I took Bailey home with a prescription for antibiotics and home breathing treatments on our nebulizer, which we already had because of Brooke’s past illnesses. By Saturday evening she was feeling better but Brooke was coming down with it too. We knew it was not good considering Brooke was within days of getting over walking pneumonia.
Sunday morning Brooke started the wheezing. She was scaring me because I could see she was sucking air really hard and her neck muscles sucking in deep, this is called retracting. By mid morning Brooke started vomiting. She also had a fever of 103. I gave her a bath to clean her up and hope that she would break her fever.
After her bath I saw that her finger tips were blue. She was still retracting so I knew she wasn’t getting enough oxygen. Joel took her to the emergency room while I kept Bailey at home. When they got her on the oxygen machine her O2 levels were in the 70s, normal is upper 90s or 100. She was struggling to breath. The ER doctor admitted her to the Pediatric ICU for the night. They believed that she had the Eternovirus D68. She was receiving back to back breathing treatments and IV antibiotics and fluids.
She coughed a lot throughout the night and continued retracting. I got a call from Joel Monday morning saying that the night was long but they hoped she would go home that day if she made progress. Joel was telling me about her night when he urgently let me go. I figured it was his job calling so it didn’t alarm me.
The next phone call I received was from the ICU doctor. As soon as he told me who he was my heart sank. He told me that Brooke had gotten much worse. She was struggling to breath. He was sending her to the children’s hospital in Lubbock. As he told me all of the details my mind was screaming that I was going to lose her. I was crying and fighting back the screams while on the phone with him. He tried to comfort me but there was nothing he could say to make me feel better in that moment.
When I hung up with him I immediately called my mom. I told her everything the ICU doctor had told me. I was still crying hysterically as I talked to her. The same phone call was then made to my mother-in-law, who was thankfully on her way to Midland.
An hour later I was at the pediatrician’s office with Bailey for a follow up to her Urgent Care visit. The pediatrician had already been called to let her know about Brooke’s condition. Bailey was feeling much better so she no longer needed the antibiotics but had to continue the breathing treatments until the coughing stopped.
By the time I got home with Bailey my in-laws were at my house. I quickly packed for Joel and I so that we could stay with Brooke at the hospital in Lubbock.
Joel called me while I was packing to tell me that they were not going to life flight her. They had her stable so they were going to send her by ambulance. She was currently on a BiPap machine forcing pressurized air into her lungs. Since they were going to go by ambulance Joel wanted me to ride with her. I hurried to the hospital and up to her room.
As I walked in a mix of emotions overcame me. I was relieved to see her alive. To be able to hold and touch her. Then I felt terrified. I was jittery and shaking. I had no idea what was in store for us.
It took a long time for the ambulance to get there and get her prepared for the ride. We headed towards Lubbock around 3 pm. It took us two hours to get there. During those two hours I rode in the front of the ambulance listening to the sirens. Brooke was strapped in her car seat on a stretcher with a respiratory therapist and paramedic watching her. Listening to the sirens and not being able to see or touch her made me begin to cry again. I tried to fight them back but knowing that the sirens I was hearing was for my baby was too much.
|Brooke when she was first admitted.|
By the time we reached Lubbock’s children’s hospital I was shaking again. We wandered through the hospital with people dodging us and gawking at us like she was a freak. It killed me inside to have her going through this whole experience. I wanted to scream at them and tell them to leave my sick baby alone.
We reached the PICU section and immediately nurses gowned up, wore masks, and gloves to start assessing her. Her room was full of people and I was being asked numerous questions by doctors and nurses. They took Brooke off of the Bipap machine and put her on a high flow oxygen mask.
She remained on high flow oxygen for four days. Throughout the next few days she had high and low moments. When had low moments and was struggling increase respiratory therapy. She had nebulizer treatments, cupping rhythmic therapy, nasal suction, etc…
She started wanting to eat and drink small amounts by Wednesday. On Thursday they told us she had developed bacterial pneumonia on top of the Eternovirus. They started her on IV antibiotics. Thursday afternoon they started weaning her oxygen support every three hours. They wanted to see if she could breathe on her own.
They had her walking around the floor and moving around. That night her IV gave her trouble. They tried to re-stick her twice before the doctor told them to stop. He didn’t think she needed it anymore since she was eating and drinking. So her IV fluids stopped and she went on oral antibiotics. They continued to lower her oxygen levels until Friday afternoon.
She was finally breathing without support. They kept her in the hospital until Saturday mid morning. We left the hospital around 11 am. I was so happy to head home. It had been almost a week without both of my girls. It took us two hours to get home.
I ran inside grabbing Bailey and hugging her so tight. I started to cry again. Then I grabbed Brooke and held both of them. The nightmare was over and we were all home together.
Brooke will still need recovery time but at least she is home.
|On our way to Lubbock.|
|Finally eating and drinking.|
|The best mood we had in several days.|