Hospital update

and Part I of the whole story

Naomi and I spent our second night in the hospital last night. We've been here roughly 36 hours, and she's gotten the two doses of antibiotics for her urinary tract infection. She's had blood drawn, an IV placed, a shot in the leg, and an ultrasound of her kidneys and bladder. Through it all, Naomi has been a trooper (I should capitalize that 't')--a Trooper. 

Bret visited twice yesterday--for lunch and dinner--while Natalie played at our friend's house. Bret also took Natalie out on some errands, including one to get her very own pink umbrella. He's also going to be here for this morning's test.

Today at 11, the nurses will place a tiny catheter into Naomi's bladder, and the radiologists will inject dye and watch it under X-ray to make sure that the dye doesn't reflux into the kidneys. I am a bit uneasy about this test, but I asked our pediatrician about it. Specifically, I asked, "If this was your baby, would you have this test done?" He said yes. The risk of not doing it entails undiagnosed kidney damage and more nfections. Oy...

So far this morning, Naomi is smiling her biggest smiles at anyone who'll glance at her. She's cooing and kicking and playing with her feet. We both slept very well last night, which was no surprise since both of us were desperately tired. I'm in good spirits this morning, and am praying that everything will go smoothly and we'll be able to go home today.

Yesterday morning, I had a chance to start documenting the experience. Here's the story of how we ended up here in the hospital...

(written Oct. 13)

We ended up in the hospital because Naomi’s symptoms were just weird enough for me to call the pediatrician first thing Monday morning. She’d had a fever four nights in a row, just in the middle of the night. She woke up happy and smiling and acted relatively normal throughout the day. While she was a bit more irritable during the day, I couldn’t put a finger on what was triggering her fussiness, so I just stayed on mild alert and planned to call the doctor as soon as I could.

When I talked to the nurse at Naomi’s pediatrician’s office, the nocturnal fevers were bizarre enough for her to suggest I come in later that morning. I started to worry a little bit and started praying that if something was wrong that the doctors would catch it and be able to treat it promptly.

We didn’t see our normal pediatrician. Instead, young Dr. Watson helped us out. I liked her right away. Her eyes were big and inviting while searching and knowledgeable. She listened, agreed that the fever was strange, asked the expected questions—other symptoms? throwing up? anyone else sick?—and then said that she wanted us to get Naomi’s blood drawn and urine sampled just in case it was a urinary tract infection.

She also brought in Dr. Bravo to briefly look at Naomi and confirm her plan of action, since we’d be following up with our regular pediatrician. He agreed that the tests should be done, and we’d all go from there.

Meanwhile, Natalie was being brave and vying for attention in the doctor’s office. While the doctor and I were huddled over Naomi, Natalie fell off the round, wheeled stool and cried loudly. Later, she parked herself at the roll of paper at the end of the examination table and kept asking someone to fix it. Fortunately, a thoughtful nurse had given Natalie a lollypop, a “special treat,” which brightened her little face.

Before we left the doctor’s office, the nurse taped a special little bag to Naomi’s diaper area to catch a urine sample and in hopes of avoiding having to catheterize the little one. I was then ushered out and advised to head Sierra Vista hospital for the lab work as soon as I could eat something and find someone to watch Natalie. It was about 12:30 at this point.

On the way to the car, I just wanted to crumble to pieces. I was scared and sad and on the verge of being overwhelmed with peripheral details—Natalie needed love and attention, Naomi was fussing and overtired, and there were groceries in the front seat of the car. I told Natalie I needed her to be my hero and explained that a hero is very brave and helps people. I needed her help. I needed her to obey me right away and be a good girl. She liked the idea of being a hero and said she was my “super hero.”

I called Sarah, and she would be on her way home and able to watch Natalie as long as I needed, which was a huge relief. I am ever so grateful to have such amazingly generous and loving friends to whom I can trust my kiddo...

At home, I rapidly stuffed groceries in the fridge, shoved food in my face, changed diapers, updated Bret, and loaded us up in the car. I dropped Natalie off to play with Sarah and Hattie, and drove over to Sierra Vista’s outpatient services.

From there, the process was swift and as smooth as I could have hoped for a baby who had to have blood drawn from her tiny veins. The staff were very supportive and loving toward Naomi, though she was screaming very forcefully. It took two tries, one on each arm, before they could draw enough blood. I mustered all of my motherly strength to steel myself against the searching, scared look in Naomi’s tear-filled eyes as she writhed in my arms.

After the technicians drew the blood, Naomi settled down to nurse and nap. We then went to Sarah’s for some tea before I took Natalie home. Bret planned to come home early and help juggle the girls during nap time while we waited for the lab results.

When I hadn’t heard from the pediatrician’s office by 4:30, I called. The nurse said that they had the results, which showed “some elevated levels” and that Dr. Bravo wanted to talk to me himself after his last appointment. I waited by the phone for another hour, wearing and feeding Naomi while Natalie finished her nap on Bret’s shoulder.

Dr. Bravo called and didn’t mince words. He said her white blood cells were elevated and some other doctorly information that I couldn’t jot down fast enough. He said it looked like a bacterial infection of the urinary tract and that, unfortunately, we had to be admitted to the hospital for treatment. He was kindly apologetic and professionally firm, saying there was no way around it. Infections like Naomi’s could go south very quickly.


He then walked me through where to go and whom I’d meet at the hospital and said they were waiting for us. Dr. Bravo also said that he’d be at the hospital to see us the next day.

Naturally, I was freaked out. I told Bret, indulged in a brief cry, and called the Millers right away. While reeling from the news that Naomi was indeed sick and trying to rush through getting ready, I felt a little relieved. We were going to be taken care of. I’d done the right thing in calling the doctor, and the doctor did the right thing in ordering the tests. We could move forward knowing that everything would be done to help Naomi get better.

Sarah said they’d take Natalie for as long as we needed them to. She also stayed on the phone with me and told me what to pack for an overnight hospital stay. I have her to thank for my ability to process this experience as it’s happening—she urged me to take the laptop. Plus, I can play DVDs for any needed entertainment.

Bret plans to come by for a few long visits. I was heartbroken last night to learn that Natalie can’t visit us in the hospital. It’s flu season, and the CDC is cracking down on possible transmission, so no kids are allowed to visit anyone in the hospital. I miss my little super hero.

Andrea, Wednesday 14 October 2009 at 11:11 am One comment
Bunny Creates, (URL) - 14-10-’09 15:23

:( I’ll pray for you. Hope things are looking up.

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