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Deep Breath

Originally written 8/1/18

While Hadley's second admission to the hospital is completely unrelated to her thyroid, I still wanted to include it on the blog. It's part of her story.

In July 2017 Hadley was 5 month old and generally pretty healthy. She was exclusively breast fed at the time and hadn't started any solid foods yet. She started feeling bad on Friday, vomiting with a low-grade fever. It was too late to get in to see her pediatrician so we took her to the Emergency Room. The doctor kindly told us that it was likely a stomach bug and to do our best to keep her hydrated. He gave us examples of signs of dehydration-no wet diapers, dry mouth, dry eyes, and/or no tears when crying. All night Friday and all day Saturday I tried my best to nurse Hadley but she was mostly uninterested. When she did eat, it only took a couple minutes for her to start vomiting. I changed my clothes at least a dozen times and thanked God each time that we chose to install hardwood floors. I just wanted her to eat enough for her to have a wet diaper.

When 24 hours passed and Hadley had no wet diapers, I decided we needed to go back to the ER. Kyle had come down with the stomach bug and was too sick to come with us. The boys went to my aunt and uncle's house, and another aunt offered to join me so I had company.

The ER doctor ordered bloodwork, an x-ray of Hadley's abdomen and a catheter to get urine. A group of nurses came into the room. Ok, here we go. The catheter was up first. Deep breath. I don't doubt that Hadley was in more physical pain but the pain you feel when your baby is screaming is immeasurable, indescribable. I kept my game face on but my insides felt like they had been set on fire. One of the nurses finally told me I could pick up Hadley so I did and we melted together. When I looked up at the nurse I thought she was going to cry too. They weren't able to get the catheter in. Deep breath. The nurses in the room left and came back in with another nurse and the ER doctor to try a second time. This time when I laid Hadley down and held her hand I looked at her arm. Just before the second attempt I abruptly told them to STOP! Hadley's arm, face and neck were covered in hives. Her diaper area where the betadine had been used was also covered in hives. The swelling is what had prevented the catheter from going in. The doctor told the nurses to use a different cleaning agent and then they were able to get urine. It was a tiny amount. So little in fact that it wasn't even enough to collect and send for testing, so the catheter had to stay in. Now it was time for the IV. Deep breath. Again the first attempt was unsuccessful but eventually the nurse was able to get IV access in Hadley's foot. I kept my cool, but Hadley cried and cried. Finally it was time for the x-ray and Hadley handled it like the princess that she is.

Minutes after the x-ray was done, the ER doctor came in Hadley's room. She stood close to me put her hand on my forearm. She looked me in the eye and said, "Hadley might have a bowel obstruction. If she does, she will need surgery tonight. She has to go to Akron now for another test and to see a surgeon there."

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

My aunt drove us to Akron and we checked in to the Emergency Room. Another test was ordered, an Upper GI with Small Bowel Follow Through. This time she would have to drink barium and then have x-rays every 30-60 minutes until the barium reached the colon. Which leads me to our next hurdle, Hadley refused to drink the barium from the bottle. So while we were in the Radiology department, a nurse came in with an NG tube. The tube went in Hadley's nose and down to her stomach. She cried and cried and again, I felt like my heart would explode from the pain. I kept my cool though. I carried her back and forth to the radiology department for most of the night. Finally, a pediatric General Surgeon came in to see Hadley and told me that there was no obstruction, she didn't need surgery. She was going to be just fine. He said the NG tube could come out but she was going to be admitted for dehydration. Deep breath.

At some point in the night we were admitted to the unit and Hadley finally had a crib to sleep in. I loved every second of holding her, it's just that she slept so much better in a crib. Hadley got IV fluids and the best possible care by nurses and doctors that God hand-picked just for her. At some point that night, or maybe the next morning, Hadley had her first wet diaper. My aunt went home and since Kyle was feeling better, he came to Akron to be with us.

Once Hadley started nursing again and was keeping liquid down, she was discharged from the hospital. I am so much more than grateful for doctors, nurses, radiology techs, and aids that care. Although it was a stressful day and night, not one person involved in Hadley's care was willing to look the other way or make assumptions. Every single person listened to what I had to say and left no stone unturned. Kyle drove us home and let us rest. I showered away the day and night and Hadley bounced back with no evidence that she was worse for the wear.

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