Friday, May 22, 2009

Zechariah's Stay In the Hospital

When the pediatrician told us 2weeks ago he was putting Zechariah in the hospital for fever, we never anticipated staying more than two days. So I went home to grab clothes for my possible 2 night overstay. Grabbed a few diapers and extra clothes for Zechariah also. Off we went. AJ, the kids and I.

When we arrived we were placed in a small but nice room. In the middle of the room was an old white, metal crib, There was a window overlooking the E.R. parking lot and the helicopter pad. In front of the window there was a red orange couch and a brown closet to the left.

I laid Zechariah down on the bed. He looked so small and fragile laying there fast asleep as the rest of us talked and the kids looked out the window talking with excitement how high we were.

After about 30 min. later, a young, slim lady walked in and introduced herself as the dr. on call. She was very friendly and recorded down all of Zechariah's history....which was not much being 2 months old. After awhile of talking she said she was ordering a chest x-ray and bloodwork. So the next few hours were spent getting those things done. When we finished, AJ and the kids gave us goodbye hugs and kisses and left for the night. Zechariah and I settled in and were asleep shortly.

The next morning a new dr. came in and told us Zechariah's white blood cells were high but before they were going to do a spinal tap, we would repeat the bloodwork again to see if they were still going up or coming down. 4 hrs. later she came back to say the numbers were down so she was going to observe us as she thought Zechariah had a virus.

That afternoon he began with a cough/gag. A bad one out of no where. His face would turn dark red and purple, and he would not be able to breath for 20-30 seconds.His respirations also seemed labored at times. It would happen unexpectedly... while he was sleeping, after a sneeze, feeding or just looking around. This had me very concerned. The nurse did not think much about it ( she did not see him cough and said it was probably just a little cold) but called the P.A. (Physicians Assistant) per my request to check on him. While in the room, Zechariah started his horrible cough. The P.A. was concerned at how he was looking and called the dr, a new one, who was on call for the weekend. He said he would check on us in the morning and have the nurses observe his condition over the night.

Zechariah crying after one of his coughing spells:

That night the cough seemed to get worse and more frequent with Zechariah now vomiting his "Mommy Milk" after almost every feeding. I explained this to the dr. who said it was "probably a cold." I asked if he was going to do more bloodwork to check him, he said no,and left. Zechariah continued to get worse throughout the day with coughing spells and his fever continued. Because of his vomiting, they decided to put him on fluids that day. The next morning when the dr. arrived, he said he thought Zechariah was doing well, said we could go home that day but would give us one more day in the hospital.

I explained to the dr. my concerns but he did not seem like he wanted to listen. I thought to myself, "Why would a dr. allow his patient to go home when still on fluids, vomiting every meal, and a horrible cough?" I was very discouraged with him feeling like he did not care to listen to me. Despite my concern, the fluids were removed from Zechariah. AJ's parents came to visit that afternoon and his mom drilled the nurse about what was going on with my baby. After it was over, his parents felt better about Zechariah with the thoughts it was "just a cold and virus".

AJ praying for Zechariah:

Not me however. I know my baby best and I knew something was wrong... more than just a cold.

Monday morning, the dr. we saw on Friday came in and checked Zechariah. I explained my concerns to her. She saw his labored breathing and decided to keep him one more day.

All day Monday, Zechariah slept. He would not eat, would not wake up, and laid there. I asked the day nurse about it who said he was "young" and should sleep a lot. Why do these people not listen to me when I try to tell them he is not usually like this!?!

The night shift nurse saw his cough and commented how bad it sounded. Around 9:30pm, after Zechariah not eating all day, she said I needed to make him eat. I tried...with her watching. He would not eat. I tried changing his clothes, diaper, wiggling him, all to no avail. I asked if she would suction his nose with her powerful tool to make him mad so he would wake up and eat. It was now 10:45pm. She did and he woke up for about 20 seconds and was asleep again. I gave up and went to bed.

As the night went on, Zechariahs cough changed. I thought about calling the nurse but to be honest, I thought she would think I was a paranoid mom. At around 1:00am she came to check his vitals.

She became alarmed.

Amber checked his oxygen and it read 65%. Normal would be 95-100. She checked several times, changed pieces on the machine thinking it was wrong, and then checked her own oxygen level. Hers read 100%. So she checked Zechariah again...65 (this is why he would not wake up all day).

Zechariah before oxygen was pale in color and lips:

She called in some other nurses and next thing I knew my room was filled with 2 E.R. drs. 4 nurses, 2 respritory therapists, and radiology. It was determined Zechariah had aspirated pnemonia and was quickly going down hill. They put him on oxygen, took more blood, took a nose swab, placed on fluids again for dehydration, gave him 2 antibiotics through I.V.

In the midst of all this confusion, everyone left my room for about 10 minutes to "discuss" Zechariah's situation. My heart was hurting and to be honest, I was fearful for my son, with tears in my eyes. I stood there looking at his weak body, his eyes looking into mine in desperation for help. It was a moment I will never forget. Me being helpless. Knowing Zechariah did not know what was going on......It was in these minutes God drew me closer to Him. I turned on some hymns and cried to my Father in heaven for Zechariah. I knew I had to keep my focus on Him and not this earthly hard as it was. I knew I had to trust that God knows better than me and that He was in control, He was not helpless. A peace overcame me that could only come from Christ. Peace undescribable. To God be the glory.

My sick baby keeping his eyes on me:

The following morning he still was getting worse and they decided to move him to PICU. He was hooked up to all kinds of monitors but I felt better. I knew something was wrong with my baby and they were now listening and trying to figure out what was wrong.

We did find out what was wrong. Zechariah had Pertussis "Whooping Cough". It is very dangerous for his age and he could have died.

I wanted Zechariah to always know I was right there with him so at night I would spread my sweater over him, that I wore all day, so he could smell my scent......

Me watching Zechariah after a feeding waiting to see if he will "keep it down":

After 6 more dys. in PICU and 2 in the regular day short of 2 weeks in the hospital... after taking CPR in the case he stops breathing at home...we were finally released. It was a joyous time for our family as we had spent much time apart from one another with little visits here and there.

The children came to eat lunch with me on Mother's Day:

Though my hospital stay was long, it proved to be a good time for me spiritually. The Lord placed it on my heart to pray for those entering the E.R. room, which is a lot so I spent lot of time in prayer over these people. I prayed for my drs. and nurses. The other sick children.

Though I am not bold with my faith, I tried to witness to each person I encountered sharing my hope is in Christ with Zechariah's situation. God taught me patience when I was feeling ignored by drs. and nurses. He placed me in the paths of a few ladies who had young children with whom I was able to share my journey as a mom and how God is my strength and helps me through the tough times of motherhood. I explained how I fail often and repent and go on with Christ's strength.

I thank God for these times of witnessing because the desire of my heart has been to be more bold in my witness for Christ ( I asked for it and I got it!).

These past 2 weeks have been long and exhausting, but God has showed me He is in control. Even now as we deal with Zechariah's coughing spells hourly.

Do you know what Zechariah's name means? "Remembered By Jehovah". How fitting! Zechariah was supposed to be born with Down's Syndrome and came out healthy and now, his life could have been taken from us, but God was and is merciful to us once again.

I thank God for His continued blessings on me in spite of my wretched sin. I serve a mighty God who is beyond my thoughts. He is my Peace, Strength, Hope, Comfort.

To God be the Glory for HIS comfort in those times of unknowing what was going on with my baby.

To God be the glory when my heart was weak but HIS strength was strong.

To God be the Glory for the wisdom HE gave my nurse to check for Pertussis.

To God be the glory for HIS peace.

To God be the glory for the continuing healing of Zechariah.

"To God be the glory" will forever be the song in my heart to my great Savior as long as I live...


Jenn said...

You are so strong and aren't you so thankful for a mother's intuition?! I will continue to pray for Zechariah's health.

Amy said...

I'm glad you were finally able to bring our little man home. You always have a way with words and focus on Christ in your post. Thanks for your boldness even though you don't think you have it!

LynAC said...

wow! I'm so sorry he was so sick but thankful it all worked out! how scary!