To find out how we ended up in the hospital, read Crazy Sick Month, Part 3 first.
We had to wait a while in the ER waiting room. I try never to get upset about it. The faster you are taken care of, the worse off your condition. So, I constantly remind myself that slow service is really a good thing.
Anyway, with that said, as soon as Rea was triaged, she was marked "urgent." Then we played my favorite hospital game: Hurry Up and Wait. Rea's chest x-ray showed pneumonia. She had a bunch of other symptoms that I won't list. All that matters is that the emergency room doctor decided to admit her.
Even though we got to the ER at 10:30am, were triaged at noon, admitted around dinner, we did not get a room in the Children's Hospital until after midnight. Ugh. That was a new form of Mommy-torture. Rea fell asleep around 10pm in the ER.
For the next few days/nights, Rea was given around-the-clock breathing treatments, antibiotics via IV and lots of popsicles.
I have say, the Children's Hospital is an amazing place. On Thursday, we had a knock on the door. Someone asked if Rea wanted to play with a puppy for a while. I had to decline because of my severe allergies, but it was a super adorable thing to do for the kids on this floor.
Rea was given a few welcome gifts: a new blanket, a stuffed monkey, a coloring/activity book, a new set of crayons. But her favorite is the set of warrior bracelets. They were specially chosen for her: a red BRAVERY one for having blood work done, a green ENERGY one for the respiratory treatments, a rainbow one for being admitted to the hospital, and a white MAGNETISM one for having had a chest x-ray done. She has not taken them off. There are more available for different things (see the pic below). I think this is a really awesome idea. It made her feel like she could be proud of what she had been through.
On Friday, we were surprised to have a visit from a superhero. Rea was a little shell-shocked when Superman walked in. I don't know who this man really is, but I'd like to thank him for taking the time to dress in costume and cheer kids up. You really are a hero.
And to the doctors, nurses and support staff at the hospital: THANK YOU! You were all incredible. Rea wants to give a special shout out to ER nurse Shannon, you made the biggest impression on her and she has not stopped talking about how kind you were when she felt her worse.
I would like to thank our pediatricians: Dr Connor and Dr Goodwin. You both helped me out so much this past week and a half (well, really much longer than that). Our family loves you both more than you could ever know. I am so glad my kids have doctors who love them.
Buddy was back in school for only a few days before Rea said she wasn't feeling so well. Great.
She declined steadily throughout the week. When I picked the kids up from school on Thursday, she looked more like an extra on the Walking Dead (minus all the blood) than my energetic 8 year old. It was right then I knew it was going to be another long weekend. I suppose I should be happy that my kids were able to hold out most of the week at school and then crash for the weekends.
But I am not an idiot, of course I take temperatures. Rea's was in the 101-102 range that day and Friday (1) morning. I was going to let her rest out the bug. I didn't think she had the flu. When Buddy tested positive for the flu, his temps were in the 104s. So I worked from home on Friday (1), and Rea reclined peacefully on the couch.
Right about the time I was getting ready to take Buddy to karate, Rea seemed to decline. The fever that had been low-grade the morning shot back up over 102. And she was complaining her head was killing her. I called the doc's office, apologized for the late-afternoon Friday phone call, and got an emergency appointment.
The doctor agreed with me: it's a sinus infection. Rea tested negative for the flu in the office that day.
Friday (1) night, Rea woke up around 11pm with a fever of 104.6. It always freaks me out to see temperatures above the mid-103s. Saturday (1) was a pretty bad day for Rea. She spent most of it laying on the couch or on the bed in the office (so she could be downstairs). She rolled around complaining her head felt so bad. She asked me several times to take her to the hospital. I talked to our pediatrician on Saturday (1) night, and she thought we should begin Tamiflu. Even though Rea tested negative the day before, the fact that her fever spiked and her brother had the flu the week before meant there was a decent chance she had it.
Although she was on two antibiotics, her fever persisted. She never had a day without. But Monday seemed fairly hopeful. Her fever was low-isa and only spiked once to the 102s. She even perked up enough to talk and play the WiiU. I was beginning to think we were coming out of the woods.
You know what they say about counting your chickens before they hatch. Don't!
Tuesday morning I called the doctor because her fever jumped back up to 103. The nurse and I talked on the phone for a while about her symptoms. We decided a visit wasn't necessary (I could call if I wanted to have her checked). But as the day went on, she declined. Every 5 hours, her temperature would jump up to nearly 103. There was no need to set an alarm or schedule for Advil doses. Her body let me know.
My Mom-tuition told me something bad was happening. The hubs and I decided that our spring break vacation was a no-go and the local ER was probably going to take its place.
On Wednesday morning Rea woke up with a 104. I was worried about dehydration - from the high temps and tummy troubles she'd had since Thursday (1). Hubs told me to take her to the Emergency Room. I talked to our pediatrician after dropping Buddy off at school. She wanted me to bring Rea to the office first.
In the office, Rea's pulse ox was low. And the doctors didn't like what they heard in the lungs. Her doctor wanted to have some blood work and a chest x-ray done, so we left the office and headed right down to the ER.
*The first installment of our sick series can be found here.
Now it is the kids' turn.
First up was Buddy. I picked him up from school on Thursday. He walked out a bit like a zombie. He was the first to come out of school, so we stood there for a few minutes waiting for Rea. Buddy told me he wanted to go home because his skin felt like it was burning. I assumed it was because we were standing in the blazing Florida afternoon sun. So I thought nothing of it.
When we got home, the kids went about their normal after school routines. They snacked, Buddy put away his stuff and took his iPad to the couch. Rea took out her homework and proceeded to meltdown over the math questions. And I went into the office to attempt a bit of post-pick-up work.
About an hour later, I walked into the TV room to check on everyone - it was quiet, and all Moms know that's not usually a good thing. Riley was facedown on the couch. He said, "I feel like I am on fire from the inside Mom." I touched his head, sure enough he was on fire. My magic Mommy hands told me it was at least a 101. My hands were not wrong.
Buddy tested positive for the flu on Friday. Since I got him to the doctor fast enough, we were sent home with a Rx for Tamiflu. I nearly fainted at the pharmacy when she told me the script was going to cost me $267! What?! That's highway robbery. When I blanched at the price, the girl asked if I really wanted to buy it. I asked if there were any generic alternatives, she said no.
Luckily, $267 buys incredible medicine. Buddy was feeling more like himself within 48 hours. It took several days for the fever to go away completely, but he perked up and played like normal.
And like the good little boy we have been raising, he shared with his sister. Awesome.
Rea is 9 and Buddy is 7. Everyday is an adventure with these two! I love them so much.