|Managing a smile even while feeling sicker by the day|
Now, don't get me wrong; I love the Children's hospital, and they have great knowledgeable staff and we are blessed to have this facility nearby when Baby's ill. BUT, the wait is atrocious and because they are a teaching hospital, sometimes you end up with students and "in-training" folks rather than the pros. And me being me, I would rather pony up money and get the "senior" doc and nurse rather than the "junior" (much like how I'd rather have the senior stylist cut my hair, and not the junior) - I guess I'm "US health care" that way. Also, sometimes the staff there have different child-rearing ideas than I do.
So first, the admitting nurse basically orders us to force feed Baby L some Pedialyte. I had already tried this on my own, and quickly learned that Baby L does not like the stuff. She doesn't mind formula and she loves my breast milk, but this Pedialyte stuff was repulsive to her. I told the nurse this, and she basically told me that "Baby L won't take Pedialyte because she hates it" means nothing to her. As in, "do it despite your baby's aversion to it." Now, in a life-or-death situation where no other option exists, yes of course I would. But Baby L had my boob and had formula available, so I was miffed that the nurse wanted us to give her Pedialyte exclusively for an hour, despite my protests that this was not going to end well.
Fast forward an hour. PUKE. EVERYWHERE.
We try nursing her to comfort her. PUKE. EVERYWHERE. AGAIN. Thanks, nurse, for opening that can of puke worms.
The same nurse also lectures us about Baby L's amber teething necklace being a choking hazard. Yep, got it. We are aware, thanks. We are keeping the necklace on.
Anyway, after a bit of a wait (it always is), we ended up with a junior doc who was pretty good but needed the senior doc to come and confirm any advice she might want to offer. The gist of senior doc's advice: maybe an IV (but don't force it if the IV doesn't "take"), a blood test to see why the puking returned after stopping for a few days, and yes, Baby L has the stomach flu.
We agree to the IV.
Baby L falls asleep 10 minutes before the nurses arrive, so now the poor exhausted baby in my arms is going to be woken up again. I am not thrilled.
They send in junior nurse (maybe he's not a junior but his technique wasn't very good) and his probably junior-to-intermediate partner. There is a cruel exploration for Baby L's best vein, where they have to cut off circulation to her hands and feet (one by one) to see which vein is most bulgy. I ask questions about whether they think it will be successful, whether they can find a good juicy place to poke (because I don't want them to have to do it twice and tell them so).
Baby L is roused from sleep and crying from fatigue and discomfort as her limbs are being contorted for these amateurs to find a good place to poke.
They settle on her left hand, and proceed to wrap her up mummy-styles. Baby L hates this. Then, she's held down and her arm is essentially prevented from moving. She is now bawling at the top of her lungs, and looking at me with tearful eyes and a hurt expression. The area is prepped and the needle inserted. More crying, now to the point of Baby L beginning to go hoarse.
I whisper, "Did it work? Are you successful?" I don't get a straight answer.
I repeat, more loudly, demanding to know. Again, vague answers that dance around the fact that they are not getting the blood that they need, nor are they able to use this needle to feed in an IV.
Baby L is now in distress. She is wailing and I am dying inside.
Finally, they tell me that it's not going to work. Great. Thanks for nothing.
No apologies. They take off to report to the doc while we're left trying to console my angry, tired, hurt little girl.
She takes to my breast for comfort and returns to slumber with much whimpering and sniffling. Finally, she falls asleep in my arms.
I vow not to let her get poked again, since she's not exactly at the point of desperately dehydrated (plus she just drank from the breast and is not vomiting). I also promise her, no more Pedialyte against her will.
Hubbs goes to find the doc, to let them know that we will no longer allow any nurses, junior or senior, to return to IV her. One try is one more than we wanted, particularly since they sent in amateurs and not the pros; we don't want to risk waking her again, and certainly not waking her for something so traumatic.
A lab tech shows up to take blood via a heel poke. Hubbs and I have to consult on this one, but in the end we allow it. The lab tech is proficient at her task and the blood is drawn without rousing Baby L from her deep, weary sleep. We start packing up our things, resolved to go home and take care of business ourselves. We will return only if Baby L deteriorates, since she seems to be faring worse in the hospital than even at home at this point.
The doc returns with the lab results: acidosis. Essentially, Baby L is making too much acid and because she is crapping out her bowels too quickly, her organs haven't been able to make and retain the stuff that would balance out the acid in her blood. Or so that is what I understand (maybe the facts are a bit fuzzy; we're going on 24 hours of wakefulness at this point and we aren't functioning at 100%). Whatever, the treatment is to orally hydrate her and to try to help her "dry out" from the diarrhea. Rice is recommended. Yes, rice. We can do rice :)
We return home, crash for a few hours, and begin our version of treatment. We feed her congee and rice, and breastmilk on demand (which is happening every hour by Baby L's request). We elevate her after feeds and watch for cues suggesting that she might bring it all back up.
She has now been more than 24 hours puke-free, and her stool is "drying up" slowly, although there's still more poop in her diaper than normal.
Her energy is returning, she is getting sassy again, and we are growing more relieved by the hour.
Lessons learned. Next time, we will wait before heading to the hossie.