Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's so good to be home!

This week has been a good week! A lot better than last week, that's for sure. We're still giving Hannah antibiotics in her picc line every day, but she is slowly returning to the happy, chatty Hannah that we knew before the whole Meningitis fiasco! I still have a few more posts to do about our hospital stay, but I can't seem to find the time yet. I just had to post one picture today. When Hannah was at the emergency room in Brigham City they had to shave the right side of her head because they were trying to get the IV in. My mother-in-law made sure to save the hair for me and brought it over yesterday. It shouldn't have made me laugh, but this is what her hair is saved in.

I wonder how many kids have their first haircut hair saved in a bio hazard bag. We have a pretty special, one-of-a-kind girl! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Primary Children's hospital

I don't remember exactly where I ended my last post. I probably should have checked that before I started typing. Oh well.

So, Hannah was taken to the PICU and given three different types of antibiotics. It was an emotional evening and we weren't exactly sure what was going to happen. We didn't know if she was even going to make it. In the morning we learned some fabulous news that her body started responding to one of the antibiotics. So they stopped giving her the other two that didn't work. There is a marker the doctors use to measure the amount of infection in a body, it's called the CRP number. The scale goes from 0-45, but when Hannah first got there her number was so high it was off the chart, but after one night in the PICU her number was 31. That was a fabulous sign. Because her vitals her stable through the night and she seemed to be responding well to her meds the doctors decided to move her from intensive care to the regular floor. We were given such good news that morning I cried and cried as we listened to the doctors when they stopped at her room during rounds. It was also a little surreal, it felt like I was in a weird crazy dream.

So I started to take pictures. Taking pictures made me feel like everything was normal and it gave me something to do. I have SO many pictures. This is the first of a few posts with a ton of pictures.

I wanted to go through each day and tell a few things that happened each day, but seriously time is weird in a hospital and I don't remember what day each thing happened. So here is a short list of some of our hurdles and different procedures little Hannah has had to go through.

-Flown to Primary Children's in a helicopter.
-IV put in her arm by the "vein team" because everyone in the ER was having a hard time getting the IV in.
-pumped full of fluids for dehydration and low heart rate.
-Diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.  
-Stayed in PICU for one night.
-Released from PICU, taken to regular floor.
-Taken off oxygen.
-IV put in her head.
-Given an x ray of her rock hard tummy to make sure there wasn't any blockage in her intestines.
-Given a PICC line in her arm. (More info on that later)
-IV taken out of her hand and head.
-Her arm was so swollen she had to keep it elevated and have it measured every few hours.
-Hooked back up to saline drip because she wouldn't pee. She was so swollen she felt like plastic.
-CRP numbers didn't change over night and had low grade fever all night.
-Had a bad day. She was in a lot of pain and didn't eat or sleep all day.
-Had to get a CT scan to make sure she didn't have an abscess forming in her brain.
-Found abnormalities in her brain fluid, MRI scheduled.

-Had tubes put in her ears.
-MRI cancelled because her mood and temperature a little better. Maybe not as serious as they thought.
-Hearing test given. She hasn't lost any hearing in either ear!
-MRI tomorrow just to make sure everything is okay.
-Maybe will be released tomorrow.

This was the first time I got to hold her and feed her since she was taken to PICU. It was also right after hearing some encouraging news on her recovery. It was a special moment.

Poor girl had an awful headache.

Every Wednesday they play Bingo in the hospital and everyone wins a prize even if they don't play. This is her bingo prize.

The room I stayed in.
She has had wonderful doctors and nurses. I will be forever grateful for them all!
Moving from the PICU.

Getting weighed, which is important because she gained so much weight from the fluids her antibiotics and pain meds were increased a little.

We have good friends!

Her new friends.

Whenever we move her in the hospital they have to cover her head with a towel because the lights hurt her head.

She opened her eyes for a few minutes on the second day here.

You know you're in a children's hospital when you have a cute little drawing on the wall of your room.

One morning she melted my heart with a smile.

This was her first hearing test. This one didn't work because she wouldn't stop moving. They had to reschedule.

They gave her some medicine that was flavored with a blue syrup. It dyed her lips blue, blue lips are bad, so it was kind of funny to see the panic in the nurse's and doctor's eyes.

We started joking that she was growing cotton balls instead of hair.

She has been cared for by many different people.

Right after she got her picc line and before they took out her other IVs. Poor girl.

getting a bath.

She started waking up a little more, but she was still a little glazed over. It was nice to see her eyes, but she wasn't quite herself yet.

Keeping her swollen arm elevated.

I love this picture. She loves to hear her daddy sing to her.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 5

February 12-18 

Okay, so not many funny things were said last week because we've been at the hospital since Tuesday, but here are the things I kept track of.

 One day I was cleaning a little pile of change off the floor when Sam came in the room and yelled, "Hey! That's my money! I bought it at the money store!"

 Later, when I was telling someone Sam's funny comment on the money store Jordan said, "well there is a dollar store."

 We went to Walmart one day and as we were pulling into the parking lot Sam exclaimed, Hey, this is where the carts live!"

 Sam came and told me one day, "I want to drive a train and be the pretender!" He meant conductor.

We were driving in the truck one day, and we were all quiet for a long time, then out of nowhere, Sam said in a very quiet and very sullen voice, "I wish we had a boat."

 Benji gave a talk in church last Sunday and during his talk Jordan held up his little angry bird as high as he could. Benji said from the stand he could see the angry bird looking at him above everyone else. Jordan was SO excited about it when Benji told him that after church.

 On Valentine's Day I was getting the boys dressed and told them they should wear red shirts since it's Valentine's Day. Jordan said, "I want to wear my angry bird shirt, because it's Valentine's Day and I love angry birds!"

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Okay, I'm finally back to add more to the story. I'll be honest, I've been putting it off because this is where the story gets difficult and I don't really know how to even describe my feelings. I will do my best. 

We were in the emergency room and once she was given oxygen and fluids she started looking better. I think her heart rate even improved at that point as well. We just sat and waited for lab results. Benji and I went on our Valentine's date to the cafeteria for dinner. We were still pretty optimistic that she had some weird bug or UTI or something like that. 

After awhile the results of her tests came back and we were given the news that she had bacterial meningitis. It was devastating news because we knew that if she was infected meningitis her outcome could be awful. 

They immediately rushed her to the intensive care unit and loaded her little body with antibiotics. They gave her three different types because they weren't sure the type of meningitis she had and wanted to cover all bases. The sooner you start treating meningitis the better chances of survival. I kept thinking of all the things I had done that morning--made Valentine's treats, colored Valentine crowns, even playing on the computer for awhile, and I kicked myself over and over for not holding Hannah more because I wasn't sure if I was going to ever again.

Then I kept wondering if I got her to the hospital fast enough. I kept wishing I had taken her in earlier that morning when I thought it was the stomach flu. I kept wondering what I could have done differently and kicking myself for not noticing things earlier. I also felt guilty that she was so dehydrated because one of my biggest responsibilities to my baby is to feed her. Why didn't I force her to eat!? Why did I let her refuse? What could I have done differently!? The guilt was overwhelming and I just had to stop and be grateful that I listened to the spirit and got her to the hospital when I did. I couldn't keep dwelling on what I didn't do and I HAD focus on what I did do. It was hard though, because we still weren't sure what the outcome was going to be.

 It was a rough night, but I tried to get some sleep. They have a few rooms for the families and there was a room open. I was grateful for the bed, but I will never forget the feeling when I went in the small room, turned on the light and shut the door behind me. All the air escaped my lungs and I couldn't stop crying. It maybe was because it was the first time I was alone, but that small hospital bed in that tiny little room made it feel real. I don't even know how to explain it, but I was almost on autopilot until that door shut behind me. I fell to my knees and prayed harder than I ever have before. 

Once again, I'm going to stop there for the night. I'm tired and this is emotionally draining, I will finish tomorrow. I have a ton of pictures to add as well.

Friday, February 17, 2012

It happened so fast

I just sat here for 20 minutes trying to come up with a title for this post. I'm not even sure what to say in the body of this post. I guess I'll start at the beginning. That's a good place.

February 13
I spent the day preparing for Valentine's Day. Jordan had a preschool party this day and I had the crazy dumb idea of making all of his Valentines for his class. It took me all day and I had to stop at Walmart before preschool to buy some ribbon to tie on the little bags of gummy bears that went with his Valentines (because I'm crazy). Hannah was a little fussy, but I thought she was maybe picking up on my crazy stress I was forcing upon myself. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary though.

I even took these pictures of her during the day, she smiled and cooed at me while I took them. This first pictures is one of my favorites I've taken of her...that look on her face is great.

She ate dinner at about 10:00 while I watched TV and then I put her down for the night. At about 11:00 when I was on my way to bed Hannah started crying, I thought she just wanted a little more to eat, so I picked her up. That is when she vomited about 6 times all over me and the floor. I took her temperature, which was at about 100, and then gave her Tylenol and put her back to bed.
 I just assumed she had a stomach bug.

February 14
Hannah slept through the night and didn't want to eat in the morning. I just thought her tummy hurt and didn't think too much of it. At about 10:00 in the morning I started feeling a little worried and called her pediatrician to see if he had an opening for me to bring her in. They didn't have any openings that day, but told me she was probably just fine, but to call back if she didn't eat in a few hours.

Meanwhile, I was having fun celebrating Valentine's day with Jordan and Sam. We started out the morning with red waffles and heart shaped fruit for breakfast.

Oh yeah, and strawberry milk!

 The boys helped me make some delicious (and beautiful (and easy)) Valentine's treats. Can you add parenthesis within parenthesis? I sure did.

For lunch we made heart shaped peanut butter and jelly, heart shaped cheese, and red fruit.


The boys made Valentine crowns and then I turned on a movie because I needed them to be quiet since Hannah wasn't feeling well.

So, back to Hannah. She ate at about noon, so I decided not to call her pediatrician back, but then started to worry a little after I took this picture of her.
The picture made me gasp when I first saw it. She looks awful.

 Fast forward a little bit to 3:00 in the afternoon. I was about to take some treats to our neighbors and was expecting Benji home from work within the hour. I went to check on Hannah and my heart skipped a beat, she was breathing a little funny. It was short, shallow breaths and she was grunting as she exhaled. I thought she was breathing like that because her tummy hurt, but I knew it wasn't right. I immediately put her in her car seat, gathered up the boys and put them in the truck. I called my neighbor on my way to her house, dropped the boys off and started driving to her pediatrician. I called on the way and told them I was coming. They checked her out and didn't like where her heart rate was or how she was breathing, but didn't know what was wrong, so they sent me to the emergency room. 
I started freaking out at this point because I thought she had the stomach flu. So now I'm thinking it's something worse like RSV.
I get to the ER and they start running tests for RSV. They immediately ruled that out and then started trying to give her an IV because she was dehydrated and her blood pressure was really really low. I'm not exactly sure what happened after that because I had to wander the halls to keep myself from losing it. Lets be honest, I was already losing it, but I needed to do something else. So when I got back to her room and they mention something about a helicopter ride to Primary Children's hospital I almost fainted. Seriously, how did we go from stomach bug to helicopter!!?

Benji and I immediately got in our car and started driving to Salt Lake City so we could get there to be with our baby. We were expecting them to beat us by almost an hour, but we beat the helicopter. Apparently, the crew didn't want to take off with her until they got an IV put in her. They were having a very difficult time finding a vein because she was so dehydrated. They eventually got an IV in her head and started giving her fluids. As soon as they made it to the emergency room they put her on oxygen, gave her a spinal tap to test her spinal fluid, and took blood and urine for testing as well.

(I will add more to this story tomorrow...it's late and I'm tired. check back.)