Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Hospital Stay and Asthma Diagnosis

Ramsey's cough began early this week. A day later, he sounded so bad I knew something was wrong.  We took him to the local ER where they quickly discovered his oxygen was on the low side (it should preferably be 93 or greater; it was falling into the 80's). To me it didn't seem quite so alarming compared to his NICU days when 80 was good. I recalled the near ECMO day when his oxygen dropped in the 30's.  Still, I didn't want my little guy to be so sick and so upset. Aside from the coughing he was developing a temperature. He threw up several times in the triage area, possibly because he was so distressed over just being there. Let's just say he has an aversion to most scrub-wearing individuals.

We spent several hours at the local ER. They gave him an IV for some fluids and offered some albuterol to help with the breathing. Next, they decided to transfer him to Children's Hospital. Based on the stormy weather, Ramsey's history, and the fact that he was borderline critical, they decided to transport him by air. In typical fashion, I casually told my family that they were "flying us there". I couldn't bring myself to say they were life flighting him. I know it was partly because I knew he was going to be OK, and partially because those words would cause sheer panic to anyone that heard them.

In the midst of it all, my husband Dennis made a surprise phone call from his trip to Canada, near Saskatchewan. We live in we're talking 2,000 miles apart. I was tempted to lie, instead I told him where we were. I believe at that point, Dennis had a helpless all-out meltdown while Ramsey and I prepared for our flight to Pittsburgh. I told him Ramsey how lucky he was that we were sharing our first helicopter ride together but he wasn't buying it. He did not enjoy the ER experience. The transport team arrived, and ironically we recognized one another; they had also attended church many Sundays at he hospital. They were absolutely great. They assured me Ramsey would fall asleep once he was lulled by the vibrations of the helicopter and thankfully they were correct. The flight was 10 minutes long and he slept the whole way. I can't lie, I was strangely tempted to take his picture on that helicopter...but I decided a photo opp was likely inappropriate.

We arrived at Children's and spent several hours in their ER giving Ramsey more albuterol before receiving a room at 4:30 am. Fortunately, Dennis was vacationing with the husband of our original NICU nurse. (Let's just say Dennis made a bit of a promise as she tended to Ramsey that first critical day) She contacted the hospital, and with my permission, they were able to release info. about his status. She was able to calm Dennis and to confirm that he didn't need to find a way to rush home.

They kept Ramsey for two nights. They determined that he had a viral infection that triggered Asthma. Also he had an ear infection that was causing the fever. Finding out he has asthma was not so much a surprise. I've expected it all along. I just hope that it remains a mild form of asthma, that he will outgrow it and that we will learn when/how to properly treat him.

I have to keep reminding myself that Ramsey's surgery is still approaching. I had been preparing for his hospitalization and now a part of me feels like we already got that over with. June 20 will be here before we know it.

Being at the hospital brought back all sorts of memories...I'll save that for my next post!


  1. Glad he is okay and you got answers. Many of us are just shell shocked from our hospital stays. It never gets easier, just different. I don't know how we are able to keep our cool appearances to everyone else though. If you were able to see what was going on inside? There are a number of adult CDHers with Asthma or who have practially outgrown it too. It can be managed better today than ever before. Sending thoughts and prayers!

  2. Oh wow, Lisa! This all sounds very stressful. And you're amazing for handling it all while Dennis was away also. I'm glad that Ramsey was able to come home quickly and I pray that you don't have any more drama!