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Musings from intensive care

I can’t believe I’ve made it through the last 24 hours. Too too scary.  Too hard. This post isn’t well thought out or written. Maybe I’ll add pictures later. Melanie took some. But right now, I just want to remember. I want to write it all out so I can remember it later. Because I’m planning on blocking it out just as soon as I walk out of this place.

So I’ll back up. I’m in Utah. We came a week ago for my brother’s wedding. Abby was  so so cute in her little tutu. I’ll have to go see if I dig up a picture. Everyone loved her. And held her. And kissed her. And somewhere along the line probably handed her a nasty virus. That’s not true. She could have gotten it anywhere. Probably in Pendleton, Oregon. That place is the worst.

On Tuesday we spent the most magnificent day at the North Ogden Pool. Have you been there? It was the greatest place ever. Big old slide, lazy river, cannons, etc. It was never too deep for my kids and there were lifeguards everywhere. The water was warm. The weather was perfect. I actually got to just sit there. It was dreamy. I took Abby and Casey home a little early because I wanted to get her out of the sun. Later that evening as I was holding her her breathing started to go really fast, she spiked a fever and her heart was racing. We gave her some motrin, put her in a “tepid” bath and she seemed fine. She even slept in until 11 the next day (she was up pretty late). Wednesday was my sister’s birthday so just the girls, including Abbo, went shopping and out to eat. She was fine all day. Her perfect happy self. That night after getting back to my mom’s house where the rest of the family was I put her down in my mom’s bed to sleep. She seemed a little restless. I left for a minute then went right back in. Looking back, I’m not sure why I did that. It’s not like me. I’m sure it was some working of the Spirit. When I went back in I noticed that she was breathing really fast again and was hot. I took her temperature- it was 102. The day before it had been over 103. I brought her into the family room and watched her. I asked Travis if he’d give her a blessing and then ran to grab the neighbor to help. This is when the strangest thing happened. As I was walking back to the house, big puffs of cotton from the cotton groves were swirling around in the air. I looked up and thought, “this is SO peaceful…too peaceful.”  Then I got that really scared feeling again like I was being prepared. That feeling is the worst. But it was SO peaceful. Quite a contradiction in emotions. Anyways,  I walked through the back door to chaos. Everyone seemed to be rushing around. Travis said that we had to get Abby to the hospital right then because her feet were (some medical word I didn’t understand). So I looked at them. They were dark blue. So were her tiny fingers.

I freaked out. I wish I hadn’t had that feeling right before. Because I took one look at her and was sure she was going to die.  I was fragile. I’m not usually so fragile. I was so afraid. The decision was quickly made that going by car wouldn’t be fast enough and we called 911. In the time we were waiting the neighbor and Travis gave her a blessing. The ambulance arrived and without wasting any time they got her in and on oxygen. There were three guys working on her in the back, so I had to sit in the front.

That was another pretty crazy experience. I’ve always said that it proves the goodness of humanity when cars part for emergencies. It was cool to watch from the ambulance. People are still good.

We got to McKay Dee hospital where they were waiting for us. They quickly got an xray and put in an IV (the first time! last time it took us six tries to get a vein). Her heart rate which should be around 120ish was about 200. Her respiratory rate was between 50 and 100 breaths per minute. It should be around 30 (I think. That’s what it is right now). The xray showed a little bit of gunk in the lungs, but not so much that would explain why she was having such difficulty. They decided to move her to Primary Children’s in Salt Lake City- by helicopter.

I’m pretty sure there’s nothing quite as scary as putting your baby in a helicopter and then watch it fly away. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stand. As the blades started rotating I thought I was going to pass out. The Lifeflight lady was AMAZING. As I was walking from the helicopter after putting her on, she was running out to leave. She stopped and grabbed me and hugged me tight. She told me to breathe. Just breathe. That everything was going to be okay. That she was going to be fine. So so amazing that someone would be so compassionate to someone who probably looked so pathetic. Not that I didn’t have a right to be, but man. I am an UGLY crier.

Melanie was there. She was there the whole time. When I couldn’t watch them draw blood for cultures because I was getting sick, she was there. When I was sobbing uncontrollably as the chopper was taking off, she was there, crying too. Melanie always seems to be there for things like this. Maybe it’s because she so perfect at handling really tough situations. She was there when Shelby was diagnosed with lymphoma.  Or maybe she’s the harbinger of death. Either way, I’m glad she was there.

You know who else made his presence known, too? My dad. He was there. He in his special way let me know that he was aware and was watching.

The chopper was up and out of view faster than I had expected. I sat in Melanie’s car willing myself to just breathe. It was tough. I’m not used to being so out of control. I can’t tell you how terrifying it was to think that my daughter was in a freaking BIRD. So sick. So far away. So fast.

Anyways, we got to the hospital and they moved us from the ER to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, which is where I am now. They are forcing air into her lungs at 4 liters per whatever right now. She started out at 8, so this is progress. She’s up and around and playing a little and is pretty happy. She hates her nasal cannula and all of the wires and is making good work of pulling them off over and over.

I’ve spent most of the time just holding her. Still so afraid. What would have happened if I hadn’t gone in and checked on her? We could have lost her. It’s too much to think about. So I’m not going to any more.

Lance is here now. Bishop Weist gave us a plane ticket and Heather dropped him off at the airport with an envelope full of cash. She’s going to be so pissed that I wrote that. I don’t care. She deserves to once in a while have people know the things that she does.

The doctors are back. I’ll write more later.

12 thoughts on “Musings from intensive care

  1. Oh Lexi! As I write this tears are literally running down my cheeks. I am so sorry that happened, but I am so glad that things seem to be gettting better. And that you listened to the SPirit! This is going to seem small, and stupid, but I went to the temple yesterday, and for some reason I stopped and put your and Abby's name on the prayer roll. Now I know why. THe Lord is totally aware of you. He loves you both so much. But you already know that. I'm praying for you right now. I'm such a nerd, but you need to know that lots of people, everywhere, even North Carolina, love Abby.

  2. Oh my gosh, the tears. I really hate having a baby the same age as Abby sometimes, cause I just sit her and imagine putting her in a helicopter WITHOUT ME and want to curl up and die with you. I was driving home yesterday and sitting at the Pottery light and wondering when you guys were coming home, and got had this very strange sensation that all was not well with Abby. And then I had that dream about Peyton coming to live with me and woke up seriously worried about you guys. When I checked FB this morning it all fell into place. I have to explain–feelings like that just don't happen with me. Maybe I'm not very sensitive to the spirit normally, I suppose that's it. But somehow that baby girl of yours….the part I know is that she's teaching all of us things we needed to learn. We're praying for you guys. Thanks for posting and filling everyone in–we're all so worried about Abby.

  3. Oh my goodness! I am so sorry. I am so glad you listened to those promptings. I will keep Abby, you and your family in my prayers. I know you don't really know me, but I am right next door at the University of Utah tonight – I work in the NICU here. Is there anything at all I can do for you?

  4. My heart totally sank when I heard that Abby was in the hospital last night. I had a hard time falling to sleep after we prayed for her. I'm so so glad to hear she is doing better. Thanks for keeping everyone posted.

  5. Still thinking of & praying for you all. I'm so glad to hear she's getting better & hope they spring you from the hospital ASAP! I teared up when I read what you said about Lifeflight. I love the guys who took Max when he was born more strongly than anyone I've ever known for all of 10 minutes and whose names I don't remember. They are Good People, for sure. I am so glad that so many of those exist.

  6. Pendleton, Oregon is, undeniably, the worst. Sweet Abby has been through so much already in her short little life, and yet she still manages to smile and play when she's miserable. Too, too sweet!Also, there are *absolutely* angels in Children's hospitals (& the U of U NICU)–both Heavenly and earth-bound. Tandy up there is one of them. She's the sweetest, most gentle NICU nurse and took such loving care of my little Colin (Tandy, if you happen to read this, he was "Baby Boy McKrola"–he has Down syndrome and had the cutest little crooked clubfeet. He was born March 30th this year and was only there for about 11 days). You rock!

  7. This certainly stirs emotions, Lexi! I know it's a far cry from where you were but I was sick to my stomach when I heard Abby was life flighted! My heart sank and I just waited to hear more! I can't even imagine what you were going through! I am SOOO happy that she is doing so much better and that you checked on her. Was that medical word Travis used hypoxic? 🙂 I'm also glad she's off the oxygen now – those cannulas can be a beast!I hope this is the last of your (major/gut wrenching/suffocating) trials for a while…enough I'd enough already! Sheesh!

  8. I too was crying reading this. So glad you have such a great support system for your family. Here's too less craizness! So very glad Abby is doing better.

  9. Wow. You have more strength that you give yourself credit for! I am so glad that she is okay and I pray for you all for her appointment on Tuesday. Hugs!

  10. So, so scary! When Claire was 6 weeks old, she got RSV and that little virus earned her a helicopter ride. She was tiny with an unrepaired heart, and she just couldn't get enough oxygen into her little body. I am forever grateful that I was able to ride with her. Hope the appointment goes (went?) well. I'm so far behind in blog reading I'm sure not sure what day is what.

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