Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ava's hospital adventure

As most of you know, Ava spent a few days in the hospital last week. I know that the normal course of a blog is that I would have posted about it as it was happening, along with updates so you knew what was going on. But, I guess we got too caught up in a sick child and a 9 month old at home. Im sure you understand. At any rate, I still wanted to document this event for myself, for Ava, and for anyone curious. So, here’s what happened:

Ava started having belly aches, stopped eating food, and having some intermittent diarrhea on Sunday. It was nothing intense, but I knew she wasn’t feeling right. Thursday, she woke up as usual. Ventured over to our room, drank her FULL sippy of milk, then proceeded to throw it up all over my bed! Poor thing, was so sick after that. All day Thursday, she would just moan and cry in pain. Anything she ate or drank, came out one way or another. I called the peds and they told me there was a stomach bug going around, just try and keep her hydrated. So…I did. Friday, was pretty much the same, although she seemed maybe a touch better. After talking with the peds office again, I was convinced it was just a stomach bug and to just try and wait it out, I even went to work. What really bothered us about this though, was she would have these periods of extreme pain. It would jolt her off the couch, eyes bulging out of her head type of pain. Finally, Saturday…I had just gotten home from work and she seemed to be doing a little better. She was thirsty and drinking, which I thought was an excellent sign of improvement. I went to sleep, and not even two hours later Chris came to wake me up. He said he was taking Ava to the ER. She was SCREAMING in pain, and wouldn’t stop. She couldn’t be consoled, she didn’t want to be touched, nothing. Now I was worried that this was more than just a stomach bug. I ended up taking her to the ER myself.

After throwing up (her not me) in the doorway to the ER and no one even offering me a paper towel, Ava screaming in my lap, people talking about having been there for 3 hrs already…I had contemplated leaving. Im glad I didn’t. Thanks to a sympathetic mom/nurse, Ava got taken back right away. They started an IV on her, and drew labs. Her blood work showed that she was severely dehydrated! We were there for 8 hrs. Even after IV fluids, she still would not drink (the girl had learned that if she drank, she puked). So, they had no choice but to admit her. Portage does not have a peds unit, so we got the lovely experience of being transferred by ambulance to Porter Memorial (in Valpo).

Ava was amazing. I saw so much strength and courage in my own child. As awful of a situation as it was, I could not have been more proud of her. I figured she would be real withdrawn and scared of all the things they were doing to her, and all the people messing with her and talking to her. But, she was so brave! She didn’t seem to mind or mess with her IV, which I thought was a miracle for a 2 (almost 3) year old! I figured it would be terrifying riding in an ambulance for her. I couldn’t even ride in the back with her, I had to sit up front in the passenger seat. But, she didn’t even cry. I kept yelling in the back…”are you okay Ava?”…and Id hear this sweet little voice say…”yeah mommy, Im okay”. I figured it might be a little intimidating being wheeled into a hospital, but she had perked up and was talking nonstop “is that guy sick mommy?, is that the alligator (elevator), is that my room?, what’s that on the wall?” etc etc. I figured she would be scared to sleep somewhere other than her bed. We brought as many of her things from her bed at home to help make her comfortable. Im not sure she even noticed! She crawled into bed and was asleep within seconds! She barely even woke up for the doctor! She slept great (at night) the whole time we were there. She made herself at home, in fact she cried when she finally (3 days later) had to leave! By morning, she was wheeling her own IV down the hall to the playroom. She was spoiled by everyone! She was the only little one on the floor, and there were maybe 3 patients total as it was. Everytime I turned around, she had another present. Id say, where did you get that? She’d say the same thing every time…”the doctor got me that”. Everyone was a doctor. It didn’t matter if it was the nurse, the aid, the actual doctor, the housekeeper…they were all doctors. Lol I knew she was a brave little girl (she is the one that climbs the tallest slide at the park, jumps off the highest step, etc). But, she really showed her strength through this experience. I am so proud of her!

Her diagnosis: Thankfully, in the end it really was just a nasty stomach bug (and thankfully no one else in the house got it!). Her labs came back positive for rotavirus, which is super common in kids. She definitely got a nasty version of it, though! I say thankfully it was a stomach bug, because the doctors were initially concerned it was more than that. Her symptoms weren’t typical of a stomach bug. She has never been sick like that, in fact this was the first time she has really thrown up. The pain episodes she was having made us all suspicious of an intestinal blockage. Eating or drinking the tiniest amount caused her so much pain. They were going to do x-rays and barium enema study to rule out intessuception (where the bowel collapses on itself). But, thankfully, we never had to do that. Her pain episodes ceased, and she stopped throwing up. It took her 3 days before she would start drinking again, and because she was so dehydrated they couldn’t release her until then. On day 3, I told the doctor that I felt like her not drinking was due more to her being a toddler, than that it was causing her pain. She was sick of water and sick of apple juice, and most importantly sick of me trying to force them on her!! She wanted her milk and that was that. There was no persuading her otherwise. So, the doctor let her try a little milk, and sure enough she chugged it, begging for more. We were finally able to bring her home late Monday night. Thank you to everyone for all your prayers for our little girl! Its now over a week later, and we are still adjusting to life outside the hospital. As I said, she cried when she left. Ava just asked me what I was doing…I said I am writing all about your hospital trip. She said, “oh yes, it was very good.” So good to know she isn’t damaged from all of this! :)

Turn up your speakers...I thought the dramatic music was perfect for my drama queen! :)
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Jenny said...

I am so glad Ava is feeling better! She is such a brave little girl!
On a different note...don't you love Smilebox! I have a membership and it's seriously the best way to send pics!

amandatonagel said...

So glad she is feeling better! And... that Logan didn't get it!
I loved all the "avaisms" :)