Our little Chloe has been a bit sick for the past few days. She has kept her momma (and daddy) nice and worried……and a little busy. Even though she fought it by screaming/twisting/kicking/squirming at first, she now lets us put the oxygen tube in her nose. With only a slight grunt in protest now. And we all giggle because she looks like our little ol’ granny, pulling her O2 tank behind her. Teasing her keeps the mood light and she has become possessive over her cords and oxygen tank. Sweet little punkin’ head!!
Oh, what happened??! Well, Chloe got a cold last week. Which quickly turned ugly a day later. She was having the hardest time breathing and her sweet little chest was retracting so hard, just to get a breath. So, off to the ER she went, with daddy. Once there, she received lots of meds, and quickly lost her tummy in all the commotion……all over her daddy (I told him, “…welcome to my life!”). The Dr told Steve that they wanted to send her to a bigger hospital, with a children’s wing. So after a parent swap (so puke-soaked daddy could go home) and a crazy transport in an ambulance, little Chloe and I settled in for the night, at 2 am. Oh wait, no settling happened. Because that was the start of that wretched oxygen tube up her nose. It was a battle. But she finally gave up in exhaustion and let that tube force the needed oxygen inside of her little toddler lungs. And allowed the nurses to mess with her and adjust her cords and monitors ALL…..NIGHT…..LONG. Whew.
She woke up a little better. And finally able to breathe on her own while awake now. Still borderline low, but finally in the safe zone. So we just hung out. When nap time came around again, her oxygen dipped too low again……bummer. But the Dr said we could take her home with oxygen for sleeping.
Home is much happier. Because she can sleep in her bed…….without housekeeping, room service, volunteers, or nurses coming in all through the day and night. (However, those interruptions are totally necessary and I champion their hard work at the hospital. It’s just nice to be home.)
Chloe now knows the routine when napping or sleeping at night. That tall cylinder in her room is her friend…..nothing to be scared of. (However, it sits right outside her door, not right next to her bed.)
And maybe some people use fancy tape to hold the cannula (oxygen tube) in place. We use torn princess bandaids. :)
But the real hero…….is the Pulse Oximiter. It measures the amount of oxygen in her blood, from her big toe. She used to HAAATE that thing on her toe. Now, they’re friends. I especially love it because it tells us when her cannula has come out or if the oxygen isn’t working hard enough for her.
And last night, her oxygen levels dropped lower than ever. So we adjusted placement, replaced cords, reset machines, tried different spots, tightened, loosened, gave her some of her inhaler……nothing helped. So we noticed she was having a harder time breathing again, and it probably wasn’t a machine error. So we called the on-call nurse (love them!) and he contacted the on-call pediatrician (love them too!) for us. Back to the hospital we went.
Needless to say, we’re glad Chloe finally allows that beeping monitor to hug on her big toe. That little guy sure helps us out! :)
We are back home with safe sleeping oxygen levels again. And they have been in perfect range since then. Whew. My mind has gone to unsafe places over the past few days. You know, the worst-case-scenario types of places. And sometimes I meddle in a why-in-the-world-is-she-still-struggling-to-breathe-even-though-medicated-and-on-oxygen place. But all I can say, is that I’m grateful that we live now……and not 100 years or so ago. Because this little lady would really be having a hard time without oxygen and x-rays and monitors of all kinds. So today………..we feel grateful.
So, what’s up with little Chloe? It’s probably Reactive Airway Disease. Which is very similar to asthma but can improve with age. And even if it’s asthma, she’ll be just fine.
Chloe gets tired of feeling crummy. So she has been running around and playing just like normal, during the day. And then once this little infection passes, the oxygen tanks will be sent away as well. And then we’ll be better prepared when this happens again in the future.
Anyway, that’s where I’ve been hiding out. At the hospital. And trying to figure out PulseOx machines and oxygen tubes. Those of you who use these things full time, every day……..I reverence you. The beeping and adjustments and false alarms are enough to drive a person crazy. But what a blessing to help sustain life though, right?
We’ve been watched over from above, and loved on, and helped out a lot the past few days. (Thank you, dear friends!) Chloe’s on the mend…….and things will be back to normal soon. Really soon. :)