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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quick Trip to Houston

So, for those that didn't know...we decided to take a quick weekend vacation to Houston!!! Hahaha...not really...its really not something to laugh about but a regular pediatric appointment turned from getting admitted into the local hospital to getting airlifted to Houston. We had already known that Isaac was sick with a probable virus and I guess we got him to his doctor in time before he could've gotten worse. It all started the day that we came back from Houston for his monthly checkup (which went great with no changes by the way)and I started running fever and having aches all over. We finally got home and I was finally able to get some rest thinking that it was probably another one of my chronic sinus infections. I kept the fever at bay with Tylenol and Ibuprofen for the night and next day, but when Ernest woke up feeling awful the next day also, he made a doc appointment for both of us. I went first, got tested for the flu and it came out positive. I went home terrified and told Ernest we needed to call his pediatrician, his transplant coordinator, and his heart transplant doctors to ask what measures to take. So, Ernest went and was flu positive, and so he also asked about bringing in Eli. They told him that they'd test him and if he was fine, that they'd go ahead and administer the flu shot. ...turned out he had the flu also. All of us were put on Tamiflu with lots of rest and fluids. My mom was thankfully able to help out with most of Isaac's care to lessen any exposure to the flu. That night, Isaac started not wanting to sleep through the night with coughing and a low grade fever. We thought of one of our worst fears...he has the flu. Many calls were made to Houston and it was decided that we should just take him to the minor ER to do a whole fever workup on him. We didn't have to wait too long for the results, but he came out negative for flu, but the doctor said it was probably a minor virus and gave us antibiotics to prevent viral pneumonia. When we finally went home, we took all necessary precautions to keep Isaac from getting the flu, so we wore plenty of gloves, masks, and had to lessen the contact with Isaac. Well, last Wednesday night, he coughs sounded more congested and we were getting worried that his cold was not subsiding. I was glad that he was scheduled for his bi-weekly appointment with his pediatrician here. I woke up bright and early the next morning and had Isaac at his appointment at 8:30. His doctor checked him out, listened to his heart, and tested him for the flu. After asking me a few more questions, he looked at the test strip and said "he is flu A postive with a possible ear infection." I told him, "so okay, where do we go from here?" He tells me that if it was his son in the same situation, he would call his primary doctors and let them know, but in the meantime get him admitted into the hospital. It wasn't because of the flu, but because he had the flu with a bacterial infection on top of it. Isaac didn't look even all that bad..it was just the congested cough that scared us all. So after he gave me the papers to get him admitted, we headed to the hospital and called Dad to tell him the news and get him to call his Houston doctors. Isaac was admitted, undressed, hospital-gowned, poked for an IV, and then got a breathing treatment and a dose of Tamiflu. During that time, Ernest had spoken with his doctors and found out that Isaac had to be airlifted to Texas children's. The Kangaroo Crew showed up at about 4pm and Isaac and I were driven to the airport. This is the plane that got us there.

Here was the Kangaroo Crew getting Isaac ready for transport

And here he was on a big man stretcher trying to look out the window.

So we got to the hospital at 5:30pm and the only room they could get him into was in the PICU. Doctors said that it was overkill but because there were no step down private rooms open, they still wanted him hooked up to monitors for precautionary measures. He stayed in the PICU overnight, had his regular meds plus Tamiflu (no sedatives...surprisingly) and got his well-needed rest. I waited for Ernest to get in and he finally got in at 12:30am. We said our good nights and gave him many kisses and headed off to get some rest at the apartment. We knew he was in good hands because all the nurses around him just wanted to play with him and make him smile. We came in the next morning to find him in a Step-down private room (much less critical). After the doctors rounded that day, they said they wanted to just keep him for observation overnight and that we would see where that took us for the next day. It was also said that he looked surprisingly well for having the flu. Becuase they've already seen too many cases of the H1n1, they were treating him as if he had it too. Any doctor or nurse that came in the room had to wear gloves, masks, and a sterile smock to protect all the other patients that they come in contact with. Really...you would've thought (by the looks) that he had Leprosy!!! So anyways, the next morning rounds, we were told that we were no longer needing to be in the hospital because it was probably more risk of him getting another virus. But...being the question-askers that we are, we asked the doctor if it was easier to get a swallow study done inpatient rather than outpatient. We had been trying to get him scheduled for two months now to no avail. So he said that if he could get one scheduled for Monday morning, that he would keep him there until then, but that if they couldn't they would talk about releasing us that day or the next. Later that day, we were finally told that he was scheduled for his swallow study on Monday morning...so we stayed until then. Its a little difficult to keep our sanity together while being locked up in an isolation room with nothing to do but watch TV or eat. We were thankful to have Tia Sylvia there to keep us company for the weekend. It was also great to have some friends visit us while we were there. So finally Monday came along and Isaac had his swallow study done. He passed with flying colors and is now able to take any liquids by mouth. Isaac is now eating 4 ozs of baby food per day (quite a bit), and we have tried a few times to get him to take a bottle. He doesn't take to it too well...we may just have to go straight to a sippy cup. We don't want to force it on him because then he'll only remember eating as something bad. He was finally released on Tuesday morning but we weren't actually discharged unitl about 1pm. so, we weren't able to leave town until 2pm. We left the hospital very excited but with heavy hearts because we had also just found out that a heart child (whose parents we spoke to) had passed away a few weeks ago. I'm not too sure of the major details of how but we did know that she was very sick. She was admitted about the same time Isaac was born because she was Post Heart Transplant and she was sick. They found out that she had contracted a virus that scarred her heart and to top it all off, she was also in rejection. Rejection is an almost normal think to go through after transplant, but having a virus that killed some cells of her heart was what was making her sick. She was in ICU for testing for the whole time that we were there also and her parents were told that she would have to have a retransplant. But...she couldn't be listed until all infection was gone. It seemed that she just kept getting sicker and sicker and so they finally said that a Berlin Heart was the only option to bridge her to retransplant. She was able to get her Berlin about a month before Isaac recieved his heart and seemed to be doing well. Ernest and I had spoken with her parents many times and they were very nice folks. I can only imagaine what they are going through at this time. The reason I bring this up is because I'd like my friends and family to keep this family in their prayers. This little girl's strength and power were unforgettable to all of us. Please pray that God with bring them comfort and strenth during this time of bereavement. Thank you all for listening and God Bless!


A Dedication to the Angel that gave me my new heart!

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