I wrote last week about my middle son Chase being in the PICU so this is the follow-up. I had written a post about how he had been sick and not getting better but never got around to finishing it and actually posting it. (for those who don't know Chase has Hyper IgE syndrome, allergies, asthma and eczema) Chase had been sick since Thanksgiving. We went to the Doctor and he gave him Zithromax, Orapred (steroid) and told us to keep on his asthma treatment, Xopenex. He was fine for a while then it came back around New Year's. Went back to the Doctor and he gave him Zithromax, Orapred and more Xopenex. Again, he got better. It started coming back again! We went back to the doctor February 11 and again he put him back on the same meds. But this time he didn't respond to any of it. He was coughing, wheezing and not looking good. Wednesday morning (Feb. 18) he was looking really bad. I made an appt. with his doc and as we were getting ready around 7:45 a.m. I had Chase do another asthma treatment.
(This is the part that is really hard for me. But I'm thinking if maybe I can type it out and get it written out it will help? I don't know. But I think I might need to take a few breaks while writing this part b/c it makes me want to throw up and cry and just freak out)
I kept checking on him as I was getting everything ready and as I walked by I asked him if he was ok and then realized he was turning purple. He couldn't answer me, his eyes rolled in the back of his head and he started to fall over on his bed. I caught him. I already had my phone in my hand so I dialed 911. I put the phone to my ear and carried him to the couch. First mistake. 911 answers, I scream my address into the ladies ear. She tells me to calm down to tell her what's happened. I tell her. She asks if he's on a flat surface I tell her no, he's on the couch. She tells me to lay him on the floor...I lay him on the floor and before she tells me I start CPR. She tells me to wait. She wants to know if he's breathing at all. It looks like he's trying to but can't. She wants me to get a pulse but I was freaking out so bad I couldn't find it. So she tells me to start CPR and walks me through it. I tilt his head up, pinch his nose and blow 2 breaths in and watch to see if his chest rises. It does. Then she tells me to start compressions. 30 and count them out loud. I do and she tell me to go faster. While I'm doing this though Brenden (13) is in the backround, freaking out, crying, screaming. I tell him to go find a neighbor to help. Logan is in his bedroom, Bren had closed the door so he wouldn't know what was going on. (thank goodness) I do 2 more breaths and 30 more compressions and EMS shows up. I back away and let them do their job. They are jamming things everywhere and have the Ambou bag thingy on his face while someone is sqeezing it. I call my husband and tell him to come home immediately, no questions asked he leaves then. Chase was just laying there lifeless and I kept asking the EMS people if he's going to be ok and one of them shakes their head no and another tells me to call my husband back and tell him to go straight to the hospital. That's where I black out. I do not remember anything between that point and then standing behind the ambulance as they were loading him in. I didn't pass out, but I just can't remember. It's weird. I have no clue how much time passed or anything. But I know I didn't call my husband back b/c I remember as they were putting Chase in the ambulance him driving up and having to park at the end of the street. We live on a small street and the Sheriff's had blocked it. So I'm trying to get in the ambulance b/c there's no way I'm not riding with him. And the EMS woman tells me I have to calm down and if I can remain calm I can ride in the back. I remember saying "I'm calm". She lets me get in and while they are hooking things up my husband comes to the side door of the ambulance and is trying to talk to Chase. And Chase tries to answer to him! He had an oxygen mask on his face but he was trying to talk! It was like the best thing I've ever heard in my life! I was so happy to hear him. Eddie ran in the house and got Bren and Logan ready along with the help of a neighbor. Then had to wait as the Firemen cleaned up the floor with all their supplies. We were off in the ambulance in morning rush hour traffic. I just kept talking to Chase the whole time. He was weak but kept on trying. A few minutes before we made it to the hospital I heard them call in to the ER to let them know he was improving. It seemed we got there pretty quick. They rushed him into the peds ER and a ton of medical people were all waiting for him. They did they're stuff and I remember Chase calling for me but I had to stand back as not to get in the way. I told him I was there for him but that I needed to be out of the way, I felt so helpless. Shortly after Eddie and the kids got there. Eddie came back but Bren and Logan had to wait in the waiting room. Thank goodness they have those Child Life girls there that help out. One was in the waiting room with Bren and Logan talking with them and watching them and another was in the ER talking with Chase reading a Cars book and having him point out pictures to her. Those girls are wonderful! He improved so much once in there and he surprised everyone. He was breathing on his own with oxygen assistance and they thought they were going to have to put him on the machine. Thank goodness they did not have to. After being in the ER for many hours and having a million tests, blood work and an X-ray they told us we were being sent to PICU. He was stable but needed oxygen and to be monitored closely.
Once we got to the PICU they made Eddie and the kids go to a waiting room. They had to prepare Bren and Logan before they would be allowed in. So I went in to the PICU with Chase and as we walked past the open curtain rooms I could see all the kids in there. It was the scariest thing ever for me. I've never seen anything like that. No one took me aside to prepare me for what I was about to see. I had been trying to keep my cool all morning and not cry in front of him but when I got in there I lost it. But Chase didn't see me, they were setting him up in his room and I turned around at the nurses desk. Once they got him set up and hooked up to everything I closed the curtain and sat in the bed with him, just looking at him and so thankful that he was going to be ok. A few minutes later they let Eddie and my other 2 sons back. They were being nice b/c Logan is only 4 and I think the sign said you had to be 13 or 14 to go in and only 2 people were allowed back at a time. But being the Child Life girls had prepared the kids they let them come back. That was so nice of them.
I'll post the 2nd half tomorrow.
Friday, February 27, 2009