This past Monday, an asthmatic Rush began to feel sick.
Symptoms of lethargy, runny nose, wheezy cough, refusal to drink, refusal to eat
and a high fever that could not be broken by tylenol.
This past Wednesday, a concerned Mama drove her almost four year old son to the pediatrician.
The wise, experienced and elderly Dr. Barfield listened to his chest and looked in his ears.
Barely able to lift his head up off the table, Dr. B had a hard time looking into his throat.
Without hesitation, he told me to drive Rush immediately to the ER of Egleston (Child Healthcare of Atlanta).
He called ahead and told them we were on our way.
An unsure Rush lay pitifully on an ER exam table.
A nice lady (and child specialist) explained to Rush that the nurse was going to put a special straw in his arm;
That would administer medicine to make him feel better.
She brought games and an iPad to distract the fear.
Rush was brave and did not cry, although he did wince loudly in pain.
Panicking with stress and anxiety on the inside,
I remained calm and strong on the outside for my child.
My camera acted as a therapeutic vehicle for expressing and capturing all that I witnessed;
Allowing me to cope and keep sane.
Wednesday night, Rush was registered and placed in a room to stay overnight.
The night consisted of breathing treatments every three hours, a constant changing of the IV fluid bags
And a high fever that could not be broken for more than an hour with Motrin.
At its lowest, the fever would be 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit.
And at its highest, 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
For a moment, Rush’s tummy told him he wanted Fruit Loops cereal.
However, it ended up in a pink hospital basin.
Thursday morning came and a feverish, lethargic Rush lay in the same spot on his hospital bed.
The day consisted of highs and lows, but his spirit was still bright.
Rush had refused to eat or drink since Monday and continued the day with this same pattern.
Thursday night came, and a Motrin-induced Rush desired to view the fish in the aquarium downstairs.
Hooked to an oxygen tank and an IV machine, he worried people would see him.
I encouraged him, by informing him, that he would not be the only kid hooked to machines as he strolled the hospital corridors.
My mother and I maneuvered the devices as Rush walked, determined to view the fish outside the cafeteria.
Full of energy and life, his smiling face also desired to visit the playroom in Five East, which he had just been told about.
There, Rush made a sweet friend named Jared, who patted him on the back every time he coughed.
He played until it was time to return to his room for another breathing treatment.
Thursday night was the roughest of all.
Perhaps he overdid it by playing and walking around so much,
But it was difficult to refuse a smiling child that had energy for the first time in three days.
His fever rose.
The doctor said it bugged him that Rush’s fever had been so high since Monday and wasn’t going away.
Thoughts of pneumonia.
After a round of Tylenol and Motrin did not break Rush’s fever even one degree,
The doctor ordered for blood to be drawn and his chest to be x-rayed immediately.
A sleeping Rush awoke to a giant needle drawing red blood from his arm.
He screamed like those in a horror flick.
An unamused Rush then kicked and screamed to get away from the firetruck-disguised x-ray machine coming towards his bed.
Then his IV (which had been difficult to get in the first time) fell out.
Four nurses held him down while three of those nurses took turns with a flashlight and a needle,
Attempting to place an IV in veins that hid themselves from view.
An hour later, the IV was back in.
Thirty minutes later, Rush vomited all over the bed.
Thirty minutes after that, Rush peed on me as he missed the urinal.
As we climbed back in bed to go to sleep, however, a glimmer of personality displayed:
“I pee-peed on you, Mama. That funny!” exclaimed Rush.
At two thirty AM, Rush finally fell asleep.
Friday morning was similar to the other mornings we had spent at the hospital.
The high fever persisted.
Oxygen levels were still low.
Breathing treatments every three hours.
Meds and more meds.
Each that examined him, remained bewildered by the cause of his symptoms.
Friday afternoon, the doctor ordered the nurse to test Rush for RSV;
A respiratory virus that adults can shake.
Infants and those with breathing problems have a more difficult time overcoming it.
In the meantime, a respiratory therapist massaged Rush’s ribcage with a vibrating machine to break up the fluid in his lungs.
Rush remained in this state for the rest of the day and into the night;
Low oxygen levels and a high fever.
I, as a mother, was concerned and slept beside him in the bed just as I had every night thus far.
However, I knew we were in good hands.
Saturday morning, his fever had vanished without a trace.
The respiratory therapists and nurses saw improvement and began to ween him off oxygen.
Two times they tried and two times they placed him back on it.
But, third time’s a charm.
Three scary nights and, finally, a hopeful day.
The test results were in and the diagnosis RSV.
Treatment consists of letting it run its course. 🙂
Saturday night, he wanted to eat.
He refused to drink, but the IV fluids continued to hydrate him.
Saturday night, the doctor told us he would probably go home the next day
If he would start drinking.
Sunday came and Rush’s only task, before he could be discharged, was to drink an entire Gatorade juice box.
He struggled but managed to do so by Sunday afternoon.
Full of color and smiles, we were finally able to bring our Rush home from the hospital.
Rush no longer resembled my Grandaddy, who remained hooked to an oxygen tank until the end of his life.
It was a roller coaster ride of emotions, filled with ups and downs;
But, I have one tough cookie of a four year old.
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PEACE, LOVE until my next bloggy-blog post, dear fellow blog readin’ friends. 🙂