Sunday, November 20, 2011

All of My Gray Hairs are Named Abby

Well, Matt is gone this weekend, so naturally that is the perfect time for Abby to start acting up...and by acting up, I mean worry me to death with low saturation levels.  She obviously missed her daddy and would do just about anything to bring him back home quicker. 

Abby is taking a nap right now and Caleb is at church with my sister and her family, so I have a few minutes to recount the events of Friday evening.

Abby had two episodes of intense coughing where she turned purple.  I suctioned her both times.  The second time, she also started sort of foaming at the mouth (not like a seizure...just a ton of saliva) and then it all shot out at once.  Her saturation levels (how much oxygen she is able to get--it's a percentage with 100% being the best) were also not as high as they usually are.  It was really weird and she wasn't acting right, so I called the pediatric pulminologist on call at JHH.  She suggested giving a nebulizer treatment (Albuterol, like a fast-acting inhaler) and monitoring her closely, but said to bring her in if things did not improve or got worse.

I gave her a neb treatment, did lots of chest PT (banging on her back to break stuff up) and kept her hooked up to her pulse oximeter so that I could watch her sats.  She was doing better by bedtime, so I figured a neb treatment was all she needed.

Around 9:30, her sats really started dropping to levels they haven't been since the hospital, so I hooked her up to oxygen through her ventilator.  The levels were still dropping and not staying up even with the oxygen, so I turned it up higher.  Her sats still dropped lower than I have ever seen them at home.  Abby was asleep, but very agitated and kept opening her eyes.  At this point, I called my parents to ask if they could come get Caleb in case I needed to leave for the hospital.  Abby doesn't make me nervous too much these days because I'm used to her drama, but I was definitely concerned here.

Our night nurse came and I met her at the door to explain what was going on.  I had already set up everything for a trach change, which I told her was my last option before going to the hospital.  We changed the trach (which I could do on my own in a true emergency, but I'd just decided to change it a few minutes before she got here, so I figured I would just wait for her) and Abby immediately improved.  Thank you Lord!

There was nothing visibly wrong with the trach and she didn't have any plugs (thick secretions that keep her from breathing), but something about it must have been bothering her.  We turned the oxygen off and continued to monitor her for a while, but she was fine.  Crisis over!

Throughout all of this, I was texting Matt to keep him informed, and he was just about ready to come home.  Thankfully, she settled down and everything was fine.  I've had no problems with her the rest of the weekend, so it was obviously something with the trach that caused her distress.  I saved the faulty trach for Matt to check out, but I couldn't see anything wrong with it. 

I did my post-emergency crash late that night and thanked God for giving me a level head and for getting me through another crisis.  With each one, I think back to January 25th when we almost lost her.

Unless you have been there, you can't relate to the stress and concern we constantly feel.  Unless you have been there, you have no idea how you would react in these situations.  Unless you have been there, you can't know how I felt watching her sats drop even with oxygen.  Unless you have been there, you can't understand.  But I appreciate your prayers!!  :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keeping Abby and your family in my daily prayers. God certainly gave you peace and calm to handle the crisis so you could take care of Abby. God bless you! Tric Gillette