I’m going to do this in two parts because I still don’t have the attention span to do it all in one.
Abby is sick a lot. Her immune system just doesn’t fight anything. So, add that to having three brothers who go to three different schools, everyone who loves her so much at church, and a mom that sucks at cleaning, the girl is going to get sick. Last week she was sick again. It got progressively worse as the week went on. On Saturday she slept all day. Saturday night she started throwing up and spiked a fever. Sunday morning she held down a bottle and then a banana so I thought we were on the uphill climb of her illness. I was wrong. At about 3AM on Sunday morning she woke up and was burning up. 103.5. I gave her some more tylenol, another breathing treatment and a bottle. She puked up the bottle. She stayed up until 6:30 and went back to sleep. I took Carter to school at 8 for violin and felt a really strong prompting that Abby needed to go to the E.R. I hate the emergency room, so I called her doctor’s office. Their computers were down and couldn’t schedule her. The prompting was stronger. So I called my friend Mary to take Peyton. I love Mary. Do you? You should. She has a sister with Down syndrome and brought me the BEST books on the subject after Abby was born. Mary is hilarious. And she’ll give you the shirt off of her back if you asked. For some reason, Peyton was all ready- he’s NEVER ready by that time of the day. So I went straight from the school to drop him off. I was also ready. Also something that never happens. I had showered and did my hair while Abby was awake in the wee hours of the morning. I’m amazed as I type this how many things feel perfectly into place for me that morning. Divine intervention.
I took her to the E.R. in Bremerton. I put her carrier up on the table and the nurse took one look at her and took us right back. She was breathing too fast and was still not getting enough oxygen. It wasn’t five minutes before we were in the room with four nurses, a doctor, and a respiratory therapist working on her. I didn’t realize how bad things had gotten because Abby is sick like that a lot. It just had lasted longer. I’m grateful for that prompting. I don’t know if I would have taken her in when I did if I hadn’t recieved it.
They had to draw some blood and put in an IV. That was so terrible. They couldn’t find a vein. So for the first time they missed but let the tubing in so that they could get the blood for the bloodwork done. I had to sit and hold Abby as she screamed while they waited for her blood to drip out. It took two more nurses and a specialist to get an IV in. Abby has tiny tiny veins and was dehydrated, so it was like trying to stick a needle in a hair. When they got the IV in they sent her over to get an xray. We didn’t wait for ANYTHING. The xray showed that there was fluid in her lungs BUT that the inflammation that we had dealt with for so long because of the aspiration was mostly gone. That part was great news. It means that she’s not aspirating as much, if any, of the honey thick liquid she’s getting now.
One thing they checked for in her blood test was leukemia. This had been in the back of my mind since I learned that children with Down syndrome have a much greater chance of developing the disease. One of the symptoms is frequent infections. Which, with Down syndrome, sucks because they get infections all of the time because of their impaired immune systems. But that test was negative, too. I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Still very sick, they decided to send her by ambulance to the pediatric acute care at the Silverdale hospital, which is where we stayed the night. She started to improve right away. She woke up and ate and kept her food down, but she needed breathing treatments around the clock and had to be back on the oxygen while she was asleep. That part was terrible because Abby kept pulling out the nasal cannula. They’d wait for her to fall asleep to put it back in, which would wake her up. This cycle repeated itself every twenty minutes for three hours before I finally said that I wanted to do the mask. So for the rest of the night I had to hold her with a mask to her face. If she’s move her face from the side I was holding the oxygen on (while trying to get some sleep) her sats would drop and a nurse would rush in. It was one of those nights that I could not wait for the sun to come up.
Morning finally came and after another round of IV antibiotics and steroids they felt good enough to send her home. We got home and both fell asleep for several hours. Abby’s still very sick. She’s slept most of today and isn’t eating as much as she should be. I’m taking her in again for a checkup in the morning.