Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A "Weekender" in the PICU

Braden has been ready for some vacation, but unfortunately the little man's idea of what a vacation is supposed to be like is a little skewed due to his vast medical history at the ripe age of 17 months.

Friday afternoon LaTacia the daycare owner said Braden wasn't acting like himself and she was too worried to leave him to go to her own doctor's appointment. When daddy brought him home, as soon as they got settled, we could tell that things just weren't right with Braden. First, he was breathing extremely hard like he was running sprints around the house. Breathing treatments and suctioning were not slowing his pattern down. He also was moving around constantly and being very active (like a normal little boy) - but that just isn't Braden, and it was like he just couldn't get comfortable and was still breathing heavy. Then we saw his eyelids were purple, which is usually a good indicator he is not well. He had a fever that Tylenol was not helping, the valium was not working either, and his skin started getting real mottled/splotchy-looking.

So Friday night we took him to the ER for respiratory distress, and his blood gases showed he was not oxygenating in his blood well, so they moved us to the PICU at about 1:30 in the morning. Although Braden's x-rays seemed normal and white cell count within range, the docs suspect he picked up some kind of virus. They put him on a new machine - VAPOTHERM - which not only pumps oxygen, but is like a personal heated humidifier. This was also the first time we got to use the MEDI-PORT for IV access, so I took pictures to share.

A funny thing about our visit this time, was that we were in a bay closer to the doors (#4), and we kept passing Braden's bay up... as we are normally in a bay that is two down from where we are (#6). A few of our nurses were even doing it:-) The others kept giggling at us doing it... You know we spend a good amount of time someplace to have a "regular room".

We had the opportunity to go to one of the greatest football games of the year (LSU vs. Florida), but Braden decided he would rather see the game from his personal air-conditioned "suite" at Our Lady of the Lake hospital in a PICU bay. By Sunday he was acting pretty normal, and they let us go Monday afternoon.

After our "weekender" at the OLOL PICU, we have decided to show Braden what a vacation is SUPPOSED to be like, as we head to Pensacola for the weekend to spend time with Aunt Jeannie & Uncle Jerry and our furry friend/babysitter Hampton.

At least our last stay in the hospital was FIVE months ago (our longest spell OUT of the hospital), so Braden is getting stronger, and hopefully our stays will eventually get down to less than two a year!! :-)

We will post pics next week from our Fall Break in Florida - love to all!
Kodi, Brad, Braden

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