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Kaitlyn’s Hospitalization March 10, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

It wasn’t a cold. It was Respiratory Syncytial Virus, also known as RSV.

From the Centers for Disease Control:
Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Clinical features: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia among infants and children under 1 year of age. Illness begins most frequently with fever, runny nose, cough, and sometimes wheezing.

Kaitlyn had been sick since last Sunday. She had all of the symptoms above except for the fever. Also her breathing was very rapid, and shallow. Monday we had debated about calling the doctor, thinking that he would probably tell us it was just a cold. I spent Monday night knocked out on Vicodin due to a severe earache. Tuesday morning, I took one look at the baby and told my husband to call the Pediatrician. He called at 8:15 and was told they had an appointment at 3:15. I said no. Tell them she needs to come in before that. He pressed the receptionist until she put a nurse on the phone, who listened to Kaitlyn’s symptoms and said get her in now. Meanwhile, I called our family doctor for an appointment for me to have my ear and throat looked at. And, Ryan also had an appointment to see the doctor. The logistics were a bit complicated-BC would drive me and Kaitlyn to the Pediatrician, then drive Ryan to the family doctor. My friend Trisha would meet me at the Ped. office and drive me and Kaitlyn over to the family doctor for my appointment, where BC and Ryan would be waiting to drive us home.

It didn’t exactly work out that way. At the Pediatrician’s, Dr. M. listened to Kaitlyn’s lungs and immediately got a very worried look on her face. That is never a good sign. She said it sounded like Kaitlyn might possibly have pneumonia in her right lung, and brought in a breathing treatment of Albuterol. Instead of opening her breathing passages, the treatment made Kaitlyn very upset and after several minutes of kicking and crying, she got very quiet and sleepy. This made the doctor even more worried, and she immediately decided to call an ambulance and send Kaitlyn to the hospital. You can imagine my reaction to this news. Thank God Trisha was in the waiting room, because a “support person” was exactly what I needed at that point. I called BC, crying and trying to keep it together, then put Kaitlyn in the carseat and handed her to a very tall Paramedic. I rode in the ambulance with Trisha following us. The Paramedic was very nice, he made small talk until we got to the hospital. We went right into Emergency.

At this point while writing this, I informed my husband that it was too hard to keep writing “BC” while referring to him. He gave me permission to, as he put it, “reveal his true identity”-so here it is: his name is Chris. I know, big shock. Okay, back to the story:

We are taken into a Trauma room and within seconds have several nurses at our side. I recite Kaitlyn’s symptoms and when they first appeared-I’ve already told this to the Pediatrician and the Paramedic so I’m getting good at giving the information. They bring diapers (we have a diaper bag but I have a feeling the charges will include diapers whether we use them or not so we might as well), and bottles of Pedialyte, since her symptoms include vomiting. Chris and Ryan arrive, and Trisha generously offers to drive Ryan to school. Chris convinces me to leave and go to my doctor appointment so I can start getting healthy myself. I make it to the office in record time, spend 5 minutes with the doctor, take the prescription to Rite Aid where I beg the pharmacist to fill it as quickly as possible, and get back to the ER.

Kaitlyn is now getting oxygen by means of a “blow-by” tube. Basically, we hold it near her face so the air blows across, which gives her more available air to take in. She’s drinking a little Pedialyte and wetting her diapers; I’ve never been so happy to change a diaper in my life. Severe dehydration would have made her symptoms and treatment so much worse. At 2:45, Chris leaves to pick up the boys from school. We know Kaitlyn is being admitted to the hospital, but they don’t have a room ready yet,so I tell him to take the boys home and give them dinner and I will call when I know something.

At around 4:00 a nurse wheels Kaitlyn’s bed out into the hallway because they need the room for a woman who’s heartrate is 200 beats per minute. Good God. We spend the next two and a half hours in the hallway, with people rushing around us. A woman comes in having a severe allergic reaction to something that was in some chicken salad she ate. A young woman laying in a bed next to ours has dinner brought to her because she’s diabetic, but her nurse keeps forgetting the insulin shot. Meanwhile, I have an earache and a bad sore throat and have to blow my nose constantly. But the baby, she’s the only thing that matters.

Around 6:30 they move us to the Children’s floor. The hospital has spent a lot of money on it. The door to each room looks like the front door of a house, and the floor has a road painted on it with traffic signs. There are wagons parked in the hallway. Kaitlyn is settled into a crib with sides that go almost all the way to the ceiling. She is whimpering a little and is hungry, so they bring us formula; it’s not exactly the kind Kaitlyn is used to but she drinks a little and falls asleep. She is sharing the room with a 7 month old who also has RSV. Her mother doesn’t speak English. The nurse informs us that we are in an “isolation” room, everyone who comes in besides us has to wear a gown and mask. We don’t have to do this since we have already been exposed to the virus. We do, however, have to wash our hands every time we leave the room, because we might have the virus on our skin. The room is big enough for each side to have a crib, recliner or rocker, and a fold-out couch. There is a nightstand, and one of those long tables that go across the bed, and a flat TV screen on the wall for each side of the room.

Chris and the boys arrive. The doctor recommended I not spend the night in the hospital since I am sick and need to rest. Chris agrees to stay. The room has a large couch with a foam seat that folds out into a surprisingly comfortable bed. Reluctantly, I drive the boys home. It breaks my heart to leave my husband and baby at the hospital, but the boys need me too. Once home, I get the boys in bed and then fall sound asleep sitting up on the couch watching TV. I wake up an hour later and crawl into bed. I have to get up early, get the boys to school, and get back to the hospital.

Tomorrow I’ll write Part Two: Our Stay At The Hospital. But right now I’m going to stop, because unfortunately I am still sick. My left ear is completely clogged up and not only can I not hear anything on that side, but I can hear my own pulse in my ear. My nose won’t stop running and my throat is raw and sore. But my baby is home, sleeping in her car seat in her crib, and that’s all that matters.



1. sweatpantsmom - March 10, 2006

That sounds like such a scary ordeal. I’m glad to hear she’s doing better – sounds like you should get some R&R yourself.

Take care.

2. Izzy - March 10, 2006

What a nightmare! That’s an awful lot to deal with.I hope you both of you are feeling better again ASAP.

3. Mary Tsao - March 12, 2006

Wow, what a horrible time you’ve had. I’m so glad little K is back home in her crib! Your husband sounds like a wonderful man.

Please take care of yourself; your family needs you to be strong and well.

Hang in there. Winter can’t last forever.

4. Nixie Knox - March 12, 2006

Elizabeth, I am so sorry! Having a sick baby is so hard and stressful. I hope that Kaitlyn is feeling better very soon.

5. halloweenlover - March 13, 2006

OH MY GOD, how terrifying. I’m so glad she is home!

6. Mightymouse Mommy - March 14, 2006

Sissy, I keep forgetting to ask you what BC actually stands for? Bitchy Chris? Big Chris? Boogey Chris? Brainiac Chris? I MUST KNOW! *giggle*

As a suggestion for further name edits of other people, write the entry in word, use the name most comfortable to you and then “find and replace all” 🙂 I did it all the time on my old website for journal entries about Betty. 🙂

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