RSV and other adventures

This post is a follow-up on last week’s rant. It turns out that Patrick’s low-grade fevers were caused by RSV, a highly dangerous respiratory bug. He probably picked it up while he was trying to taste every piece of furniture in his hospital room the week before.

He was discharged to home before noon.. less than 24 hours after he was admitted. They sent us home with orders to visit the outpatient respiratory clinic as often as needed and boy have we been glad to have that resource! I think we caught this bug the first day… The symptoms didn’t really hit till Friday. Friday morning when he woke up he was working hard to breathe and my best efforts with steam and a bulb syringe wouldn’t budge things so I took him in. The respiratory therapist described the secretions as “glue”. He said that is was possible that Patrick was needing extra fluids, since I couldn’t give him drinks to keep him hydrated. So I stopped and asked for a prescription for some extra fluids.

The next night, he hardly slept! Finally at 3 a.m. I put the fluids on and he finally started to be able to clear his airway and went to sleep. When we took him in again his oxygen saturations weren’t in the dangerous zone, but they had dropped significantly.

That was the worst of it, though.. Patrick is actually doing much better these last couple of days. I think we finally have him rehydrated and he’s breathing much more easily now. We haven’t had to take him in for help in a couple of days now. I think that other than the long contagoius period and resulting quarantine, he’s on his way back to normal.

As for our car – well, it turned out to need $4000 in repairs. This is NOT what we wanted to hear in January, the month where we pay all of our out-of-pocket medical for the year.. We ended up approving the repairs, but have also decided that it’s time to sell that car and drive something more affordable to repair. And maybe once that car’s sold and our tax return comes back and things are a bit more stable, we can revisit the idea of having a practical car for me to drive in Seattle while leaving Brian with a practical car to drive here.

None of this excitement has done much to hinder Patrick, though. Despite being sick and grumpy and working to breathe, he is still growing up more and more every day. A week ago, I took a load of laundry downstairs. When I came upstairs I discovered Patrick halfway across the kitchen floor. He had dragged his IV pumps in their backpack by the tubing a good 4 feet trying to follow me downstairs. The next day we invented a safer way for him to get around.

Now when Patrick’s playing on the floor he wears a safety harness connected to a little cart that his backpack sits in. This way, he can get around the house without as high of a risk of ripping his central line out. He’s enjoying exploring how far he can go, and getting faster all the time! The funniest thing is how much he loves being under furniture. I’m amazed at all the places I find him. (And have to subsequently save him from.. because he gets his tubes and harness tied all around the furniture legs).

He also spent most of his last hospitalization improving his standing skills and he now dares stand himself up to some furniture and can walk around a big holding on… especially in his crib.

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