Thursday, March 25, 2010

Home again!

We were able to bring Liam home from the hospital yesterday around 5:30pm. Liam however has to be on oxygen at home while he is sleeping. We monitored his oxygen saturation all day yesterday and he did fine (93%) off oxygen when he was awake but when he would nap he was between 86-88%. So we had to contact a company that provides home oxygen and they came and set it up for us last night. We have a concentrator in our room (Liam will be sleeping in our room for now) that pulls oxygen in from the room air and isolates it and provides it to Liam through the nasal cannula. We also have an O2 tank in a stand with a regulator in case we lose power. The kids were very intrigued by the whole process and were listening in on the instructions from the rep. The kids were instructed not to hit it with objects or knock it over or it could explode (even though technically it can't he still tells kids this so they will leave it alone). This did not sit well with Adley. He immediately became panicked and asked why we couldn't have just left Liam at the hospital for a few more days. Adley usually isn't our worrier - that's Aidan - but last week a house in our city really did explode - about 2am in the morning, but so far it is under investigation as being suspicious - the house was in foreclosure. See below:

So for now the extra O2 tank is in Liam's bedroom, and under Adley's request that door is locked.

Liam has a follow-up appointment scheduled on Monday with the Pediatrician so we will keep the home oxygen until then. We will then probably have to make an appointment to see a Pulmonologist to make sure there is not anything underlying that is causing him to get sick so much. During his hospital stay I had to work so thanks to Jared's sister and mom that helped out with the 3 big boys Jared came and stayed with Liam while I worked. It was nice to be able to visit when I wanted. Jared said that even though you don't really do much but just sit in bed and tend to Liam that it is exhausting - I agree.

Liam and Daddy

Yesterday testing out the wagon and testing his levels on room air.
The night we were admitted. I think he remembered the nasal cannula from the prior visit and fought us a lot this time. So we put a mask in front of his face for a few hours until he calmed down enough to put the cannula on.
Watching 'Super Why' - Liam's favorite show. If he hears the music to the show he will stop whatever he is doing and watch. At home he usually stands at the entertainment center and watches.

Snuggling up - a friend that I work with brought us some snack food but also a snuggle for Liam. When her 3yr old son heard that Liam was sick he ran to his room and brought out this Snuggle Frog for Liam - so sweet!!!

Playing with his toys while getting a treatment. Liam gets a lot of neb treatments a day. For now he gets 2 different ones in the morning and at bedtime and at least 2 more during the day and if needed one throughout the night. He is a real trooper. Sometimes they don't bother him much other times he pushes at the tubing. The little circles on his cheeks are where I attach the cannula tubing when he needs it. They make for easy removal and attachment.

We are hoping that we will have some more answers by next week and hope that his back to back respiratory illnesses were just a fluke and that there isn't any underlying problem. Please continue to keep him in your prayers, and pray that his appetite improves as well. He didn't need an IV this time around but his appetite isn't as good as it should be. His weight is below what it was when he entered the hospital the first time. He feels smaller to me now - and I think I need to move him down a size in diapers - sad! We really really appreciate all the help, calls, and prayers for Liam.

And just in case you forgot about the other 3 boys b/c I haven't really mentioned them in awhile on my blog

Crazy kids!

Monday, March 22, 2010

An Answer

Today we found out that Liam has RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). RSV is somewhat like the common cold, but it affects little kids differently because they can't clear their secretions and their airways are smaller. There is really no way to treat RSV except to support the symptoms and wait out the virus. So we will be here receiving neb treatments and oxygen. He is on antibiotics for his ear infection and to cover and other respiratory infection. The last time Liam was in the hospital we did have an RSV test done and it was negative. I am wondering if maybe the test was wrong then and he has had this all along. Not sure why it would show up again so quickly though. We are doing well and many have called to check on us - thank you. I will have to work tomorrow so we have coverage for the big boys while Jared is with Liam. I have to say it will be weird working on the same floor where my baby is sick. I can't exactly take care of him though because it would be a 'conflict of interest'. He is in great hands here though and it will be nice to walk down the hall and check on him. We will keep you posted as to when we get to go home.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hospital stay take 2

So here we are again, back in the hospital. Liam was not improving this weekend and we took him back in today. He has continued with a fever, coughing, wheezing, etc. The neb treatments were helping but he was just so lethargic lately. I am so tired of going back to the pediatricians office. It is almost embarrasing at this point. I know that the people who work there are probably thinking, 'she's a nurse, why can't she take care of her kid at home'. But I kept having that feeling that something wasn't right and it wasn't. While in the peds office Liam started having some blue coloring around his mouth (circumoral cyanosis), another sign of low oxygen and sure enough his saturation was 82%. We did a neb treatment in the office and it only came up to 84%. So here we are again. His chest xray looks the same as the last visit - probable viral pneumonia. He has exhibited the exact same pattern as last time. He also has double ear infections. Poor guy! He really has been through a lot and is handling it all so well - his mommy not so much. It is so hard watching him go through this and wondering why again so soon. Was he ever really better...who knows. At least this time he is still drinking and is without an IV. We will probably be here for a few days and will probably follow up with a pulmonologist in the future. Jared, his dad, and our two brother-in-laws came to the hospital to give him a blessing. How thankful I am for all of them to be able to give him a priesthood blessing. He is one lucky little guy that is so loved. Please keep praying for him, we'll keep you posted.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Not again!

Last night I got home from work and heard Liam coughing through the baby monitor. It was the barky croupy kind of cough...and he was wheezing again. Jared went up and gave him a nebulizer treatment. We waited a little while and he didn't sound better. I brought him downstairs to be with me. He had a low grade fever too. I called the Pediatrician. He told us to repeat the neb treament and give him some of the oral steroid I had leftover from last time. We did and he seemed to improve a little bit. The albuterol wired him up pretty good and it wasn't until after 12am we got him back to sleep. He slept pretty good in our room with the humidifier on. We took him to the doctor this morning. We were told he had croup and reactive airway disease (RAD)- or in other words, not asthma, but a history of coughing, wheezing and respiratory problems of an unknown cause. Kids usually aren't accurately diagnosed with asthma until around age 6, so when little kids present with these symptoms it is referred to as RAD. The doctor thinks that anytime Liam gets a virus his body responds with the RAD. Anytime Aidan gets a virus his lymph nodes swell a lot. I guess this is the way Liam's body deals with a virus. His eyes are draining yucky stuff again. His oxygen levels were normal - thank goodness! So for now we are back to 3+ neb treatments a day, eye drops and the oral steroid for 5 days. Since Liam has been home from the hospital the only place he has really been was church and we held him the whole time there but Eli did go to nursery and now he is congested and snotty again! I am so done with everyone being sick. Will it ever end????

Monday, March 15, 2010

Playing outside

Lately it has been a little bit warmer. The boys have been able to play outside - finally!!! Since we signed up Aidan for soccer we decided he better start to practice. The boys were outside for over an hour playing soccer with Jared and the neighbor boy joined in as well. I can't wait until they spend most of the day outside burning off some energy!

Eli chasing after the ball

Liam watching all of the excitement
I thought I would throw this picture in there too. Eli carries his cars everywhere with him. Especially 'the awesome car'. That is the name of the car. Eli eating dinner with all of his cars!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

As many of you already know Liam spent 3 nights in the hospital this past week due to hypoxia (decreased oxygen saturation) and mild dehydration. He had been sick for about 2 weeks, starting with a croupy cough that got a little better over a week. He seemed to be feeling okay for his birthday celebration and on Thursday the 25th he went in for his 1 yr checkup. He was running a fever and had a horrible cough. We were told to watch him over the weekend and if he didn't get better to bring him back in on Monday. He continued to run a fever, decreased appetite and no energy to play.

He would nap and then wake up and lay around the house

He was not playful at all and he just wanted to be held. On Monday evening we took him in for a follow up and he had lost 11oz since the prior Thursday. His lungs didn't sound too bad according to the doctor, but we did check his oxygen saturation and it was 85% (they want it above 90%). So off to the hospital we went. I was lucky enough to have him taken care of by my wonderful co-workers (since we do Pediatrics on the floor I work on in addition to Labor). He had an IV, blood drawn, was placed on oxygen, had some xrays and was started on some albuterol treatments with chest percussion (to loosen everything up). He tolerated everything pretty well, but was really tired after all the admission stuff.

Our first night at the hospital - he is wiped out!

Day 2 - We didn't get to see Jared and the boys this day due to another snow storm that dropped 8 inches at our house. We communicated by video with the boys. Liam loved seeing his brothers on the phone.

Feeling better after some IV fluids and of course Cheerios!
In his hospital crib - he spent most of the time in the hospital bed with me except when I needed to escape to the bathroom. He was very cuddly!

Liam playing in the crib. He is in a pretty good mood!

Day 3 - Jared and the boys came to see us this day. I got to escape the hospital for about 3 hrs with the big boys while Liam got some daddy time. Here he is napping.

We tried a couple of times each day to wean him from his oxygen but his lungs weren't ready yet. The doctors aren't sure if he had a viral pneumonia or if a section of his lung was unable to exchange oxygen (atelectasis) and needed help reopening. The xrays did not give a clear picture of what was going on. He was very wheezy and crackly in his lungs with periods of time where his respiratory rate was faster than normal. He was a trooper to deal with the oxygen and IV tubing. He got tangled several times and would get frustrated and rip his oxygen off. He has some red marks on his face left over from that. On Wednesday he started eating better, not really drinking well yet. By Thursday he was playful, and he passed his room air trial awake and asleep. We were home by 1230.

Getting his first real bath in 5 days

Liam has done great since coming home. He will continue to get nebulizer treatments for at least a week. He has a follow-up appointment with the doctor on Monday. Thank you to everyone for your concern and prayers. We appreciated it very much!!!