Monday, March 29, 2010

Brooke's Hospital Stay

I wish that I could say that I have been MIA because I was lazy or just not up to blogging but that is far from the truth. Shortly after my last post on Thursday Brooke's virus sent us to the ER where, little did we know, our journey was just starting.

The ER was PACKED. There were tons and tons of people there and Brooke had been able to keep nothing down at that point so waiting was very unsettling. When we were finally seen, 3 hours later, they put her in a crib in the hallway and the doctor gave her about 20 seconds of his time. He started her on an IV to hydrate her and then ordered for blood to be drawn to see what was going on. After sitting in the hallway for another 2 hours the doctor concluded that it was just a virus and she should be sent home. She was still having diarrhea probably every 10 minutes or so and I expressed that concern to him. He replied, "Well, I'm going to give you some handouts on how to deal with it." When I asked further questions he raised his hands up as if to say, "Leave me alone." At that point it was like 11 o'clock and Brooke's spirits had lifted since the fluids were given to her and I figured that a doctor would know better than me. Off we went...

That night Brooke was up CONSTANTLY throwing up, having the nasty diarrhea, and screaming in pain that her stomach hurt. When we got up the next morning she was still having those symptoms and I noticed that she had no tears coming from her eyes, she was unable to pee, and she had absolutely NO color to her face. I called her primary care provider and he sent me immediately to the hospital to have her admitted. John had worked the night before so I decided not to wake him, assuming that she would only be in the hospital long enough to be given more fluids. I also didn't pack us much of anything because again, I figured we wouldn't be there all that long.

When we got the hospital they discovered that Brooke was extremely dehydrated. As it turns out, me taking her to the ER the night before was a HUGE part of her being okay. Those fluids apparently are what sustained her through the long night of being so sick. We were ultimately there for 3 long, horrible nights and we just got home today.

Our doctor said that what the ER doctor was was unacceptable and she should have been admitted that night, as her blood work showed great dehydration at that point. He even got the director of the ER to come up to apologize and the doctor was fired on the spot for his treatment to Brooke. They basically kissed up to us the whole time. I was happy to see that they were mortified over the awful care she had received.

This whole situation brought on awful emotions within me. It was so hard not being to be with both girls at the same time. The day that Brooke was admitted was by far the hardest. I had to be by Brooke's side that day because she was EXTREMELY sick and my sister took care of Adrienne. She brought Adrienne up after nap time where I nursed her and then I didn't see her again until I went to Alison's house to sleep while John stayed with Brooke. Adrienne was a real trooper and I was so fortunate that the hospital let me use their amazing pump to make lots of milk for her. After Friday we thankfully got into a groove and let Adrienne come up to the hospital during the mornings to hang out. The doctor figured it was fine because she had been around the germs for so long anyways, plus the breast milk is great protection. On Saturday and Sunday afternoon my parents took her for a few hours so I could have one-on-one time with Brooke. Leaving her and John at the hospital each night was the HARDEST thing I have ever had to do and I can never remember feeling so torn in my entire life.

So, through this all, I am thankful for the health of my precious daughter, Brooke. I don't have any clue how parents of terminally ill children do this day in and day out. These 4-5 days have been an absolute nightmare! I am also thankful for so much family and friends who made this as "easy" for us as possible. We had so many visitors who brought gifts and food and it was such an encouragement!

Brooke's on the mend right now and I couldn't be more excited! She's still very sleepy and her appetite is obviously down. She's also down to 26 pounds so she just looks skinny and pale to me. I can deal with all of that as long as she's HOME! Each day will get a little bit better.


Simply Complicated said...

I had goosebumps reading this that is so so awful! Sorry you've had to go through this, you and your family are in my prayers. Seeing your children so sick is the absolute worst/helpless feeling. Hang in there!

rccalyn said...

I'm so glad she's on the mend! I can't imagine how hard that would be, to split yourself between both girls. I was wondering how you were doing it, with still nursing Adrienne. That was nice that the hospital let you use a pump!