Last year around New Year’s Eve time, my daughter got sick and ended up in the hospital. I posted about how that happened on Sunday and Monday; here’s the finale.
The next morning, Michele stays with Savvy and I head home to get some fresh clothes for everybody and a nap. I grab a bunch of toys and stuff for the kid, too, and a few snacks (they don’t care what she will be eating). The oxygen level…ls getting better and we move to a non-intensive care until room (no gloves or gowns or masks – hooray!).
The tests come back positive for rhinovirus, which is basically a big head cold. Nothing fatal or life threatening, usually, but with kids it can cause so much congestion that it begins to block their little airways, and this is the result.
All day Sunday, the kid is playing like wild. Very energetic and VERY happy. She still has the EKG sensors on, but somewhere overnight Saturday she rebelled against the oxygen nose hose, and since her levels were pretty good, they decided to let her leave it off. Every few hours they check her O2 and she’s fine, and so a release is scheduled after one more treatment, and then we can leave.
We depart with a prescription for twice a day medicine, designed to keep her airways open. She gets one before bed and one in the morning, basically to help her until the virus runs its course. Other than that, and a slight nagging cough that they told us isn’t contagious, she’s fine.
We spend that evening, New Year’s Eve, at home resting. I woke up from some fireworks and saw the ball drop in Times Square, then I rolled over and went back to sleep. The activities of the prior few days were very regimented in my head, as far as what happened and when, but as far as actual time, I had no idea what day it was. As I have said before: sleep first, details later.
Rhinovirus, not RSV or anything worse. Not the flu, not some supervirus. It just overloaded her system and she was so congested that she started having trouble breathing – as in, very labored, whimpering with every breath – and as much as I didn’t want to go to the Emergency Room on a Friday night, it may have been for the best that the After Hours place was closed because the ER folks were VERY concerned about a 2 year old that can’t breathe and they went to work on her FAST. A little Hand Of God action there? Who knows how things would have gone if the After Hours place HAD seen us just minutes before closing time. Maybe it would have been a diagnosis that sent us home and we’d have had a worse ordeal to handle then. I’m happy to think of it that way, that maybe God was steering things a little for me at that moment.
I remember my wife asking me in the ER if maybe we were overreacting. “What if this is just a mistake?” she asked. I said, “I look forward to being embarrassed over this. I hope it IS a mistake. That would absolutely be the best outcome to me, instead of our little daughter needing to be here.” No need to second guess now, but in the heat of battle, you think these things. And worse. You wonder what if she’d have slept a little better on the couch and we put her to bed and she didn’t have the energy to cause all the commotion… well, those things are better off not being thought of.
In the end, I think it was kind of a fluke and I doubt we’ll have any of those issues again.
I took a picture of my daughter while she was in the hospital. She was well on the way to recovery and was feeling much, much better, and she had been playing with some of the toys I brought her.
She looked beautiful.
I’m sure it was more the feeling of seeing her feeling healthy again as opposed to actually looking the best she’d ever looked, but I can’t be positive.
When we were in the original emergency room, the nurses gave my daughter some stickers to play with, to distract her from all the needles and sensors. She picked a few Disney characters: Donald Duck, Goofy, and the third sticker was Mickey Mouse and Minnie. Somehow, during all the melee, she stuck them on the front of my t-shirt, and so the whole time we were doing everything in the hospital, I had these Mickey Mouse stickers on my chest. She got more stickers later, mermaids and princesses, so I never noticed that she’d lost the Goofy and Donald.
Turns out, she didn’t. When I went home the next day to grab a nap, there they were on my shirt.
Her gift to me.
The nurses gave them to her to calm her down; she gave them to me.
Don’t worry dad.
I carefully stuck them on my nightstand and took my nap. On the nightstand are two framed pictures, one of my wife and my daughter the day she was born, and the other is about 6 months later, a picture I took of my daughter playing on the floor of our master bedroom, smiling from ear to ear as only a 6 month old can.
In a few days I’m going to put that picture of her in the hospital bed into a frame, and stick those three stickers on it. I don’t know where I’ll put it; it’s probably not a proper way to remember things, and it may be a long moment in time that I’d rather forget, but I really like the way she looks in the picture, even if it does show her IV arm bandages and hospital pajamas.
The stickers will go on it to remind me of those rare, special moments between just me and her.
When everybody was worried about taking care of her, she was worried about taking care of me.
How do you not frame that?
– from “Savvy Stories 2: The TERRIBLE Two’s” available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/TERRIBLE-Twos-Learned-Toddler-Daughter-ebook/dp/B00F245L0I/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8