Last week, HG was pretty congested and was coughing, which is pretty usual this time of year with the season changing. Saturday night, she started wheezing, so I pulled out our trusty Sammi the Seal nebulizer. She needed another treatment during the night and one more in the morning. It was obvious we needed to get to the doctor when they opened the Sunday sick clinic. She decided around 10 a.m. that she needed to go right then- her lungs hurt- and asked for another treatment before we left. In the car, she was crying in pain and couldn’t breathe. Dr. Vargo came in early to meet us (God bless that man) and gave her two more treatments and steroids, and she threw up twice at his office. When the meds didn’t improve the air flow in her lungs, especially the left one, they sent us on to LeBonheur.
LeBonheur’s ER let us skip triage and took us right back. She had a breathing treatment pretty quickly, and when the doctor described her lung as acting as if collapsed and saw her low oxy sat levels, they started her on oxygen and told us she was a ‘keeper.’ We were getting admitted. We later learned that her left lung was stuck open with a ton of air that couldn’t escape (hyperextended). We spent the next two days there with breathing treatments every 4-6 hours and staying pretty close to the oxygen line.
By Monday afternoon, she was getting some color back and was able to get off oxygen for spurts during the day. She got to go to Creative Arts and make some cards for her teachers, and the toy cart came by to see her. She picked out Iggy the Iguana. Her daddy sent her a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses, and the Bakers sent her a rainbow Hello Kitty and some fashion stencils. Being showered by gifts and offered ice cream and popsicles every time the nurse came in the room, HG was in hog heaven with all the royal treatment!
The test came that night when she had to stay off oxygen so that we could go home on Tuesday. (You have to be oxygen free for 12-24 hours before you can be discharged.) Your oxygen levels naturally drop at nighttime, so during the wee hours of the morning, I was awakened by the alarm going off CONSTANTLY. I’d jump off the couch, wake her up, sit her up in the bed, make her cough, etc.- anything to get her oxygen back into the 90’s so the nurse wouldn’t put on the oxygen line. Finally, around 4 a.m., the nurse sat her literally straight up in bed, surrounded by pillows, and we had two solid hours of sleep with no oxygen alarms. We were finally on the home stretch, and we were discharged about 10:30 on Tuesday morning.
Spiffer and I treated her like a queen on the couch during the day on Tuesday, and we slept like babies that night. On Wednesday, we went back to see Dr. Vargo, and since she no longer sounded wheezy but now sounded wet and squeaky, he tested her for a virus. On Friday, we got the results, and she was positive for the enterovirus. That explains why it was so much more severe than her normal seasonal issues and why it changed in symptoms over the course of the week (started inflamed and ended up wet). Thankfully, by the time we got the official diagnosis, she was feeling much more like herself and needed no additional medicine. And now going forward, we don’t have to treat her year-round for asthma- just at seasonal peaks.
She went back to school on Thursday and was welcomed with squeals and open arms- and a TON of cards in her mailbox. You couldn’t wipe that grin off her face. She had been begging to go back to school for days, even wore her school clothes to see Dr. Vargo on Wednesday, hoping he’d let her go.
We are so thankful for Dr. Vargo, the staff at LeBonheur, her SAA teachers and classmates, and our family and friends for taking such good care of us. HG said she didn’t want to tell her friends how much fun she had at LeBonheur because then they all would want to go!
She was feeling well enough to play Little Sally Walker on Monday.
Tuesday morning brought this news…
At her checkup on Wednesday, the affects of steroids were at their finest.
And the welcoming committee at school on Thursday…