Wednesday, November 27, 2013

David in the hospital...

I haven't had time to properly reflect and document the events of the last 48 hours but did so this morning in journal like form.  The outpouring of prayers and concern for David's condition has been overwhelming and such a blessing and comfort to us.  I have not been able to respond personally to everyone, though I would if I could.  Here is my recap and lengthy commentary:

Quite simply, David had been suffering from a cold over the weekend and had a nasty cough for a few days but seemed to be doing fine with no fever and healthy appetite.  We hypothesize (so scientific sounding, but a guess none-the-less)  that he experienced a severe asthma attack on Monday afternoon though he has never had asthma like symptoms before. We don't really know what triggered it or if it will happen again though we have some theories based on his allergies and the fact he has been a little under the weather the past few days.  

Monday afternoon, after resting in bed all morning I found David breathing fast with an accelerated heartbeat.   I took him to an urgent care center where they tested him for various things and immediately started him on oxygen and steroid breathing treatments.  He didn't have the flu but his white blood cell count was high and a chest scan indicated a lot of inflammation of him lungs looking suspiciously like a severe asthma attack.  In fact the doctor was almost dumb-founded when I told him David did not suffer from asthma at that point.  Given how serious his episode was, they knew he needed to be transferred to the hospital for around-the-clock care.  His heart rate was very high, and about 130-140 at the time. He was transferred by ambulance (no sirens though) to the hospital on Monday around 5:00pm.  At St. Luke's in the emergency center, he was assessed and given higher dosage breathing treatments and watched very carefully.  After being seen my the doctor and treated, Chris was told if he didn't show signs of improvement in 3-4 hours, he would go to Texas Children's downtown.  By this time, Chris had taken over at the hospital and I was at home with the girls.  The breathing treatments increased his heart rate over 150 (which is normal we were told) but scary to see.  David was putting all his energy into breathing and was breathing down from his gut at a very fast and furious pace.  He showed slight improvements over the next few hours and they allowed him to stay at St. Luke's, admitting him to Pediatrics around 2am on Tuesday morning.  This was a rough night for Chris as he watched his Dad suffer only a few months ago from his heart attack.  And it was very rough for me, knowing how serious the situation was and not being at his side.  My last update from Chris that night was around 2am to let me know they had received a room and that David was doing better. Though I only slept fitfully, I knew no news was good news and that likely they were both resting. I was correct. One of my sweet neighbors, who happens to be an early riser, answered my plea for help on Tuesday morning to come to the house and watch my sleeping kiddos so I could go to the hospital and relieve Chris around 7:30am. I was very happy to see David looking much more peaceful and not struggling so hard to breathe. His heart rate had dropped to the 120s and he was receiving breathing treatments every 4 hours along with all the other things he would need through IV like potassium and magnesium.

Yesterday, Tuesday, he was on oxygen all day through the nose prongs but had to switch to a nose/face mask because the poor kid was all stuffed up due to allergies or his minor cold... The nurses gave him saline treatments, helped him blow his nose and ultimately gave him Flonase which helped a little but finally just wanting to sleep without hearing all the alarms go off every time his oxygen fell below 90, they just gave him the nose/face mask. My sweet boy was just simply worn out and got some good rest... Or as good as you can get in a hospital where you are checked on constantly. So Tuesday was good in the sense that David (with no scary drama) received a full day of treatments and we were told his lungs were definitely on the mend and improving.  It is sobering though that he cannot be off his oxygen for long periods of time and that his heart rate still fluctuates between 120-135 due to the steroid treatments.   I simply don't know how long the healing will take or when they will be able to wean him off the oxygen or ultimately when he will be able to come home. One positive note was that David finally ate a meal on Tuesday night after refusing breakfast and lunch. I knew he would eat when he felt better... So I ordered him pasta with marinara sauce. When it came at 6:00 he said he didn't want it... But by 7:00 he asked if there was any left.. Yes, he suspected I ate it... Don't laugh!  He didn't eat his turkey, mashed potato and gravy lunch but I sure did! And it was delicious and I'm not apologizing.  A pregnant woman does not leave a beautiful meal like that untouched.   Hospital life is not all bad!  Anyway, David attacked his pasta and ate more than half of a very big serving along with his fruit and apple juice. A very good sign in my book!

Chris and I did our "shift change" at the hospital last night about 7pm when the nursed did theirs... When our day nurse introduced the night nurse, I introduced my husband.  (Kind of funny.)   I took the girls to Chili's for dinner and simply enjoyed the fact they are healthy... It is hard to remember to do that simple thing when all is normal and routine in your life. We hit the grocery store to replenish and it dawned on me that I should get a ham for Thanksgiving since we cancelled our trip to visit family in Dallas. I don't know if David will be with us at home, but tradition calls for a special meal and I didn't feel like we shouldn't acknowledge that.  Besides, David loves ham and will love the leftovers!  As for today, Wednesday, I have not checked I with Chris yet, but I pray David will continue to do well and improve and ultimately come home.  I'll update later today.

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