Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Series of Fortunate Events

I'm going to take a trip back to about two, maybe three, weeks ago because I'm still trying to make sense of it all.

I had finally found our stethoscope.  The one I usually use on Lily when she isn't feeling so well.  It was outside because, well, we usually keep it in the costume container so the kids can play doctor, and I guess someone must have taken it outside.  When I brought it in and tried it out, it wasn't working.

So I asked Rani if she had one. . .since she's now a dental hygienist.  {Yeah!}  She did, and she told me she would bring it the next time she came to the house.

When she brought it, it was in a bag.  A bigger bag than what I expected.  I went to put it in a safe place (no more costume container), and after I got back, Rani told me that the bag had both a blood pressure cuff and the stethoscope, and I could only have the stethoscope.  So, I got out the bag that I thought was the stethoscope, and put it in the closet.  When I handed Rani the bag, she told me that it was actually in the other bag, so I had to switch bags.  It was quite the ordeal.

(Ok, I'm going to interject here and say that I SWEAR that I looked in one of the bags to verify that the stethoscope was in it because I had gone into that closet A LOT just to get the stethoscope bag in it.  This is important information for later...)

Fast forward to Saturday.  Dave had been working, and all the kids were with me.  Everything went as normal.  When he got home, I went to the store.  I was not gone for more than 30 minutes, but when I got back, Lily vomited.  Weird.  She had been fine all day.  And then she kept vomiting.  Dave thought that she had swallowed something.  We discontinued her formula and gave her water instead.  But she kept vomiting.

I stayed up with her until 1:00 Sunday morning. She was dry heaving by that time, so I assumed she had a stomach virus and went to bed. 

The next morning, when I woke up, she had some dried snot around her nose, so then I thought that maybe she just had a cold and the vomiting was her sensitive gag to sinus drainage.  She also had a fever.

The day went on, and I still believed that she had a cold.  By the time Dave got home and was sitting with her and holding her, he noticed that her breathing was in short, quick breaths, so we got the pulse ox out to measure her oxygen levels and heart rate.  Oxygen was in the 80s (she was snotty and asleep), and her heart rate was in the 180s.  Whoa!  We hadn't seen heart rate levels that high since her bowel obstruction, but I was thinking that she might just be dehydrated!  So I went to get the stethoscope, but the bag that I had put in the closet was the bag with the blood pressure cuff in it! What!?!

So Dave decided to put her in the shower to hopefully open up her airways.

When they got out, he was cuddling with her in bed.  I went up to check on her, and she was breathing so quickly--definitely more than one breath per second.  I put my head on her chest, but really couldn't hear anything.  Then I did a visual assessment of her body and noticed that as she breathed, her stomach stuck out.  Retraction!  (Lily breathes a little differently from our other children, so looking at her lungs/diaphragm area isn't always a good indication.  Luckily, I was looking at her from the side and noticed her stomach.)

We then decided that he would take her to the emergency room.  (Let me also interject that from the time that he got home to right before I noticed her retracting, Dave and I were talking about if we should take her to the ER or not.  It's always one of those things where you just never know.  Sometimes, it's ok to just wait until the next morning to take Lily to the doctor.  When we saw the retraction, we both knew what to do.)

Thank goodness we did not hesitate!  By 6:00 Monday morning, Lily was in the PICU coding and being intubated!

Now here's where the stethoscope comes into the more recent story.  I'll say that I am no professional when it comes to using a stethoscope, but it's pretty obvious when something is going on in the lungs.  The thing is, up until yesterday, LILY'S LUNGS HAVE SOUNDED CLEAR!  The doctors have heard NOTHING in her lungs!  They've seen plenty but heard nothing.

And that is pretty significant. 

Because if I had had that stethoscope, I would not have heard anything in Lily's lungs either.  And if I had not heard anything in her lungs, I might not have looked at her breathing.  I would have blamed it on a hot shower and being warm under the blankets.  And I might not have been adamant about Lily going to the hospital.  I just might have said that we could just wait until the morning to take Lily to the doctor.  And if I had done that, Lily might not be with us today.

The kids taking the stethoscope outside so that it wouldn't work anymore. . .

Me asking Rani for hers. . .

Not putting the right bag--the stethoscope bag--in the closet. . .

Not having a stethoscope to listen to Lily's lungs. . .

Being at an angle where I could see Lily's stomach as she breathed. . .

A series of fortunate events, indeed!

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