Thursday, December 21

ER: Columbus Version

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I told myself that I was not going to be one of those neurotic parents that flips out about the smallest things, spending time in doctors offices, asking silly questions about nothing. And I did just that. She is rarely sick, usually happy, unless it's nap time, and I really don't worry about her overall health.

Pregnant with my second, I thought, "I have this down. It will be even easier the second time. I know what I'm doing." Not only was I telling myself this, but everyone around me was as well. Boy was I wrong, and so were other! I have been much more worried about Drew's health, spent more time at the doctor than I could have imagined. Wednesday night would be no different, as we found ourselves at Children's Hospital ER.

Drew started to show signs of having a cold on Monday night. It really didn't worry me too much, since his sister and father have had colds over the past few weeks. By Wednesday morning, however, it was getting worse, and he was wheezing, making eating difficult. By afternoon, he had hardly eaten all day, so I took him to the pediatrician. The doctor was concerned by the rate of Drew's breathing: over 80 breaths per minute, when normal is under 60. He did not feel comfortable sending us home, so he told me to take him to Children's ER.

His Dad and I arrived at the ER at 5:30 PM. It was packed, but, with an infant with a respiratory problem, we were called back right away. The nurse listed to his lungs and checked his oxygen level. He was wheezing, breathing too fast, but was maintaining a 98% oxygen level, which was really good. In addition, he did not have a fever, a good sign. As a result, we were sent back to the waiting room, to go in the normal order of patients.

At 7:30 PM we were finally called back to an exam room, where at 8:30 PM a nurse came in a took his vitals and suctioned out as much fluid as she could from his nose. He cried so hard and turned so red. We felt so bad for him, but after that, he was able to eat really well for the first time all day!

Finally, a little after 9 PM, the resident came in and looked at him. She listed to his lungs and checked his breathing rate, which had dropped to around 60 breaths a minute. She diagnosed brochiolitis, a fairly common viral infection for children. Drew was just having a little problem fighting it, probably due to his age. The doctor did order a chest X-Ray to rule out pneumonia, which came back clear. She also wanted the X-Ray so she could look at his heart, since sometimes respiratory problems can be related to a heart condition. That too was normal.

We finally were discharged from the hospital a little before midnight. Talking on the way home, we realized how much worrying we have done over Drew's health. It's not to say we were never worried about our daughter, but everything was just very natural and we never worried about her overall health. But with Drew having profound hearing loss, and now knowing it is genetic, we often worry that there are other problems we don't know about.

One bit of good news is that his ENT told us that by discovering the genetic abnormalities as a reason for Drew's hearing loss, we really can rule out the possibility of other problems. With all of the surprises we have had along the way, we are still worried.

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