Then it happened...Kennedy woke up in the middle of the night throwing up and running a fever. We kept her away from Drake, but she was most likely contagious before she showed signs of being sick. She bounced back relatively quickly, but still had a lingering cough mostly at night. We thought we were in the clear; Kennedy was better and Drake was still healthy. Then, on Thursday he was not acting like himself. No effort during therapy; quite lethargic. Later that day, his fever hit. He began requiring oxygen support, but only 1/2L which was understandable and quite manageable. Other than the occasional fever spike, he was acting normal and looked great. On Saturday, we had to go up to 3/4L of O2. Not ideal, but still quite manageable. Since the only thing out of the ordinary was his requirement for oxygen, Brian and I began troubleshooting. We switched his vent out for our backup vent...no change. We did a trach change to see if that was the issue...no change. I contacted our pulmonologist, and he had us do 3 back to back breathing treatments and start him on an oral steroid through his Mickey button and an inhaled antibiotic through his Nebulizer for a possible trach infection. He seemed to improve slightly during the night and then his oxygen requirement increased to 2L. This was unacceptable. Brian and I loaded the car in the early morning hours and headed to Dallas. We contacted our pulmonologist in route and the ER was ready for us when we arrived. Mimi and Poppy met us in the parking-lot to pick up Kennedy. Thank goodness for family!
We had friendly faces who remembered us in the ER and everyone was surprised he was on so much oxygen because he looked great! Chest X-ray confirmed pneumonia in his right lung. We were admitted to the Pediatric ICU, and Brian and I settled in for the day with our happy little boy. Everyone in the PICU commented on how great he looked, too. We all predicted a short overnight stay...we were wrong. Starting around midnight, he had a rough night. He slept, but he would wake up having coughing fits and his O2 sats would drop. His oxygen support was increased to 4L! The next morning his vent settings were increased to help with his labored breathing, and he was able to come back down to 3L. He slept most of the day other than when he would wake up coughing. Around 5pm he was awake and alert and his body temperature was back down to his normal. One of our wonderful night nurses drove from Tyler to visit us! She told me she would sit with him so that I could go walk around or grab something to eat. This was such a treat and very much appreciated!
Last night was better, and he maintained all night on 2L. He did get very angry when they tried to check his blood pressure while he was sleeping. This morning it was obvious that he had had enough of being stuck in that hospital bed. He wanted out! We set him up in his chair, and he seemed comfortable and content. They weaned him down to 1L, and so far he is doing good. They also put his vent settings back down to his regular settings. There is some talk that if he can maintain on 1L, we might be able to go home tomorrow!!!
Kennedy is happy and I am sure getting spoiled rotten! We sure do miss that little munchkin! We have talked on the phone and FaceTimed daily. She was able to meet her new baby cousin, Chase, who was born on April 1st. I'm looking forward to meeting him soon, too!
Brian asked me how Drake and Kennedy got this illness. I told him that I just don't know. It's everywhere. Kennedy could have picked it up at the grocery store. Who knows? My sister is afraid that her kids got them sick. I told her that no one is to blame. As much as we try, we don't live in a bubble. We do the best that we can to stay germ free, we will fight this battle, and we will continue moving forward.