Monday, December 28, 2015

Emily goes to the hospital

On Tuesday, Dec. 15, about an hour after Emmy went to bed, she came downstairs and said she couldn't lay down because her ear hurt when she tried to lay down. I thought she was a) stalling going to bed, and b) being a wimp. So I took her back upstairs and tried to help her lay down. She started screaming when I laid her down. So I gave her some Ibuprofen and tried again. Same thing.

She was crying and said it hurt so bad and that she needed a doctor. So I took her to the instacare thinking maybe she had an ear infection and we'd go get her some antibiotics and come home.

We went to the instacare and she just kept getting worse. By this point, she had developed a pretty high fever and also would not move her neck. When we finally got in to see the instacare doctor, he said that she had all the symptoms for menengitis and that we better go to the ER.

So I drove over to the ER at the children's hospital (and got lost on the way because I didn't know where it was). By this time it was like 10:30 p.m. and the ER was pretty crowded. As soon as I said menengitis, they got her in pretty quick. She was still writhing in pain, but kept saying she wanted to get out of there.

They did a bunch of tests, including a CT scan and some blood tests. She finally calmed down after they gave her some morphine at about 2 a.m. After all the tests, they determined that she did not have meningitis, but that she had a retro-pharyngeal abscess, which is a pocket of infection in your neck just behind your throat.

The treatment for that is to either put you on really strong antibiotics via an IV for a couple days or do surgery to drain the infection. They recommended doing the antibiotics first to see if that worked so she could avoid surgery. So she was admitted to the hospital at about 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.

For three days she did not get better. She kept getting worse. She would not move her head and her neck got really swollen. I really was not impressed with the ENT doctor who was assigned to her or the hospital.

She tried one time to get up and walk down to the playroom to do some crafts, but after about 5 minutes she started crying saying she wanted to go back to her bed, that it hurt too much. They even tried to give her an American Girl doll and she didn't even want it, she was in so much pain. (I wish I would have taken it anyway and said she'd want it later....the regret!)

On Thursday night, they moved Emily into another room. A shared room. She had been in a private room before in a special care unit, so at least the nurses were pretty nice because they only had 2 patients. The shared room was awful. I totally lost it that night. The nurses were not very nice and they had more patients to worry about. Plus, they kept coming in all night long for the other kid. Whoever thought shared hospital rooms were a good idea is crazy!

She pretty much didn't move or eat for 3 days She even had to use a bedpan, she wouldn't even get out of bed to go to the bathroom. It was so sad. On Friday, they finally decided that the antibiotics were not working so they were going to do the surgery to drain the infection. But then they said they didn't have room for her in the OR that day, so she was just going to have to sit there and suffer another day or two til they could get her on the schedule. I was so mad!

Luckily, that night, an ENT doctor who is in our ward was on weekend duty and found out that Emily was on his case, and called us and told us he would get her in for the surgery first thing in the morning. He also explained what was going on since the other ENT doctor who had been seeing her was not very good at communicating anything with us. That was such a blessing to have a familar face!

So Saturday morning, the guy from our ward did her surgery and they drained 5 mLs of puss out of her neck. They went in through her mouth, and she had to be put under. She was so scared.

The pre/post-OR staff were awesome. They explained things really well and gave continuous updates on how things were going in the OR.

The surgery went well, and Emily did great. Just a few hours after the surgery I could see improvement. She started asking to eat and moving her head. And then she started to be an ornery beast. She would yell at the other kid in her room to be quiet and go away. He was being really loud and moaning all the time. It was driving me nuts. (Again, stupid shared rooms. You're already under a ton of stress and trying to deal with your own kid. The last thing you want is to deal with someone else's sick kid too, and worry about your kid bugging the other kid. Uggghhh!!!!! It made me sooooo mad!!!!!) Also, they moved her into 4 different rooms the 6 nights we were there. It was totally ridiculous. I slept at the hospital with her 5 nights, and Matt did 1 night. It was exhausting!

Anyway, she improved pretty quickly after the surgery. She was eating by Saturday afternoon, and Sunday she was just getting bored and annoyed that she was still there. We even smuggled her in some ice cream one day and took her for a ride in this wagon around the hospital. (Which was tricky to do with an IV pole, but I managed.)

She was able to go home on the Monday before Christmas, and we couldn't get out of there fast enough. She was feeling well enough on Sunday to do some crafts and made this stained glass butterfly, some Christmas ornaments, and did some paintings. We also watched lots of movies and played Candyland a ton.
It seriously was so awful. I hope that never happens again. But our ward was amazing through this whole thing. They really stepped in and were lifesavers. Without me even asking, people lined up to watch Zach, brought food to the hospital and to the house, brought little gifts for Emily and came to give her a blessing, sent cards and treats, and so much! I am so grateful for the help we received during that week. We never would have survived without the help of our ward members! I don't know how people with no family and no church survive things like this. Seriously, they were lifesavers.

She was completely fine by Christmas, thank goodness, and we are so glad she is fully recovered. I love my little Emmy and it was so sad to see her so sick.

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