Wednesday, March 21, 2007

**WARNING** This is loooong

The flu hit our house two weeks ago. It was lovely. First me, then Cornbread, then Nora and then Ryann. Unfortunately Ryann was hit the hardest...

She started vomitting Friday at 2am. I changed her bed, Cornbread changed her clothes and washed her up. We went back to bed only to get up within minutes to do it all over again. She seemed fine Friday morning when she woke up, but within hours it began again. She ended up being sick for the whole weekend and missed out on playing with her cousin, Tessa, and seeing the rest of the VanderWall family on Sunday. She couldn't hold any food or liquids down and alternated between feeling kind of warm and really warm.

By Sunday evening she had eaten a pb&j sandwich and managed to keep it down and her fever was gone. She was tired, but she hadn't had a nap that day, so I figured she would be better in the morning. And she was. She woke up her usual self and had some raisen bran for breakfast. Seemed totally fine to me - we were back to our normal routine.

12 noon Monday - I come out of my bedroom to get Georgia up from her nap and find Ryann laying on the stairs like she had been coming up to go to bed, but couldn't get the energy up to go any further. She begged me to put her to bed. Begged. But I wanted her to have some lunch and something to drink first. She had 1/2 of a banana and nothing to drink. And she refused to drink anything. She was exhausted and lethargic and again begged me to put her to bed. So I did - at 1:30 - and worried that I might not be able to wake her up later that afternoon. I made an appointment with Dr. Hottie for 5pm and prepared myself and the girls and Cornbread for the possibility that we may end up in the hospital. Arranged for babysitting and waited to go.

When she woke up - on her own - 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave, she was energetic and happy and seemed fine. I almost thought about cancelling the appointment... but we went. And we got sent to the hospital because she was dehydrated. At that point I didn't think she was that bad and kind of felt like we were overreacting a bit, but I trust Dr. Hottie and so does Cornbread, so we went to the ER.

We were put first on the list (there were a TON of people in the waiting room and a bunch on beds in the hallways - all with the flu) and got a room with a door right away. They came in, took some blood and started an i.v. I have to tell you - she was sooooo brave. She did not cry at all with either of the needles and it wasn't because she was too lethargic to care. She was having a good ol' time in the "hostible" at that point. And the needles didn't phase her one bit. I was so proud of her.

We were admitted to peds later that night (10:30) and decided that I would sleep at home, Cornbread would sleep there with her and I would come early in the morning to stay for the day. And when I got there that morning I embarked on the most boring day of my entire life.

Here was my day in a nutshell: PBS cartoons on the tv (which are HORRIBLE for adults - great for kids), a few books at my side (none of them were fiction so I could only bare to read a few pages at a time), some Robin's Egg candies and Ryann getting up to go potty every 1/2 hour or so - which meant that I had to unplug the iv machine, untangle her cord and follow her to the bathroom to help. (And I decided that I haven't seen anything much cuter than Ryann from behind with her pajama pants and her little "hostible" gown on and an iv trailing behind her).

It was soooooo boring. Cartoons are terrible. And I shouldn't have brought that bag of Robin's Eggs because I'm not joking when I tell you that I could FEEL myself getting fatter as I sat completely sedentary in the chair next to her bed. She, on the other hand, loved it and did not want to go home because she didn't have a bed that moves at home:) I think she also thoroughly enjoyed having mom all to herself for an entire day. My main job was to help her to the potty and ask her if she wanted anything to drink or eat (which the answer was usually no).

Dr. Hottie came in around 1:30 to see how she was doing and said she looked good, but since she hadn't eaten any solids yet, he wanted her to eat and then see how she was doing in a couple of hours. He also said that she had 3 bolises (don't know what exactly that is) of the iv before she peed the night before - so obviously she was needing it pretty badly (apparently that is a lot for a little girl) and it was important that she was there.

She had a couple of bites of pb&j, a few bites of a banana, a few sips of juice and finally fell asleep at 2:00. I could watch normal tv... but I gave up my soaps last fall and I have to say I'm not missing anything and I was almost as bored watching GH as I was with the cartoons... then Inside Edition and Jeopardy and then a desperate search for the food network.

She woke up at 5:15 and after she got out of that groggy-just-woke-up stage she was all about exploring that hospital room. She was climbing in and out of her bed, climbing on the chair, climbing on the other bed, jumping on the other bed - all while trailing the iv behind her;) I would say she was okay and ready to go home! She was again very brave when they removed the iv needle and was quite excited to put normal clothes on. Our poor girl lost so much weight, though, that her pants would not stay up very well and she had plumber bum the whole way down the hallway out of the hospital;)

We got home right at 8:15 and walked in to see Cornbread watching American Idol with Nora and Georgia. It was time for bed and everyone was ready - Nora and Georgia had spent the day at PD's house and played and played and played and they were exhausted and Ryann was already tired again from her boring day at the "hostible".

It was a very, very boring day, however, again I am thankful for the many friends we have who really stepped in to help us. Doug, Jenny and the boys had Nora and Georgia overnight on Monday and then PD had them alllllll day yesterday in addition to her own children (one is 5 like Nora and one was born the same days as Georgia... and she has two sons who came home from school later in the afternoon). It was inconvenient for all involved - us and all of them, but no one complained. No one thought twice about helping us and watching the girls. PD and Doug and another friend called me in the hospital to break up my day (read: to make sure I wasn't smothering myself with a pillow), and PD sent dinner home with Cornbread when he picked the girls up (that was really, really nice -I didn't have to eat graham crackers and italian ice for another meal). We are blessed!

All seems to be normal this morning so far. She has eaten breakfast, has pouted about something, she and Nora have fought several times already, and she is currently in her room crying over something to do with Nora. She has had a little bit of water to drink and has had a snack, so hopefully her appetite has come back. We will be very aggressive with the fluids and hopefully we won't have to go back (although I'm not sure that she wouldn't like to go back:)

And just as an FYI for any of you with small kids - one of the nurses told me that she thinks that pacifiers contribute to dehydration in little kids because when they suck on them they just recirculate their saliva and never feel a need to satisfy their thirst. I'm certain that wasn't the case with Ryann over the weekend because she only gets her pacifier in her bed during naps and over night, but she did have it all day yesterday in the hospital and she wasn't drinking or eating anything at that time. It makes total sense to me and I thought I would share.


Cousin Jen 8:09 PM  

I'm so glad Ryann is OK. Hospitals are boring when you are a parent. When Jordan had whooping cough, I sat in his room for 5 days. He was a baby so I could sleep, but I didn't do much else! By the way, "boluses" are just an extra volume of IV fluids. They may have had the IV at a certain rate (whatever number was on the screen...40 cc/ hr...I'm not sure what they give kids...adults usually get 100 or so) but then they increase the rate to get a certain volume over a short time. It was common to give 500mL boluses in 30 min. to dehydrated adults. Hope that helps...

kkoois 10:02 PM  

i'm glad to hear that ryann is okay. i was wondering how she was doing and praying for her.

Jen 8:12 AM  

Wow~when you said sick kids you meant it! Glad to hear she's perking up and you had such a stimulating day at the hospital! :-)

Mommy Brain 8:19 AM  

What an ordeal! Don't you totally lose track of time when you are in the hospital? Glad to hear Ryann is feeling's scary how fast it hit her...I'm so glad I'm married to Dr. Beautiful and don't have to worry about making appointments or wondering if everything is ok, I just bend his ear. Glad this is over for all of you...go out and enjoy the spring rain.

Heaven Sent 2:49 PM  

So glad to hear your sweetie is getting back to her old self. Dehydration is scary. They say it can really creep up on you! Good thing you kept that doctor appointment... I would've seriously thought about cancelling it myself based on her mood. Must have been a God thing!!! :o)

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