The original title of this post, when I started writing it on Saturday night, was The Emergency Room Edition. Then on Monday night when I sat down to continue, I changed the title to The “My First Cold” Edition. And now here we are on Thursday, four days into Nyana’s most recent hospitalization, and we’re fully entrenched in the beeps and the cord management and the nurses and the long yellow hallway—a hallway that is noticeably shorter now that we’re in the ICU instead of the NICU, but a long walk to and from Babygirl nonetheless.
Nyana’s cough started on Thursday night last week; a deep, wet sounding bark that kept her awake and kept Don and me on edge. Friday night was even worse, with her oxygen dialled right up to 5L/minute, and so while Don spent the day working overtime on Saturday, I spent the day in the emergency room at BC Children’s, worried about Nyana’s work of breathing. Five hours in triage, a nasal swab and a chest x-ray later, it was determined that it wasn’t anything viral and it wasn’t pneumonia, and we were sent home with just “a really bad cold” and ordered to give her Tylenol, rest, and cuddles.
But rest and cuddles don’t often break fevers, and after our day in the ER, Sunday was just as miserable as Friday and Saturday had been. As Sunday night rolled into Monday morning, I had my first-ever moment of nervousness that I wouldn’t know when or if she was in serious trouble. First thing Monday morning, I packed her up and returned to BC Children’s. This time I asked that she be admitted.
Four days later, she’s still in respiratory isolation in the ICU, fighting what Dr Dee is calling an aggressive paraflu. We’ve upped her pressures and her oxygen, and are giving her Ventolin puffers every two hours. Today we started her on a six-day steroid course as well as antibiotics for the off-chance fluid gets into her lungs and gets infected. Bottom line: this is much more than “a really bad cold”. Dr Dee can’t give us any prognosis other than that she’s “optimistic” (her words) that we can avoid intubation, and that the last babe who presented with this bug spent a month in the ICU. All we can do is wait and see how Nyana fares. We’ve done the math and we’re doubtful we’ll have Babygirl home for Christmas; I think she is determined to start new holiday traditions that include her RTs. I think we need to have another conversation with Nyana about how awesome Santa is.