Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Special Kind of Hell

Last Wednesday, Colton had a routine follow up with his neurosurgeon.  Well, it ended up being everything except routine!   His head measurement was up significantly.  He had jumped from the 10 %tile to the 50%tile, which was concerning.  But, now, his head had  grown even more!  The new measurement put him in the 90%tile!  Doc wanted an MRI immediately.  Nope, no MRI - they were fully booked.  He said ok, let's get him into a CT.  CT could fit him in right away, so off we ran over to CT.  When we got there, they took us right back.  We left CT knowing nothing.  We drove up the street to get some lunch (it was only 3pm already). While waiting in line at my most favorite place (Chipotle), the doc called my cell phone.  He had spoken to the pediatrician on duty at the hospital and was having Colton admitted for a shunt revision the next day! 

So, I called Bubba for him to pack a bag of everything Colton and I would need for the next few days.  I get my lunch and head back to the hospital.  By now, it's about 4pm and it's a hour wait until his room is ready.  Once his room is ready, we are taken to his room and greeted by a nurse.  She introduces herself and tells us that our nurse will be in soon.  Um, to me, soon doesn't mean 30 - 45 minutes!!!  That nurse introduces herself, tells me they don't have any of Colton's formula on the floor (and then stares at me like I sprouted a second head when I tell her the NICU has a huge stockpile of it!), tells me someone will come start an IV and draw some labs.  And, then she's gone.  Gone.  Gone.  Gone.  She never showed me how to work anything (no, she didn't know I was a Kaiser RN), tell me any special peds floor rules, offer me water, a blanket or a pillow.  N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

Bubba, Seanie and Amanda show up a few hours later.  They have clothes, tolietries, blankets, pillows and water for me!  YAY!!!!!     I tell them how things are going - the good and the bad, mostly the bad.  And, then Bubba asks, what would happen to Colton if you couldn't stay.  Um, well, he would be in him room ALONE.  If he cried, nobody would hear him.  If he screamed, nobody would hear him.  His room was actually across the hall from a nurses' station that was completely vacant - no lights on, no computers on, no supplies, nothing. 

Then there is the IV fiasco.  Multiple tries to get it in and then it blows within an hour.  Okay, I get it.  IVs don't alwys go right in and sometimes they blow.  But . . . . then lab comes in to draw his labs.  Thanks lab chickadee, YOU LEFT A FREAKING SHARP IN MY KID'S CRIB!!  It wasn't even capped!  Not to mention the rubberband you also left in there.  Second IV goes in his head.  This is a normal place to put an infant's IV.  But, I ask, won't the neuro want it some where else since he's having brain surgery???   She tells me nope, it's okay because it's on the other side of the head.  Next morning, doc comes in and wants to know why the IV is in his head.  I tell him.  He's mad.  He tells me they will use it to knock him out and then replace it before they proceed with the shunt revision.  I'm not shocked, but I am clearly annoyed with the nurse who put the IV in his head. 

Surgery goes well.  The catheter that goes from the shunt into the ventricle was clogged.  The shunt and the tubing into his abdomen were both functioning properly.  So, the doc just replaced the catheter.  Colton was taken to the PICU after his surgery.  As we were walking in the PICU someone asks if we are the Coats.  We nod, he says, GOOD!  We need you, he's awake and not happy!  So, we rush to his room to find him screaming and crying and thrashing about.  I look at Bubba and ask, "Is this how I am coming out of a general?"  He nods; I say, "Well, then, I would like to take this moment to apologize to everyone."   So, the nurses medicate him with about a half a dose of morphine.  No help.  Then, we try to give him some tylenol with codiene and juice.  He spits it all up.  Then some Zofran to help with any nausea.  Then some Ativan because he is clearly trying to go to sleep, but just can't let himself.  Nope, doesn't work.  Then a full dose of morphine.  Aaaaahhhhhh, good night, my sweet baby. 

The night was really uneventful.  At about 3pm the next day, a MRI showed the shunt was in the proper place and the ventricles were already shrinking.  We got our discharge papers and home we went.  But, once we got home, a long, long night began.  Colton began throwing up.  He wouldn't keep anything down.  We went back to giving him juice to see if that would stay down.  No such luck.  So, at mightnight, I call the advice and tell her I want the neurosurgeon paged so that I could talk to him.  No, she says, we need to bring Colton into the ED.   UGH!  Bubba and I rush around packing my bags to prepare for another few day stay in the hospital.  And, then, I have an idea.  I call my work and ask to speak to the pedi who is covering our nursery.  We talked about what is going on.  She told me that since Colton had never had straight juice, it might be too harsh on his system.  So, we mixed his bottles half juice/half water until we could get to the store in the morning to get some Pedialyte.   We also fed him a half an ounce every 15 - 30 minutes.  Oh, it was a long night.  Since I hadn't slept much in the hospital, Bubba stayed up most of the night feeding Colton.  The next day was long and trying, but Colton was slowing keeping more of his bottles down.  But, he would throw up his whole feeding if we gave him any formula.  We were giving him Tylenol every 6 hours or so. 

On Halloween morning, Colton woke up feeling much better but it took until the evening for him to keep down about 3 ounces of formula.  But Monday morning, he was eating full formula feeds.  Poor baby.  I think we jumped the gun bringing him homw Friday night.  He probably needed more Zofran to keep the nausea under control.  Both Bubba and I have a terrible time with post-operative nausea and vomiting.  For me, it can last up to three days.  For Bubba, he says it lasts 24 hours.  Um, no, Bubba, you will randomly vomit up to a week later!!!

So, how about some pictures from the hospital visit . . .

I'm just gonna eat this, okay?

Hit a button and milky bottles magically appear  :)

Preemie Prison

In pre-op

Lots of drugs on board . . . .

Vending machine dinner

1 comment:

  1. You tell a story so well, it's almost like I was there. Actually wish I was. ((hugs))