Monday, March 21, 2011

Miss Makinley

{phone pic}

This little lady...
oh this little lady.

I can't describe the feelings of love and joy that she has brought to this family. She has somehow, in her short 3 month life changed it, changed us. The spirit and "calm" (okay, that is probably hard to imagine in this family) that she has brought almost seems tangible but yet so indescribable.

I have talked to people about my feelings, to some degree, of when we spent those days in the hospital when she was so sick but I feel the need to record it-for her. I know that she came out so lucky and we didn't have to endure what many families do when their baby that small gets so sick, but it was so hard and something that we learned so much from. 

Thursday morning, after a long night of trying to get her to sleep longer through the night, she woke with this deep chested thick, hurt sounding cough and I had a little sinking feeling and the thought, "oh no, please don't let her get RSV." Then I dismissed it and we got on with our day. By that night, she wasn't sounding so good. She woke Mike and I with her cough and some noise that scared us half out of our wits and we both knew. We were off to the Dr. Friday morning. Dr. Gilliam said her lungs sounded good but she would run an RSV test. The results were immediate and the feelings she brought back in the room with the results made me so very uneasy. She was worried, due to her age, but tried to keep calm and positive-a mother can sense the negative though, it's kind of weird. She told me to keep a close eye on her and said she knew, since I had done this 2x's before, that we would do what we needed to do. Start the breathing treatments when I thought it was time, bulb syringe her with saline, keep her elevated with a humidifier going, and keep her comfortable and let her eat whenever since she was already decreasing her amount on her own. Watch her fever too. Yeah, I had done this twice before but never with such a little baby...I was scared-terrified really but trying to keep calm and positive too.
I didn't sleep much those next 2 nights, fear was ever so prevalent. The alarm was set for every 2 hours those next 2 nights. Saturday, late afternoon, she went downhill some more and I knew I needed to start some breathing treatments. We had to call the on-call Dr. because the prescription we had was expired. We got lucky that Dr. Gilliam was the on-call Dr. She called me right back to say that she was kind of relieved that we needed a new prescription just because she had been thinking about Makinley and was wondering how was doing. That made me love our Dr. even more but all in the same thought made me so nervous and confirmed the feeling that the Dr. was worried on Friday when she had seen her.
Anyway, Sunday morning Daddy took Madilynn and Patrick and headed off to church with his phone on silent-just in case. He really thought I would be calling him and that they wouldn't make it through those 3 hours off church without my call saying we needed to head to the hospital. Dr. Gilliam called me that morning, with a lot of questions on Makinley-again, worry surfaced more and she made it clear that we would be going to hospital-more than likely. However, she had a great 2 hours, almost 2.5 hours.Then went downhill suddenly. She couldn't sleep, she wasn't eating that great...she really wasn't herself. She was still doing certain things though that made me not think it was time to take her in. Her and I slept in the living room that night, I on the couch with her in her bouncy seat. The alarm set for every hour and a half. She woke up at 2 on her own and took a binky-that, to me was good since she could breathe enough to take it. Then she woke up at 3 rather restless and ready to eat. She couldn't eat, she couldn't breathe enough to. My heart rate became a bit more rapid. I started a breathing treatment, she just couldn't seem to even take that though. I hollered for Mike and he came stumbling into the living room, literally. (It seems ridiculous to find any humor in the situation at hand but man, that was funny. Mike is basically blind without his contacts, well, top fear and exhaustion on top of that -and a 6'4 skinny man tripping on something...who knows what-and let me tell you...that is funny.) I tell him we need to go to the hospital now. We scramble to get ready. I call Diane, no answer...I am on the verge of tears, I call her cell phone-it's ringing then a call beeps in-it's her and some relief enters me. (she told me later that for some reason their house phone had been in their room that night, it never is. She heard it ring but didn't get to it in time, Nate said it was is us and she called back-crazy huh?) She so willingly lets us bring the kids over and off we went to the hospital, praying the entire way there that she would hang in there. We got there got checked in, a guy from our church actually took us back to our room, which brought some weird feeling of relief as well. They assessed her, put her on oxygen since her levels weren't high enough . They then gave her an IV, which they did quickly and very well. The Dr. came in and said we would be staying but we may be moved to another hospital, and they would transport, because they were so full on the Peds. floor, unless we wanted to wait for a room. They did 2 back to back breathing treatments next and then left us for a short time. The Dr. came in a little while later to ask how I thought she reacted to the back-to back treatments. "I didn't see any change" "I didn't think so either", he said. He told us then that they worked some things out and would have a room for us before too long (I think he sensed that we didn't want to change hospitals if we didn't absolutely have to). He said I could try and nurse her since she hadn't eaten since 9:00 the night before, it was now around 7 am-I was dyin' and she HAD to be hungry, right? By then, she just didn't care and still couldn't breathe enough to eat. They came a short while later to check on her and I said I thought she needed to be sucked out, she had so much coated around the nasal oxygen thing that I didn't think she was getting too much. I really wish I would have just left it alone. The next part was the worst thing I have ever had to experience and something that stays in my mind (and something I wish would leave my mind). they came in and went to suck her out. She literally stopped breathing and I think my heart stopped for a moment too and then was going to so fast I didn't feel like I could breathe right. Everything seemed slow motion at that point. Every shade of color her skin changed we saw. her lips started turning too and I felt like I was screaming at the nurse, "SHE CAN'T BREATHE, SHE CAN'T BREATHE!"  when in reality I could barely get it out of my mouth. I was shaking, the nurse was shaking. Oddly, I remember seeing Mike's face and a look of fear and horror. I say oddly because I didn't think I looked at anything but her. I thought we were losing her. I felt sick and faithless but hopeful all at the same time, pleading in my heart. After about a minute (which felt like minutes) she finally caught a small breath. The noise of her trying to catch that simple breath was an awful noise and the noise until she caught a full breath even more so.
We were helpless and she was so small. We are supposed to be able to protect and take care of her, that is our job and we couldn't.
Her color never returned to normal after that. We were moved upstairs to the Peds. unit. The nurse, Katie, was wonderful. The Doctor, Dr. Washington, was also very nice. There isn't a whole lot to say about RSV. It's a bad respiratory VIRUS...there is no medicine for a virus. And this particular one is an "unfolding" virus, it takes days, 7-10 to be exact to go from start to finish. It has to hit it's peak though, which usually lasts a couple of days. Well,  she was on day 5 technically so she had probably just hit her peak. Our thought was, how can she do this for more than a couple of hours, this peak is supposed to be at least a full day?
The Dr. asked how the treatments went downstairs, I told her my thoughts. She thought we should try a different medicine for the treatment, one with epinephrine and see if that worked better-some kids respond better the albuterol, some don't. They brought me a pump, finally! They did a treatment on her and the Dr. came back in about 2 hours after our first introduction and "run-through" of what was going on. Mike was in the cafeteria getting us some food. She checked little missy out, asked when her last treatment was and then said she wasn't pleased with how her breathing was, how her lungs sounded, or how she looked. She then said she was worried that if they couldn't get her to improve at all that Makinley was just going to get too tired.
Another punch in the gut-uneven heartbeat and breathing for me.
She ordered the next treatment to be done as soon as the respiratory therapist could get in there. She also told me that she would have the PICU dr. come in and check her over, just in case they were missing something. (that Dr. never did come in) The respiratory therapist came in pretty quick to give her another treatment and then the nurse came in while he was there. I looked at her and said, "I need to ask you a question." my voice got shaky and I tried to pull it together. "I know that RSV is bad, and she is little. On a scale of 1-10 how is she doing?" Katie looked at me for a second and then seemed to eye the respiratory therapist, "We are going to take care of her, she is going to be okay. it's going to be okay."
In my head, "Okay. Well, that didn't really answer my question. And your litttle glance at the dude wasn't missed. Thanks, I guess, for trying to be positive and for dodge balling a volcanic eruption magnitude of tears. But, really no thank you because I needed it straightforward. But...thanks." 
they finished and left. I started crying, Mike came and was a bit confused I think. I told him what had happened. I asked if he could give her another priesthood blessing, she had had one on Friday after we found out she had RSV. He said yes and gave her another blessing. Honestly, he finished the blessing and I thought , "what does that mean?" I never had before felt so weak in my faith. I was just so scared and the thought of her not making it was just too much for me. I asked Mike a little while later what he thought of the blessing, did he feel it meant for this life or was it more the life after this, since all blessings are eternal and everything. He gave me his thoughts and I tried to find comfort in them.
They came in a little while later and used an electric suction. I was terrified, I didn't want them to do this to her again. It worked so good though, so good that I told  them I wanted one at home-everyone says that apparently. Things turned around after that. She finally ate a little bit and her breathing improved a little bit. We sat and watched a miracle take place in the course of about 2 hours. It was amazing. The Lord took what little faith I had left and he strengthened it. He helped me understand what it means that His hand is in all things. I have come to realize since that even if the outcome was different, had we had to endure her sickness longer, had she not been strong enough to pull through, His hand would have still been there and in it all. 
The following nurses and therapists that evening all commented that she was not what they expected, they expected her to be a lot worse from what they had been told and what they had read in her chart. Her progress was good, she still wasn't eating very good though that next day.  The Dr. made it sound like we would be there all week, even with the progress that she had made. She couldn't keep her fever controlled without medicine and they didn't like that either. But, she was improving and doing so, so much fster than they expected. Wednesday, we got the good news that she could go home and we were home as a family by 1:00 that afternoon. She is an amazing little fighter.
I can't complete this recap  without mentioning how much love and support we got from family and friends. We could literally feel the prayers and thoughts of others as we sat in that hospital. To know that since we are far from family we would have so many friends there to help us, strengthened us. We had dinners provided to us and offers and help with our children. Calls to make sure we were okay. Friends to bring chocolate, because chocolate helps us cope, and movies to watch while we were there. :) Wow, the flow of love was phenomenal and so very much appreciated-I dont think there are words to describe our gratitude. It was a hard, scary, and wonderful experience...and not one that I choose to do again. I am forever grateful for the lessons I learned through it all-so so many lessons. I am grateful that Makinley is healthy again. We are grateful.
We love her and her smiles, we love that she is a little talker. We love that she makes us all smile and that she brings us all joy. We just love her so much.


Blake and Audra said...

I am so glad I read this today. I have been so stressed out with hoping and praying Magnus doesn't get RSV. I learned a lot from this post. I am so incredibly glad that Makinly is doing so much better. I can't imagine, as a mom, going through that and wondering if your sweet little baby will make it through and not have a little shake in your faith. You are so strong and I'm so grateful for priesthood blessings and husbands that are worthy and willing to give them. Baby girl is a tough cookie! I'm so glad your family is home together and happy!

Steph said...

OMW, Shannon! I can't IMAGINE what you went through being the mommy to this precious newbie having to fight so hard to breathe! Reading your recap brought me to tears...twice.
I am so thankful we have the knowledge the gospel brings as well as the priesthood blessings!!! I'm so happy everything turned out so well!