Thursday, June 28, 2012

How Did We Get Here? June's Story, Part I (By Whitney)

PART I: February 2010-June, 8 months old.

It all started as a cold.

One morning, as I was getting June out of her crib, I noticed she had bad breath. That was weird, because normally her breath didn't smell like anything! As the day progressed, I noticed she was having difficulty breathing and was only breathing out of her mouth. And because she was still on the bottle at the time, June could only take a few big sucks and then she would gasp for air. Her temperature had also risen steadily for 24 hours, up to 104 degrees. We were doing what the nurses were telling us to do to treat her cold and fever.

The following morning, June's fever had dropped slightly so I felt a bit of relief. I sat down with her in my lap to give her a bottle. Soon after, she vomited it all back up. I called the nurse again and she thought it would be a smart thing to take June to the ER to treat her for dehydration. June was getting very weak. I drove her to the ER, and at every stoplight turned around to shake the carseat to make sure she was okay. She was barely moving or making any noise and it terrified me.

June was hooked up to an IV, given a chest x-ray, and tested for a urinary tract infection. Everything looked clear, and after some fluids she was able to sit up again. After 4 hours, we were sent home.

Soon after we got home, June vomited again. And it did not stop. We were instructed to give her teaspoons of Pedialyte using a medicine dropper. She kept some down so I felt better, then after several hours, it all came back up again. Called the nurse back. June was growing weak again, and she didn't even have the strength to sit up when vomiting. We were told to go back to the ER. It was midnight, I didn't want to go back and put June through that again. It had been a stressful morning, a long day, she just needed to get some sleep. So I was thinking, "we have to drive back there, hook up the IV again, more poor baby just needs to sleep." I truly thought she could keep a little liquid down and sleep it off, I didn't want to bother her; she was just so worn out. So I said to Tony, "Ok, if she throws up this teaspoon, we'll go." June threw it up, and off we went.

Her glucose had dropped to 23 (which we did not understand at the time, but later learned that one can lose brain function with a glucose level below 40). She was lifeless. I was fortunate enough to know the chief of the emergency room at our Children's Hospital, and he happened to have the midnight shift. We got VIP care. She had several tests done (what tests, I couldn't tell you, I was in a state of shock as nurses were running back and forth from our room). I was well aware, however, of our doctor administering a spinal tap on June. I bent over and cried my eyes out at the mention of meningitis. June barely made a noise when that huge needle went into her tiny spine, and that only told us how weak she truly had become. She had wires attached everywhere, and the sound of that damn blood pressure machine beeping still haunts us to this day!

June was admitted and we stayed at Children's Hospital for 3 days. The team of doctors could not figure out why she had gotten so ill, and so they boiled it down to a nasty stomach virus. All tests had come back negative (phew!).
When we got home, June had acted like nothing ever happened! Mommy and Daddy, on the other hand, needed about a week's worth of rest! went on.

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