Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jacob's Hospital Stay and What I Learned

I have finally caught up on sleep, am feeling fairly normal, and have had a chance to process the happenings of the stomach bug in our home and the havoc that it wreaked. I am going to share our experience here and a couple of lessons that I learned in the process. Be warned that this is a long post!
If you read this post, then you know that the stomach bug started on Wednesday with Jonathan, spread to me on Thursday around noon, and hit Jacob on Thursday evening. By Friday morning he was starting to keep fluids down. He didn’t have an appetite, but I wasn’t concerned about that…I still didn’t have one, neither did Jonathan. Jacob did well on Friday. Friday night was good, and then Saturday, he woke up happy and feeling fairly well. We decided to take the boys to a birthday party of a friend of theirs and they were so excited! The boys did not eat at the party, not even cake! Wasn’t concerned. They had a bottle of Gatorade and we were good to go. Manly Man got them a little ice cream that afternoon, but they barely ate any. Still, not worried. They went to bed great, slept great.
Sunday morning, Jacob calls me from the bathroom and I run in there just in time for him to throw up again. Manly Man is off to work and I just try to make the best of things. I called the doctor and, since he didn’t have a fever and had stopped throwing up, and was keeping fluids down, I didn’t take him to the doctor. That afternoon he slept for about 3 hours. It was kind of hard to wake him up actually. When he did get up he looked pretty lethargic and I got worried, but pushed the fluids again. At 11pm, he threw up again and then two more times. I knew he was going to go to the hospital on Monday. I really believe the Lord prepped me for that one, and I was so thankful for it. He didn’t sleep soundly that night, nor did I.
When Manly Man got home, he took him to the walk-in clinic at the peds office. It was packed! The nurses even came out and asked that anyone that didn’t have a major concern should come back or call and make an appointment because it was going to be a long wait. Manly Man stayed with a limp, sleepy Jacob in his arms. He got there at 8:20am and didn’t get called back until 10:30am. Then it was another 30 minutes before the dr got in there. I was at home, trying to get some laundry done, spend time with Jonathan and rest, because I knew what was coming. At the doctor’s office, they checked Jacob’s blood sugar and it was down to 45. Normal is 60 to 120 and, if it had gone much lower, he could have had a seizure! Manly Man called and told me they were probably going to admit him so I called my mom in Charlotte, and jumped in the shower. Manly Man called back and said they were admitting him. I called him mom while shaving my legs in the shower and told her and asked her to come to take care of Jonathan. I called my mom back and told her I didn’t need her, but I wanted her. She left work within 30 minutes and got on the road. I explained to Jonathan what was happening and that I wanted to be with him, but that Jacob needed me and he said it was ok. My mil got here and I left and headed to the children’s hospital.
When I walked in Jacob’s room, I was prepared to see him looking so small in that bed and he did. Last year and very dear friend’s son was put in the hospital for dehydration from rotavirus and I had gone to see them. I was so thankful that I knew what to expect. He was sipping a little bit of juice, in hospital pjs, lying in the bed, looking so frail. He was barely awake and I climbed in the bed with him to snuggle. I didn’t want to be any where else. They had put some numbing cream on the back of both hands to numb the IV sight. They let it stay there, taped on, for an hour and then do the IV. It didn’t work for Jacob. Poor thing. But they got his IV in and splinted his arm so that he wouldn’t bend his wrist and mess up the IV. He cried, but was so brave! They drew some blood and his blood sugar was back up to 65, thankfully! They started pushing fluids in him…they push them hard and fast to shock the cells for the first hour and then slow down the drip. He slept some and then started to perk up a little. Manly Man went home to relieve his mom and bring Jonathan back up to the hospital. I stayed with him and when they got back; my mom had just gotten there too. His color started coming back after about 3 or 4 hours of the IV fluids. We had many friends stop by with snacks, toys and books for us. Many others called to check on us. I felt so blessed and so loved! Jacob slept really hard that night. The nurses came in every hour to check his IV and vitals and that was exhausting for my mom and me. They even checked his blood sugar and he slept through it! It was up to 125 by about 9:30pm. So very excited about that! The doctor came in and told me that the plan for Tuesday would be to push fluids orally and see how he did. Here, the Lord prepped me again that he wouldn’t be going home on Tuesday. Don’t ask me how I knew, it was just the Lord.

(These pictures are about 3 or 4 hours after they started his IV fluids on Monday. Notice the splint? That was Jacob's favorite part...he even brought it home!)

So Tuesday morning he woke up and was full of spunk and energy. They disconnected the IV fluids, leaving in the hep lock, and he was able to eat some cheerios, drink some sierra mist, and go play in the coolest play therapy room ever! He played really hard and was so happy to be out of the bed! Manly Man brought Jonathan back to the hospital and they had such fun playing together. After about 30 to 45 minutes, we went back down to the room and Jacob wanted to lay on the pull out couch. He was looking a little pale and tired and a little bit later, he threw up again! The doctor was in the room for that one and it bought him another night in the hospital. They hooked him back up to the IV fluids.
(This is in the play room Tuesday morning, right before he got sick again.)

My mom took Jonathan home and I went home for a few hours to spend some time with Jonathan. I could tell that he was being affected by all of this. It was so hard to leave Jacob there, even though Manly Man was with him. It broke my heart! I had fun with Jonathan though….we played a game and watched a little TV and snuggled some. I was so empty and exhausted! Mom and I went back to the hospital with Jonathan and Manly Man brought him home for the night.
The second night in the hospital was a little quieter. The nurse didn’t come in as often, per our request, and she charted his info on the computer outside instead of inside his room where the monitor would glow for what seemed like forever. They stopped his IV fluids at 6am. He ate a little for breakfast and we pushed the fluids. He played, but not as hard, on Wednesday and they discharged us from the hospital about 3pm that afternoon. The boy walked out of the hospital! He didn’t walk at all on Monday, we carried him every where because he was so weak.
(Right after he found out he was going to go home!)

What I learned through all this is...
1. Don’t force them to eat…their appetite will return and they know their bodies better than we do.
2. Do make them drink and monitor their fluids for a few days after the bug; Jacob weighs about 37 pounds and he needs about 45 ounces of fluids a day! Shocking!
3. When your blood sugar drops, it can cause nausea and vomiting…your get caught in a vicious cycle
4. When friends offer to bring something to you, accept it or ask for it…granola and fruit are good options
5. Chap Stick is a must in a hospital…the air is so dry!
6. Slip on shoes like crocs or Birkenstock are great because you can climb in the bed with your child and slip your shoes off very easily and put them back on easily when you need to get up (read: no germies on the bed)
7. Get out of the room and get some sunlight on your face if at all possible…it makes a huge difference!
So, there your have it. If you made it this far, thanks for taking a few minutes. And thank you for your prayers as we went through this.

And as s side February, I have every intention of finding a cave to hibernate in with my family for the whole month! Remember what last February was like?


Jen said...

Goodness, what an ordeal for all of you!
I completely agree with the hibernation thing.

Ainsley said...

I totally agree with you about hibernating through February. I thought we were going to escape this winter with no major sicknesses, but then Feb hit.

I'm so glad that you are better rested and J is doing so much better. He looks so small but so cute in his hospital bed!

Teesa said...

I'm so sorry you had to deal with all of this. What a difficult and stressful time for you guys.

Once everything is back to normal, your whole family needs to take a trip up here to the mountains and stay with us for a couple days. Bill is leaving again in late April, so that might be the best time - Spring and good weather...

Thanks for posting all the things you learned. I was just thinking tonight about how I need to post something about ER visits, since some of my friends have had to go and don't know how to handle it the first time.

Teesa said...

May 1st BABY!!! I cannot wait until it opens!!! We are getting our annual passes this month. We go at least once a week.

Karen P said...

Hey girl - I am so sorry. We had THE BUG last , uh, February and it was the worst.

When Ben was a month old he had a fever and stopped eating. We were in the hospital for 4 nights complete with IV antibiotics, a spinal tap, and lots of drawn blood (turned out to be viral!). I wish I had read this post - I think I left the his room one time to go home and shower and hug Joshua.

Hopefully summer will be here soon!

Holly said...

It's hard having a little one in the hospital! We went thru that this past July! I was praying hard and I'm so glad all is well! God always provides what we need, don't He?!?! God is good! Hugs and kisses to you're boys! Love you sister!

Hulls Clan said...

i finally had some time to dive through your whole entry...amazing recap and we are so thankful all in well in the sellers home now! you are such a dear family and we love ya!

Carrie said...

Hey Nan! I saw on facebook that your son was in the hospital and came to your blog to see how you all were doing! I had tears in my eyes just reading your blog! I am glad that everyone is now home and healthy! I am going to e-mail an invite to my blog (it is private) because I would love to catch up and stay in touch (I am so bad at it). And I want to pick your brain about homeschooling...Jake (my 7 year old..I am sorry he is now officially 7 1/2 and reminds me all the time..)is in school now but we are only planning on doing elem. and maybe not even that long...) Okay, I am just rambling now...I am happy your family is healthy and I am looking forward to reconnecting with you!

Carrie said...

One more thing...I LOVE your background. I am so glad you blog! I have a lot of cool memories of hanging out in your dorm room freshman year at UNCG. (Okay that was two things...I will stop now!)