Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our Valentine's Day

I officially HATE the Blue Shift.  It is known as the holiday shift - it seems to hit a disproportionate number of holidays, regardless of the year.  Aside from the interruptions of festivities, it seems as though my family waits for things to happen on the Blue Shift.  On my last post from Sunday, I told you O was sick - some stomach bug.  By the time that 4 in the afternoon rolled around she developed a croupy cough, her fever was back - creeping up to nearly 105, her vomiting has worsened and  I felt we needed to get into the ER.  

I got everyone, including myself, dressed.  The boys and D were already good to go, but due to the issues of  the day, O and I were still in our jammies.  I called my dad, asked him to take the three stooges, while I took O in to the ER.  She looked so sad and pitiful with her bucket in her lap.  After my eldest muppets were hanging out with Grandpa, I had to try and get in touch with Jeff.  His phone was turned off and I had not transfered the number for E2 to my new phone - that'll teach me!  So, I called 411 - after convincing Sprint's operator that this was NOT a 911 emergency, I got the main number, since he is house at the main office, telling me to call back Monday during normal business hours.  Through the rationalization of MFD's numbering system, I figured out the number to the office.  When I got in contact with someone, I found out that the engine was out on a run - OF COURSE!  I left a message, letting the Lt. know we were headed to Children's, if he would be so kind as to let my firefighter know.
For the first time in my 11 years experience as a parent, we need did not get brushed off by the ER at Children's, but that is a tale for another day.  We were taken straight to triage and into a room.  At first you could see that the tired, overloaded resident was not in to mood to be bothered by a mere virus.  That was all that it was, give her some juice and send her home.  That was our first round.  Then he felt it might have been pneumonia, until we had a clear chest x-ray.  Perhaps there is something with her stomach, so we did an x-ray of her tummy, just to find out the obvious - she had to poop, but was too pooped to poop.  After some Zofran, they were going to send us on our way.  We took a few sips of some juice, headed off to the bathroom to leave a sample for a u/a, so they could check her sugars and see if she was spilling proteins - just to have her puke up the Zofran and apple juice.  This is 7pm.  Liv is now SICK of EVERYONE - even sniping at me, which NEVER happens.
Hanging out in the ER
Playing with the pony from the
x-ray tech.

Finally, they have a pow-wow to discuss my little trooper.  They still believe it is one of the myriad of viruses, probably combined with Influenza-A.  They hang a bag of fluids  and discuss what to do next.  While the nurses are getting her IV in, I point out the obvious - she's cyanotic.  We get a pulse/ox monitor on her and lo and behold, her O2 sats are in 70s and 80s.  I know I am just a mommy, but I am not an easily freaked out mom.  I was not going to have my girl blown off.  They give her a steroid to reduce the swelling in her throat, thereby reducing the cough and increasing her O2 sats.  Her fever was NOT going down, her nausea and vomiting was NOT subsiding and she was dehydrated.  She was obviously really sick, and if they did not treat her now, we would simply be back and I would be a bear to deal with at that point.

Around 9pm they decide Liv needed to be their guest and by 1:45am we were on our way to her room, after meeting with the ER attending and the 1st year intern that would be on her case.  We had a lovely, albeit chatty, night nurse to get us settled.  Liv did not agree that we should be sticking "pipe cleaners" up her nose - flu test or not.  She was done with nurses "hugging her leg", done with things being stuck in her armpits - she was just plain done.  Her pitiful cry was hoarse and she wanted to go home.  Liv did not want Mommy, she did not want to drink, she just wanted to go home.

Daddy stopped in on his way home - around 8am.  He hung out for a bit, then rescued Grandpa from the stooges.  When he came back, Liv was nibbling on her breakfast and looking quasi human.  I requested to be part of the rounds when they came to our room, which was a nice experience.  It was a bit like Grey's Anatomy and I had to squash a giggle when the attending pointed out an obvious oversight on the intern who bugged me a bit the night before.  I was glad that we got to be part and have a say in her medical plan.

As the day, went on, she slept, nibbled on her dinner for 2 hours, still refusing to drink.  Later one of her residents comes in to chat, we find O has H1N1.  Even after the vaccines.  GREAT!

Daddy brought D in for a visit, as she was whoa-fully missing her Babiya.  So, D came in, as the center of the universe with a mask and all. :D Our little patient lit up when she saw her big sister.  I, even though it was for the best, found myself a bit crestfallen when they said they wanted to keep her another night.
Daddy working to change
around shifts

Here is where I fall in love with the fire department.  We have to keep O home for the rest of the week after she is released from the hospital.  My firefighter was able to shift everything around and make it happen that I do not have to miss more than this past Monday to care for our sick little gal.  This is especially good, seeing as D has now developed a 102 fever.  When Daddy took O in to the doc, he had her look at D.  She too, is more than likely infected with H1N1, especially considering how close they are.  So, D will also have to stay home for the rest of the week.  His new Capt. helped him get a city-owed trade and one of the guys on the red shift took his other shift this week - clearing up Daddy's schedule for the remainder of the week.  The cherry on the sundae - his Captain called yesterday, just to check.  To check on O, to see how I was doing with all of the chaos and reminded us that we are indeed family now.  That is the first time I have truly seen it.  In all of our years of education, never once has a principal called to check on us - not once.  Now, just six months in, with a captain that has worked with my husband for only a few shifts, he calls on his off day, just to check on us.  It was such a nice feeling.

So, I have still yet to get my Valentine's Day dinner.  If he thinks me running down to the hospital cafeteria for a burger to bring up counts, he has another thing coming.  But, my girls are home.  And that is the only Valentine I truly need.
The Valentine's delivered to O's room throughout the day.
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