Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Memories...blurry memories

Enter the giveaway here.

Two years ago this week Bug was in the hospital. We were about to go on a trip to see my family and introduce Bug to his cousins when he developed a cold and we noticed his eczema was getting worse. Because I panic am cautious, we took Bug to the doctor to be sure we could take him on the plane. The doctor told us it was an ear infection (his first at 7 months old) and gave him some antibiotics so he would be travel ready.

I called the doctor the next day because his break out was getting worse and was told it takes a bit of time for the medicine to kick in (he probably had 3 doses by then). I explained that the eczema was so bad on his face that his skin was oozing and the fever hadn't broken--I wanted to bring him in. The doctor was calm--I was not--but she assured me everything was fine and said to bring him in the following day if he didn't seem better. She even thought because he has sensitive skin that he might have had a reaction to the baby sunscreen we put on him a few days before. I should have trusted my gut instinct and taken him there or the hospital but didn't.

The next morning Bug looked worse and was lethargic so we went to the pediatrician's office. We saw another doctor in the practice and her face told me that it was indeed serious. She grabbed a colleague to feel Bug's head and told us we needed to get to the ER because she wanted him tested for meningitis. YIKES! She called Children's Hospital to say a very sick baby was on his way in and wanted to be sure the attending physician was aware of our arrival. I felt like my heart stopped hearing her say those words.

Before I could fill out the paperwork in the ER we were called back to a room. Bug's vitals were taken and a doctor saw us almost immediately. Bug was typically a very vibrant little guy but when the doctor called his name and tried repeatedly to get his attention, he didn't respond. The doctor agreed with our pediatrician to test for meningitis, which meant a spinal tap.

Almost immediately after the spinal tap, Bug was somewhat better. That non responsive little baby was now playing with the doctor and grabbing at his stethoscope. We were relieved that meningitis was ruled out but there were other tests to be done. We were also in touch with the adoption agency to fax the paperwork of his birth parents' medical histories in case there were any clues there.

We were moved to a hospital room and they told us to expect to stay for a couple of days. Bug's rash spread to his entire body and they were going to call in the wound specialist to wrap him. At one point while we were waiting for test results, some doctors on rounds were in Bug's room. They tossed out a few ideas of what might be diagnosed but were hesitant to jump ahead. We asked about the pain involved for Bug and the doctor told us it was extremely painful and itchy (Bug had his hands in mittens so he couldn't scratch). Finally, Donnie said, "what's the worst case scenario?" The doctor said in a very calm voice, "Worst case? That his organs shut down one by one and he dies." I think I kind of fell on Donnie because I never expected to hear anything like that. Just thinking back on it gives me chills.

Bug had an IV and soon I felt I knew his meds schedule as well as the nurses. Finally after a couple of days in isolation a number of things were confirmed: staph infection, oral herpes, super infection (infected eczema) and molluscum (an infection that showed much differently on Bug than other people who have it--and came out after we were at the hospital).

Poor little guy. We spent six days in the hospital and at one point he had to get some yellow gunk (clearly a medical term) put in his eyes because there was a fear the infection may have spread and cause damage to his vision. The eye doctor told us he must be getting better based on his strength to fight the drops. Bug quickly caught on that white coats = doctors. One amazing thing to me about those days...Bug NEVER missed a bottle or feeding. The kid was sick, sick, sick but yet he ate and ate and ate.

Here's what Bug looked like in the hospital:

This is Bug a week or so after he left the hospital (he wore mittens for a long time):

While much of that time is a blur, my memory of the nurses at the hospital is quite clear. They were fabulous. One of them even spent her break in Bug's room and we chatted about our families. When she returned after two nights off, we greeted each other with a hug like long-lost friends. I wrote a letter to the hospital praising the nursing staff and how they provided such great care. Each one of nurses made me feel that Bug was his/her only patient on their shift--but clearly that wasn't the case. I've always had a special place in my heart for that hospital and used to volunteer there. Now it's even more important in my life. Two years ago when I saw the fireworks light up the sky on July 4 I felt like it was my heart bursting with gratitude for the staff who took such terrific care of our little guy.


  1. This is the kind of story that makes me grateful for every day my kids are happy and healthy. I can't imagine how you coped - a mother's strength is tested to the limits in this situation. I'm so glad that Bug got excellent care and was healed. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I'm so glad that Bug has recovered so nicely.

    I cannot imagine how very frightened you must have been! Just the idea of my baby that ill makes me sick to my stomach.

    Again, I am so, so glad that you are all okay.

  3. Wow. What an incredibly frightening time this must have been for you. We had our first overnight hospital stay last October. Seeing my little guy hooked up to oxygen was the scariest time of my life. I'm so happy your all survived this scary time so well.

  4. Oh, poor baby! I'm so glad you had such a good experience there.

  5. poor bug. what an amazing story.

  6. That's an amazingly scary story! That pic of him with the rash, that is so painful looking!
    I think I would've passed out hearing that news from the dr. too.
    Why, WHY?? do Dr's diagnose on the phone w/out even seeing the patient??
    How did he get all that nastiness? Poor little guy.

  7. And now he is a rough and tumble wee boy! Love your acknowledgement and gratitude. And bravery.

  8. That must have been so scary. What a relief regarding his recovery. You are so sweet to remember and love those nurses so. Great post...Bug is blessed to have you!

  9. What a story! So glad it ended happily.

  10. oh my gosh! that must have been so tough! so glad it ended well!! we had a similar experience where 2 doctors sent us home saying the baby (he was 1 month) was fine and wouldn't test for RSV and in fact he had RSV and had to be hooked to a breathing machine for weeks...i was furious!

  11. oh my God. What an incredible story!!!!!

    I am so happy for you and your family that all went well!!

    Whew. what an experience.

  12. Wow, that poor little guy! And poor you! To hear a doctor so matter-of-factly make such a pronouncement is practically unspeakable.

    What a blessing that everything turned out the way it did.

    And ALWAYS trust your mama's gut feelings...

  13. What a scary story, but a great ending. Your baby is darn cute! I can't even imagine what that experience was like. Yikes. I'm so happy it turned out well.

  14. I'm so glad your baby was okay--he's adorable!! I'm also pleased that you had an awesome medical staff caring for him!

  15. Oh my goodness! SO scary! So glad he's okay now! Wow, he's a cutie!

  16. So, so scary. My heart stopped just reading the post. So happy they took such good care of him and that he is back to his happy, handsome self.

  17. I got a couple tears in my eyes reading this story. My youngest got a staph infection around the age of 5 in his kidneys that caused him to pee blood. He just this last year got another staph infection on his behind that looked like your babies face. Thankfully I got to the doctor right away before it had a chance to spread past his behind. I had a terrible time getting him to understand not to touch/ itch it.

    Always trust your gut!! I know you will next time.

  18. OMG, that scary scary rash!!

  19. Oh my goodness -that is such a scary story. I can only imagine how you were feeling!! So glad that Bug is doing great now!

  20. Awww, little man! What an experience. I'm so glad he's okay!