15 January 2013

Our Hospital Saga

Deo gratia! Home at last. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us!
Little Bear is still pretty sick, but there was nothing the hospital could do for him that we can't do at home, so the doctor agreed that it would be best for him to be in a familiar, less stressful environment. We can certainly use more prayers as we work to help him get better!

I meant to post updates while we were there if I had the chance, but it didn't happen. For those who are interested, here's a run down of the past few days:

Saturday evening we brought LB to the hospital, where he was treated for dehydration and eventually admitted. That night is fuzzy in my memory, because I've gotten so little sleep, but it can't have been too too awful because the next morning we were thinking we might be released in time to make it to evening mass. The doctor thought that he looked good, but decided to keep him a second night because he wasn't eating much (he was getting enough through the IV that he didn't want to nurse).

Sunday night he continued not wanting to nurse, and we figured it was probably because of his nasal congestion. He has a nasty pattern going here: his nose is stuffy, so he can't breathe well, so he coughs, so his throat hurts, so he cries, so his throat hurts more, so he coughs, and then he throws up. At night it's particularly difficult to keep him from coughing a lot, because the mucus from his nose runs down the back of his throat when he lies down. We got his nose pretty clear around 4 am Monday, though, and he slept until 8 am!

Monday was frustrating. They took LB off the IV because a) he was doing fine physically and b) to try and encourage him to nurse, because he just wouldn't. It didn't help. I finally had to pump milk and give him bottles, to get milk into him at all. We couldn't even spoon-feed it to him, even though he was doing so well with spoons at home--the hospital spoons were apparently not acceptable. The pediatrician was okay with his progress, though, and had his discharge papers drawn up and the iv catheter taken out of his foot. Matt had signed the papers and we were starting to think about packing up when the nurse came in to give him one more dose of his antibiotic; he got so upset, he couldn't stop coughing and threw up several times. Discharge was cancelled, and the pediatrician decided to start him on a different antibiotic instead.

Today (Tuesday) he was more calm and cooperative in general. He slept a lot last night: midnight to 5, when he took medicine and threw up, and again 6 to 9:30. The nurse came in at 8:30 and gave him another dose, and he barely even woke. We got all of the signs we were looking for: eating food, nursing well, not throwing up much, and wet diapers, by the middle of the day, and the pediatrician agreed that he would be better off at home (less-stressful environment). The hospital's lactation consultant stopped by to give us ideas for helping him eat despite his nose, too. We had to wait a while for his prescription to be filled, and then Matt had to drive to North Pole to pick it up, but we were finally released.

What now? Little Bear is taking an oral antibiotic four times a day (8am, 2pm, 8pm, 2am) for six more days. He still very much has his cold, so we will be doing our best to keep his nose clear and helping him handle his cough--he is too young to take anything to help with either, so it'll be a good old-fashioned nasal aspirator and humidifier. We have a follow-up appointment tomorrow at the pediatric clinic, and I imagine the pediatrician will have further instructions if he is concerned about anything.

We appreciate your prayers more than I can say! Thank you so much!

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