Okay, my head is clear now and we're all home, so I can tell the story and be able to think.
So, a recap of how we got to this point:
Last week, the herd catch colds. At the same time Xander suddenly has a severe allergic reaction to our cats. This makes for a very hectic week. The kids clear the cold pretty quickly, but Oz is the last to get sick and he gets sick on Thursday. By Friday he is barking like a seal all croup-style.
Saturday I take him to urgent care for the croup. The doctor takes a listen (no exam is done because it seems pretty obvious what the issue is) and prescribes a steroid shot for the croup, we go home and hope for a better night. It was not better at all.
Sunday is a rough day. By evening we have discovered the hernia and I'm taking him off to the ER. Go back a few blog posts for that long, frustrating tale. (Or click here)
Monday is rough too. Our regular dr (actually a PA, I guess we need to clarify that, but we LOVE her) schedules an ultrasound for the hernia and she does an exam. She is concerned about his cough and decides no surgery until he is cough free, but we don't test for anything. We are all really worried about the hernia and the timeline between surgery and Cinco being born so in our heads it is an annoying cold that is gumming up the works.
Monday night he spikes a higher fever and I get very worried and call the doctor on call. He suggests tyelenol and to be patient as the cough heals, but I'm not convinced. I'm starting to feel like something is very wrong.
Also Monday night our bishop (church leader) comes over too and gives Oz a blessing with Sam to help him get better. Now, I share this part a bit reluctantly, but it is a very important part of the story, so I'll put this out there. After Oz's blessing the bishop tells me he felt that she should offer me a blessing too. He and Sam give me a blessing. Something that stuck out to me was a bit about knowing when Oz would need more help to heal (I'm paraphrasing there but it was just a personal thing and I don't want to share much more of it). Shortly after our bishop leaves I start feeling like Oz is in trouble, for lack of a better word and while I can't put my finger on what is wrong, I just know something is off. I push back my concern, but it won't go away entirely.
Tuesday morning I'm trying really hard to be optimistic. Oz had an okay night sleep wise, but he was breathing funny (something we attributed to the pain of a hernia, but we'll come back to it), the fever was down but not gone and while he woke up and we saw shades of his usual bouncy self for a short time and we got a popsicle in him for breakfast along with a few bites of berries and egg, but, he became extremely lethargic right after and while he'd been eating less and drinking less the past few days, he was at a point where we could not get him to eat anything or drink anything. We even bought french fries and while he was laying on my lap I tried to feed them to him and he would not eat them.
Something was very wrong.
It was pretty short lived.
(Yep, I look pretty, I know.)
Through the day my feeling that things were very wrong with Oz were starting to really overtake me. Of course, the focus in my head (and with everyone) at this point was the hernia. I kept thinking it must be strangulating or something, but it wasn't. The cold wasn't really a concern to me because all the kids have had colds, even Ozzy and they have never bothered him.
But, something was wrong.
I started praying that I would know what Oz needed or would have an idea that would help. I just couldn't think of a good reason to bug the doctor again, but I wanted to bug them desperately.
Suddenly I thought of poop. (Oh hush. If you are a mom, you think of poop all the time unfortunately.) Oz hadn't had a bowel movement since Sunday and THAT was a problem if you have a hernia! He wasn't even passing gas! I had my reason to call the doctor!
So, I went to Sam and told him my concern. He was worried too, but not like I was. Being really honest (and because I totally told Sam I would be rubbing this in his face later if I was right) we had a bit of a knock down, drag out over bugging the doctors one more time. He thought I was overreacting and frankly, I was afraid I was too, but every time I thought to myself that I would just let it go, I would get this feeling that just told me that would be a huge mistake. So, we argued and bickered and finally Sam decided I wasn't going to let this drop so we called the doctor's office again.
I got a different doctor than my usual and he called a surgeon (remember, we were still all stuck on the hernia thing) and the surgeon told us to meet him at the ER.
I did not want to go to the ER. Not even a little bit. But, Oz needed more help than we could give him so we bundled him up, called our friend Lynne to mind the herd while I tried to get ahold of my parents and off we went. As we were driving and I was watching Oz just sit there with his eyes closed, not sleeping, but without the energy for me, I was praying I wasn't overreacting, but also that I hadn't waited too long to push things and get us back to a doctor. I was really full of doubt, but whenever I started to open my mouth to tell Sam to turn around and take us back home I would get the strongest feeling that I needed to be quiet and trust what I was feeling.
So, we arrive at the hospital.
Wow, it was a different type of treatment at the ER. We were escorted back to a room immediately, multiple nurses were caring for us and the surgeon was there immediately. He took one look at Oz and said, "I'm not operating. Hernia or not, this baby is very sick and we need to take care of that." Then he got very bossy and ordered lots of tests. Bloodwork, chest x-rays and a super gross snot test were some of what we did. Poor Oz was not happy about it, but he was so weak that he barely fought most of what was happening.
Those tests started rolling in really quickly.
But, before they were even in, the surgeon had admitted Oz because, as he told us, the kiddo needed to be in the hospital right now.
Oz's sats were low. This means he wasn't getting enough oxygen. They started him on an oxygen mask immediately and then a breathing treatment. Then they started the IV.
Around this time the first test came in and the surgeon told us Oz had early pneumonia. In addition he suspected RSV (but that wasn't confirmed yet).
They switched him to a breathing nose thingy that he really, really hated. The nurse convinced us that he would eventually get used to it and she was right, but boy did he fight it at first. I was happy to see him fight something just because at least then he wasn't lying there. He just wasn't getting enough oxygen.
Oz got to ride the gurney with Sam. I don't think he even noticed.
So, we got upstairs and actually didn't end up in pediatrics. The wing was totally full. There were a lot of sick kids there, made me sad.
We get in our room and have a really nice nurse, Loy. I love Loy. She was so nice and totally understanding of the crazy pregnant lady who was having a hard time taking things in right then. I had expected emergency surgery, not admitting my baby to the hospital for something MORE than what I was worried about.
At this time the RSV test was confirmed as positive so our room because a quarantined type room. That was fun, made us feel neat. The hernia became the least of our troubles right then and there.
At this point our friend Lynne had been with the kids for hours and her kids needed to go home and go to bed. My parents were nearly an hour away so our friend Marie relieved Lynne while we waited for a doctor and figured out what we were going to do.
Since we obviously were waiting to do surgery at a much later date, we were handed off to a doctor who works with our PA. I am forever grateful to the surgeon for being so darn aggressive with his testing. Before the other doctor took over he started antibiotics for the pneumonia and seriously kicked some butts making sure we were in a room and we had breathing treatments and everything. I could not believe how the doctors and nurses in the ER jumped when he told them what to do. He is my newest favorite person. His name is Dr Oburn and if you ever have him, you will be in wonderful hands.
So, we waited for the new doctor. When he arrived, we just went over everything again. He was less confident in the pneumonia because, as he said, the radiologist was refusing to commit 100% to it. However, our nurse and others who came in and cared for us were all saying he had pneumonia too during our visit so I'm inclined to lean with the majority on that one.
We were told we could be in the hospital up to ten days and that was that.
I decided I would be staying with Ozzy and Sam went home to the kids. He went home and found that Lynne had cleaned our kitchen and other parts of the house, given our boys haircuts and cooked them actual food while we were gone and even put them to bed. Marie had taken over where she left off and things were cleaner than I would keep things between the two of them. What a nice thing to do! Sometime during the day my friend Marilynn had dropped goodies at my door too (which I have hidden for the time being so I don't have to share just yet. Don't you judge me.).
We usually keep stuff like this pretty quiet, but this was the scariest thing we've ever dealt with and I was feeling so overwhelmed and just terrified for my baby so I posted on facebook, blogged and texted to friends and family. The support was so comforting at two am when I was lying on that hospital bed with my baby just crying because he was suffering and I was overwhelmed with guilt over him getting this sick and worry over whether or not he was going to be okay. Knowing other parents had been there really helped me. Plus, when you are a million years pregnant and trying to cram into a bed with a toddler who has tubes you are scared of messing up, sleep is impossible.
It was a long night. I was grateful to Loy because she came in frequently and visited with me (she was a cloth diapering mama years ago! And she wears Vibrams! Oh and she has a bro who was a cop... we LOVED her.) and she was really working hard to get Oz weaned off the oxygen since she knew that was the first part of his battle to go home. She was also very reassuring as I cried over the entire ordeal. I felt so frustrated that he got this sick and that I didn't realize it was more than a cold and that I was focusing so much on the hernia, but she was very gentle in reminding me that I had kept taking him to doctors and no one had tested him before that night. It helped me feel less angry with myself. By morning I was exhausted, but I felt more optimistic.
It helped that when Oz woke up he was willing to eat a few bites of eggs, some bananas and a little juice. Loy had gotten him nearly off the oxygen and all the fluids were making his coughs more yucky sounding and productive which is what we wanted.
Loy was also able to show me how his breathing wasn't a pain thing, but his body was fighting to get enough oxygen so he was breathing funny. There are fancy medical terms for it that I'll remember in a week, but for now they were just special breathing thingys that point out a kid is in distress. I'll never miss that sign again. I hope. Actually, I hope I'll never have the chance to miss that sign again. (Told you we'd get to it.)
Around now we got our new nurse and she was great too. Her name was Whitney. She got us going on weighing all the wet diapers he had. Interestingly, the reason I had brought him in (no bowel movement) resolved once we were admitted. He didn't do a big bm, but enough that I wasn't worried (but I have a feeling there was some timing in that to make certain we went to the hospital. Yep, even God cares about poop.).
Whitney was so helpful. We had to switch to disposable diapers so they could weigh them accurately which was fine because I had brought one or two with me that we had leftover from something and they had more for us and that was great. She was also very reassuring to me that I did what I could with bringing him in repeatedly to see doctors and was rather shocked the ER didn't run an RSV test on Sunday since it is standard this time of year. (Side eye to that extra special ER doc. He is off my sunshine list forever.)
Around now the doctor came back around and was happy with the improvement. He dangled a carrot and told me if Oz drank good and got off the oxygen and iv that he could maybe come home that night or the next day. We did not expect that and I think he probably tells everyone that just to motivate them.
Never give our family a goal like that if you don't want to see it happen.
We were motivated.
Oz and I had a good pep talk before Sam and I traded off for the day and I told Sam the plan. He was totally ready to get that kid drinking and eating so we could go. Sam does not enjoy the hospital.
So, I hurried home (and nearly fell asleep a few times driving, whoops. No bueno). Marie was helping the kids make lunch and cleaning things up again, bless her.
I hopped in the shower and then I had the kids start school. You may think I did that to be mean, but I did it because the kids were really scared and sometimes if you just do what is normal and routine it makes everything less scary. That seemed to work.
Around 4 my mom came over and taught piano while I went back to the hospital.
Oz had done pretty good with drinking. Could have been better, but I just knew in my gut that he needed to be in a familiar setting in order to eat and drink more. He missed his family. As certain as I was that things were not okay just twenty four hours before, I knew he still wasn't okay, but he needed to be with his family in order to heal now and he was okay enough to go.
Our bishop came by and he and Sam gave Oz another blessing. It really reassured me that Oz was ready to come home and everything was going to be okay now. We found out some other friends from church were in the hospital so Sam went to visit them too for a second.
So, I begged the nurse and the doctor. I really pled my case and I must have convinced them because we were able to bring him home last night!
Loy was back on as our nurse by then and Oz was actually happy to see her (as opposed to the hate looks she got while she was treating him) and he played with her fun watch and helped pull the wagon out of the hospital and even rode in it for a little bit towards the end. Whitney was still there too and I was glad. We got to say good-bye to both of them and it was nice to thank them for the wonderful care they gave us. There were truly angels while we were there.
So, we made the drive home. Oz was so alert the entire time and, just like I knew he would, he started drinking in the car, a familiar place. He was eager to come home.
We got home and Belle and Xander were awake and waiting. Poor Buddy had fallen asleep. I wish I had thought to take pictures of that reunion. The kids were so happy to see their brother. He was so happy to see them. We threw Ozzy's clothes in the wash and gave him a bath and after a lot of hugging from brothers and sister, we all went to bed.
Oz slept great last night. He woke up great and today he is nearly his old self, playing, climbing, eating and drinking. We're trying to keep him quieter so he doesn't hurt his hernia and so he will heal, but we are so happy to see him functioning again. I know we have a ways to go, but I feel like the worst is over and now we're going to be okay.
So, where do we go from here?
Well, not far. Literally. We are grounding ourselves as much as possible. I don't want to haul a sick child all over creation where he could get too run down and get sick again. I don't want to overwhelm him or any of us. I just want to lay low.
We'll be ditching church, or just one of the grown ups will be going for the next month. Don't want to risk anything.
I think Sam is trying to take a few sick days, but like I've said before, this department is short handed (and I'll be frank, the list of people who are willing to cover for each other is pretty short sadly) so cross your fingers there. It would be better if we could both care for Oz for at least a few days right now.
Of course, then I have my piano. I love my piano. However, (and this is something that the blessing the bishop gave me actually tipped me off that it was a possibility) I need to put everything on hold and focus on this family for the next bit. So, I'm taking a full month off piano. I haven't EVER done this, not even in the summer. It kind of freaks me out and I'm afraid I'll get terribly bored and I'll miss my piano kids. But, I need Oz to get better so he can have surgery so Cinco can be born and we'll all be healthy. I can't do that unless I take the time off. That is a pretty humbling thing for me, but I understand that this is what matters most right now and that is okay.
So, there you have it.
Thank you so much to all the wonderful people in our lives who reached out to help. Our church family has been so supportive in so many ways (even in understanding that we are oddballs and that sometimes support from a distance helps more than anything at times). We have wonderful friends and family who have done whatever they could to help us get through. We are just lucky people to have so much love in our lives and I hope we can return those favors someday.
Okay, there you go. I'm tired. I'm incredibly sore from the last few days and Cinco is annoyed with me which means I need to eat. Thank you again, each and every one of you who reached out to show us love through this. We know this isn't the hugest emergency in the world compared to what others deal with, but this has been the scariest parenting ordeal we have ever dealt with and all the support helped us to get through it. Thank you.