Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Life Flight

You know what is worse than being sick, even worse than being diagnosed a chronic illness..what's worse is seeing your child sick. Even just temporarily. I recently shared about the week I spend in the hospital as I was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis. That week was nothing compared to the week I spent in the hospital with my 5 month old baby girl.

The crazy thing is, I wasn't even there that night. I wasn't there when Janessa stopped breathing and became unresponsive. I wasn't there when my Dad had to make the 911 call for an ambulence to come get a pale blueish baby. I didn't hear her 4 year old brother yelling for her to breathe.  I wasn't there when the EMT's rushed in and scooped up baby Nessa and said "Oh she doesn't look good" and rushed her out to the ambulence.  I didn't see when they couldn't get an IV and had to put it in her shin bone. This nightmare, it's a burden my parents had to bear.

But I was at the hospital waiting for her. Praying that the moment I got a glimpse of my baby girl that they wouldn't be performing cpr. Praying that she would be breathing, crying because if she was crying that means she was breathing! We had gotten a call from my dad that Janessa was coming in to the ER and I didn't think much of it because she had already been to the Emergency Room a couple days earlier.


As I shared recently, just a week earlier I had spent a week in the hospital and had been diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis. Even when I was released home, I spent most of my time in bed recovering, struggling with extreme exhaustion, headaches, fevers, and catching whatever virus' that kept coming into my home. All 3 of kids were fighting congestion and coughs. I was too weak and sick to care for them so my husband was holding down the fort and my sister and mom were helping out as well! My two girl's cough kept getting worse so when Janessa started a fever we thought it was best they go see a doctor. I didn't have the strength to take them so my sister and mom took both Alaya and Janessa and it was confirmed they both have RSV.

Alaya is two and said she would fight the virus off herself and wouldn't need medication but Janessa would need to have some breathing treatments to help with her labored breathing. At the clinic, when they put her in her carseat to go her O2 levels kept dropping. They were concerned how low it would drop so they wanted her to go to the Emergency Room for further and better monitoring. Since she couldn't be in her carseat, they called an ambulence to take her. My poor husband (local firefighter) was working the day they called for first responders to take a 5 month old baby to be transported to the emergency due to labored breathing and low O2. He knew right away it had to be Janessa and was then able to be with her in the hospital alongside my sister and mom.

At this time I had no idea Janessa's O2 was low and was being taken by ambulence to the E.R.! I was home sick in bed. I remember when my parents came in and told me the news. They told me I didn't need to worry, instantly I started to worry, and then explained that Janessa was in the E.R with RSV. It was a bit overwhelming for me after the weeks we had just had. I was still trying to cope with my recent diagnosis and still recovering from my time in the hospital. I had caught an upper respiratory virus as well and fevering on and off. It's already hard to be sick as a mom! And to be sick and have sick kids is even harder! And to be sick and UNABLE to care for sick kids, it's hard. I felt hopeless and hated I couldn't be there for Janessa. And yet so soooo thankful for family nearby and the care and help they gave!

Janessa was given a steroid shot and sent home that day because her O2 levels seemed stable. At home she continued to receive breathing treatments. As I mentioned, I was still awfully sick myself and spent a lot of time in bed so my husband took care of the kids and even stayed up in the night with Janessa since she wasn't sleeping well because of her cough and labored breathing. Being we were both being stretched to our limits those weeks even with help, my parents offered to take all 3 kids for a sleepover Sunday night to give Ryan and I a break and a chance to get some good rest.

That Sunday evening my Dad called Ryan and said they were bringing Janessa back into the E.R. We didn't ask for details we just said we would meet them there! Again, I didn't get too worked up because she had just been to the E.R. a couple days earlier and thought maybe she just needed another shot and continued monitoring. It wasn't until I got to the hospital I found out she would be coming in on the ambulence and that my parents had call 911 because she had stopped breathing and had stopped responding to them.

When I discovered these details, I knew it would become very easy for me to become emotionally and physically distressed. Being I was already extremely sick and had not been out of the hospital long and still struggling with high blood pressure, I knew I physically couldn't let myself get too worked up or else I would end up back in the hospital as well. It had to have been God's grace that came over me that night and carried me through. I remember feeling almost numb, like I was in shock from everything that was happening!

I was so weak. I coudn't hardly stand. I remember not even having the strength to pray. All I could manage to say was His Name. I just cried to Him, "Jesus! Please Jesus. Jesus" That's all. And that was enough. I knew He heard my hearts cry and plea even if I couldn't say the words. And soon word would be out and the prayer warriors in life would pray on my behalf for my baby girl and prayer chains were started.

Being numb to it all, I can't hardly remember everything they did at the Emergency Room. Her O2 levels were obviously too low and she was becoming distressed. They needed to get her O2 levels back up right away and so they put her on forced oxygen as well as another steroid shot and fluids and pain meds because she was obviously uncomfortable. The doctors and staff at our local E.R. were absolutely great but Janessa needing more intensive care and monitoring and so they called for her to be taken by helicopter to the Iowa City Pediatrics ICU.

That was a sobering moment. Watching your baby girl being taking away from you in a helicopter.
Her flying away.
It was such a helpless feeling.

We were not allowed in the helicopter but we knew she was in good hands. The helicopter was incredible and the team on it even better. They called it the "limo of all helicopters" because it was fancy looking and beastly. I guess nothing but the best for Princess Nessa. She arrived safely and without any issues. My husband rushed up to meet her there and the rest of my family and I packed up and headed to Iowa City. With me being sick and needing rest, we stayed in a hotel room for a few nights so I could get plenty of rest to try to get better and fight off my sickness. It was SO hard to be away from her!! And for my parents as well, it was all so traumatic!!

The next day was another rough day for Janessa. Her color was still awful and breathing still labored as well as just cranky from being uncomfortable. You couldn't blame her though with being so sick and having to have so many tubes hooked up, she had to have o2, feeding tube, iv, and chest monitors all hooked up. I hated seeing her so miserable. The nurses were incredible of course and so helpful and great at calming and caring for her. By Tuesday we finally started to see some improvement and a little color starting to return!

 Prayers were being answered!!

And by golly, once she turned that corner, she improved at a significant rate! Tuesday night she was able to eat from a bottle. By Wednesday she was smiling and acting more like herself! We were able to start to see our Janessa come back!!

Wednesday we were able to move from the ICU into the normal Pedatrics floor. We hated to leave are amazing nurses in the ICU but the nurses in pediatrics were top of the line as well and took great care of her.
As I mentioned, once she started recovering, she did so at an incredible rate! We were so blessed by amount of people praying for our baby girl, people we didn't even know, prayer chains all over the country were started on her behalf and we were seeing all those prayers being answered right before our eyes!
By Thursday, she was completely off oxygen and the doctors said she could go home! She still had some labored breathing so we made sure to follow up with her local doctor the next day but we were all so excited to be able to head home!

As Janessa was recovering and getting better, I was starting to feel a bit better myself so we were anxious to get home and to our own beds! Not to mention how much we missed the rest of the family!!

Janessa got home and continued to be on breathing treatments and had a steroid added to her treatments for a few days but she recovered wonderfully and is a healthy happy girl now! She decided since being sick she no longer wants to sleep through the night anymore, I think she got completely spoiled being held by her Papa all those nights she was sick, but I don't mind. I love having my happy healthy Nessa back! We feel so blessed and thankful for help, love, and prayers from our family, friends, and more that got us through that week!

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow. What a season I read this with pressure in my heart- I'm currently on crutches and painkillers recovering from massive knee surgery and my 2yo got pneumonia 2 weeks ago right in the worst part for me. I can relate to so many of these feelings you had even if in a different level. I'm so glad to see Nessa smiling and safe. The breathing treatments have become part of our life for #3 as well. Stay strong mama. You got this.