was requiring oxygen at times and was struggling to breathe.

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So we got him into the doctor and he was NOT concerned about him! He said that his throat was kind of red and irritated so he placed him on an antibiotic to be safe and then sent us for an x-ray.

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Saturday morning (the 17th) his doctor called to tell me that his x-ray actually looked pretty good. I couldn’t believe it. Friday night was HORRIBLE. A had to sleep in his chair and every time that he fell asleep his sats would drop to the 70s and stay there. If I woke him up he was above 90. I cried and cried because I felt really bad for him suffering, but I didn’t know what else to do for him. I told his doctor that I was really angry and that I felt something more was going on. He told me if I was that worried about A that I should take him to the ER. Ummm that is why I brought him to see YOU, so we could avoid the ER!

Anyhow, on Tuesday the 20th we had an appointment anyways with his respirologist at Mac that I absolutely LOVE. It is the vent clinic that A is now under even though he isn’t trached.

IMG_6639We did a cap gas first which showed that his CO2 was at 54 and his O2 at 75. He was very junky and had needed a lot of suctioning over the weekend. They did swabs for viruses and then his swab to check for pseudomonas.

He wondered why A was on the antibiotic that he was on and stressed that when it comes to A that doctors really need to be more aggressive. He has very crappy lungs and anything can happen. So he placed him on cipro (in case the pseudomonas was active) and on prednisone as well as many extra breathing treatments.

I felt MUCH better walking out of there because I feel like this doctor is so PRO active with A. It is about time that someone really cares for this kid and his well being!

So A and I spent just over a week sleeping on the couch together and trying to keep him out of hospital. As of today, he is doing wonderful!

On another note, I really need people to send lots of love and prayers to Auntie A (my sister in law), my brother and her family and friends. As most of you know, about 18 months ago she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy with a heart function of 20%. She has stayed so positive and strong that it is just amazing!

saweddingWell for about the past three months she has been telling her cardiologist that she has severe stomach pain, is nauseous 24/7 and cannot eat. He told her that it was probably her GI issues/gallbladder. Twice she almost had her gallbladder removed which would have been for NO reason.

Long story short, she ended up in hospital on the 5th of October after going to a class for people with heart conditions. There was a pamphlet given out with symptoms of heart failure. She had them. These were what she had been complaining about to her doctor for months. It was then she found out that she was in severe congestive heart failure.

October 12th she was transferred to Toronto General. It was there that she started to really rapidly decline. Last week she was officially listed for a heart transplant. However with her poor days they just couldn’t let her go as she was.

On Friday October 23rd she had a code blue called. I went and saw her on Saturday and she was HORRIBLE. I couldn’t believe how much she had deteriorated since I saw her last which was only four days prior.

Sunday it was decided that she needed to have the LVAD (left ventricular assist device) placed. They were hoping to avoid this until this coming Friday because they didn’t want to do the LVAD and a heart transplant as it would be very hard on her. However a heart had not come yet and she could not keep going the way that she was.

I was up at the hospital last night to see her and spend some time with my brother. She was very tired and in a lot of pain. The things this girl has gone through are just incredible. Her fight is inspiring to say the least. Please keep praying for her and all who love her.


A Is Sick Yet AGAIN!

Well my little man is sick again. It started last weekend with him not sleeping very well and having a lot of desats. Sunday night we started him on oxygen which seemed to help so I figured he was just needing some extra support. It wasn’t really until Wednesday that he started with the coughing, going off colour a lot more and just not being himself. When he got up that morning he was not looking well at all. Daddy cuddled with him on the couch and when I happened to come in the room after about fifteen minutes and look over at A he just looked BAD. I went upstairs to get his monitor and he had very low sats that would not come above 60. I got the nasal prongs out and put him on oxygen and that really helped him. I called his doctor here in town but they could not see him until yesterday.

Grandma and I took him in for 1pm and A did not want to be there. He was also tired as I had just woke him up before we left. He was going off colour and the doctor did not like what he was seeing. I have to add that this doctor has seen A go off colour MANY times and never ONCE has he been concerned like he was yesterday. I really think that he received a letter from Sick Kids about how we were treated the last time that we were in Guelph emergency.

Anyways, he told me that he wanted me to take A to Toronto or to Hamilton emerg and have him seen there. I started crying of course because I absolutely HATE hospitals and it just was the last thing that I wanted to deal with. It breaks my heart every time that we go there and they have to poke and poke him for IVs. He suffers SO much and there are times where I really just can’t do it to him.

Anyways, we ended up leaving the doctors with a note that I was to give to the emerg doctor telling him about what he saw while we were there. I was very upset because it is always the same old thing when we go. People rush around like mad when they see A’s oxygen sats but as soon as they hear that he has a history of them it is like they don’t give a crap. Very frustrating as a mom but I cannot lie to them as all of these hospitals have record of A.

We came home and I called his team at Toronto Sick Kids. The NP that I deal with did not feel that A was at the point of needing admitting. We had put on his Wonder Pets for him and he was only on half a litre satting 100. He was smiling and just not seeming sick enough for me to want to deal with emerg doctors on a long weekend. After speaking to her I decided that I was just going to keep him home.

We had a nurse on last night and she said that A had a pretty good night. He was restless between 3-6am but other than that he was satting well and sleeping well.

I have had to do some suctioning and for once in my life I am actually getting things up and out of there! Makes it much easier for me to do it knowing that I am helping him.

Today he woke up not so happy and I thought we would be heading into emerg today but once I got him dressed and settled he was fine. We went for a nice long walk and he went down for a nap at 3pm and is still sleeping soundly now at 5:30pm. I have the compressor on with a mask near his face and he has not dipped below 90 once.

I just hope and pray that things get better for him before they get worse. I don’t know why on Earth he keeps getting sick so much this year. It is the crappiest year of my life EVER! He has only been home now for just over three weeks from his last ordeal and I really don’t know if I can handle being in there again so soon. I keep wondering when we are going to catch a break around here and have good things happen?

In other A news, we started speech therapy on Tuesday. He will go every Tuesday for eight weeks to start off. It was interesting but I really do wonder how speech therapy works with a child that is non verbal and very stubborn?! We’ll just have to see how it goes.

These were taken March 25th…I had been feeding him and his extension came undone so the food went everywhere!

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Look at what he did with physio last week!!!!! First time EVER!!!!!!!!!

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Is he not just amazing?!?!?!?!?!

I have been getting a lot of emails from people all over the Internet asking how I am doing since losing H. It was two weeks ago tonight that I went into labor with him. I can hardly believe that fourteen days have gone by. There are times when I am so heartbroken and just cry and cry. And then there are other times that I just feel like everything wasn’t even real. I just wish I knew WHY it happened.

I have been doing pretty well though I think this past week. I have started a blog for Hunter, more of a diary for me to write my thoughts and feelings. I have always been a big person for writing a journal and I think this has really helped me already in dealing with my grief. It helps to get it out. It is a private blog that only I can get into right now but in time I may open it up to some of you that would really like to read it. Let me know if you are interested.

I have also contacted my social worker that I have dealt with on and off since A came home from the NICU. She will be coming next week to talk. She is a wonderful lady and it really helps me to talk to her. I have not seen her since before our wedding so there are a lot of things to talk about.

I also wanted to say thanks to those moms in my Internet world that have been there for me and talked very openly with me about losing their babies. It always helps to talk to others that have been through it. Makes you understand that you are not the only one. That you are not to blame. You guys know who you are!!!! Huge hugs to all of you!!!

Another thing. People seem to be so afraid of asking me how I am when they see me. Afraid of saying anything really. Do NOT be afraid. I want to talk about H. I want to remember him. When people “ignore” asking me anything I feel like he didn’t matter. I know that is not what people intend at all but it hurts me more to hear nothing than to hear something else.

I don’t want to hear that God wanted it this way. I don’t want to hear that it wasn’t meant to be. I don’t want to hear that God doesn’t give me more than I can handle. I don’t want to hear that he is in a better place. I don’t want to hear that I am young and still have lots of time to have babies. I don’t want to hear that I can always adopt. I don’t want to hear that we are supposed to have an angel. These are all things I have heard yes. And honestly it drives me mad.

Actually, this makes me think of a poem I read on the Internet. Here it is:

Don’t Tell Me
Please don’t tell me you know how I feel, unless you have lost your child too,
Please don’t tell me my broken heart will heal, because that is just not true,
Please don’t tell me my son is in a better place, though it is true, I want him here with me,
Please don’t tell me someday I’ll see his face, beyond today I cannot see,
Please don’t tell me it is time to move on, because I will never be there same,
Please don’t tell me to face the fact he is gone, because denial is something I cannot stop,
Please don’t tell me to be thankful for the time I even had, because I wanted more,
Please don’t tell me when I am my old self you will be glad, I’ll never be as I was before,
What you can tell me is you will be here for me, that you will listen when I talk of my child,
You can share with me my thoughts, you can even cry with me for a while,
And please don’t hesitate to say his name, because it is something I long to hear everyday,
Friend please realize that I will never be the same, but if you stand by me, you may like the new person I become someday.


Stress….

Is about the only thing I have been feeling lately. You know, I look back to the days of the NICU and you think for some reason when you leave there that things are going to be okay. Things will never be like they were there. But that is so wrong. I find myself more worried, more stressed and more confused now when A gets sick than I did way back then. It totally sucks. I mean for real. He is going to be four in June and yet the nightmare continues. The worrying every time that he gets sick. It is always in the back of my mind that something horrible is going to happen. That my absolute worst fear will come true. That I won’t have this smiling, adorable little guy here. No mother should have to think of this when her child gets sick. But it is just yet another crappy thing about being the mom of a preemie, the mom of a child with special needs, the mom of a child with many health issues. We are not oblivious to ANYTHING and know that ANYTHING can happen.

So A has been sick since the 16th of February. Februay 18th I was told that he had pneumonia. Last Wednesday he seemed much better. Same goes for Thursday. Thursday night however his nurse woke me up and told me that she thought he needed oxygen because his sats would not stay up. (She does not have an order for oxygen therefore has to wake me up in these circumstances.) He did fine on 1/2L.

Friday morning he is fine. Doesn’t even need the oxygen. Friday was a good day. He had three workers here and did great with all of them.

Friday night went to bed fine. (I did have him on 1/4L because it seemed that at nights was when he was needing that little bit of help.) Wow, what a crazy night. He was AWFUL. At 5am I really started to get nervous. He was not going above 80 and if he did it was not for long. I had him up to 2L and it was not doing ANYTHING. I held him and that didn’t help. Finally about 6:30am he settled back down and was satting 90ish on 2L.

By 8am I was in his room getting him up yet again freaking out.

Talked to my parents around 9am and thought I needed to take him to the hospital. I figured I might as well change his oxygen tank as I knew that it was getting low and wanted a full one for the trip. Shut off the tank and then went downstairs to get a new one.

Come up and he is satting in the 90s with NO oxygen.

????

Talked to my mom and told her that I wasn’t going to take him. Pretty sad when you hum and haw over taking your sick child to the emergency because you know pretty much how useless it is going to be!!!

Had an okay day yesterday. Only needing 1/4 or 1/2L to sat well.

That was until he wanted to sleep. I held him (he only cuddles when he is sick!) and he fell asleep. That lasted about ten minutes max. As soon as he goes to sleep the difficulty breathing and crappy sats start.

Stayed up for the rest of the day. Was good.

Last night he was exhausted and I put him to bed at 10pm. Was asleep within 15 minutes, on 1/2L with sats in the 90s.

I headed to bed as I could barely keep my eyes open. Daddy stayed up so that I could get at least some solid sleep.

3:30am I am up to the lovely sounds of the monitor. From 3:30-5:30am I did everything I could think of. Turned up the oxygen, gave him a breathing treatment, did nose drops, checked his temperature, did some deep suctioning. You name it I tried it. Sats would NOT come above 90. He was snorty, tired and just having a crappy time. I picked him up hoping it would be a bit better. He was good until of course he would fall off to sleep.

I just held him and cried my eyes out. I am sure that my pregnancy hormones do not help with this, but I friggin HATE what my poor guy has to go through. It just isn’t fair. It sucks and that is the bottom line. And it sucks even more when I am worried but yet scared at the same time to take him in. I mean really what are they going to do different for him? The only thought I had was that they would most likely vent him and because I know he is fine awake I am not okay with that. It freaks me out. I hope to God that I never ever have to see him vented again.

So ya, I just cried and cried. Told him how sorry I was. How angry I was that no one ever helps him. Sorry that he suffers way too much for being a three year old. How I felt like a shit ass mom for not being able to make him better.

Life really sucks sometimes.

But I try to remember the bright side. I have my son here with me. I can love him, cuddle him, kiss him.

And then he smiles.


No Hospital Stay…

Well A has been holding his own all week and we never did end up getting admitted!!! This is great because I think he does much better here at home and I know that I definitely do too! It totally stresses me out being inpatient and it isn’t something that I wanted to deal with right now.

He is still requiring oxygen or his saturations stay in the high 70s or low 80s. He is also needing a lot of suctioning yesterday and today. Now any mom that does this knows that it just isn’t fun to do. I have a really hard time because I know how painful it is and it isn’t anything that I would want done to me. When A was a baby and first came home from the NICU I had a much easier time with it. Now that he is bigger it breaks my heart. As soon as he sees the long catheter he starts getting upset. But without the suctioning here at home there is probably no way that he would be able to be here at home.

Pneumonia sucks.


My Little Man Is Sick…

Not too sure what is going on exactly with him but it started last night after he went down for bed. I finally got to bed at 1am and then the alarming started. J was still up so he kept going up to check on him. Eventually at 3am A was having a hard time keeping his oxygen saturations above 70 so he got me. I was a bit nervous as he was just having such a hard time breathing. I had said we should probably take him to the ER but we all know that it just doesn’t seem to ever work for A. I mean how much faith can you have when at our last admission with “pneumonia” and over twenty pokes for blood and an IV the next day we are told by HIS doctor that he doesn’t have pneumonia. Then the radiologist read his x-ray and said possible. Just crazy.

So I went to our basement and pulled out the oxygen. At 1L he was staying in the 90s as long as he was relaxed and/or sleeping.

Today he hasn’t been much better but holding his own. I will see how tonight goes and then take him to his doctor tomorrow if things are not any better. Please pray that this doesn’t turn out to be a hospital stay!