Sunday, June 26, 2011

Austin goes to the hospital again (part 3)

This is the ending to the story.........

Austin continued to get better each day. He started taking some of his medicine by mouth instead of IV but he had to continue his antibiotics through the IV to finish out his 14 day dose.

He got very bored in the hospital. I brought him some toys but he just wanted to go places. On Sunday night the 12th of June, he got his last dose of antibiotics. WHOOO HOOO!

We were released on Monday morning to go home. That was so wonderful to leave the hospital with him. Although he was still on oxygen, the kids were so excited to have him home.

The day before we left the hospital I found a tooth in his mouth. All he had been through and he got a tooth also. What a deal. Two for the price of one. Ha Ha!

Two days later we took him back for a check up. He was perfect! He got off of his oxygen and he is completely back to hiself, rolling, sitting up, eating everything in sight, and sleeping through the night. Yeah, no nurses to wake him up every 4 hours! The only thing that he needs to continue is his 2 anti-seizure medications twice a day. He will be on these for at least six months and then we will return to phoenix for an appointment with the neurologist to see if he can discontinue the medications.

Austin has been home now for a couple of weeks. He is doing great! He acts like nothing happened. That is such a miracle!

The Lord truly has blessed our family in the last couple of weeks. I feel like it's a miracle that he doesn't have any permanent damage. I have someone tell me nearly daily about someone that they know who had meningitis and they have some sort of lasting effects. We are so blessed for all of your prayers and faith in our behalf. Thank you!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Austin goes to the hospital again. Part 2

Here is some more of the story......

On Sunday Josh went back to Flagstaff. I was really sad for him to go but I wanted him to be in Flagstaff with the older kids. My sister Jo lives in Phoenix and she was really good to me. She brought me lunch, did my laundry and spent a lot of time with me. Austin slowly got better. Each day he made improvements. One of the mornings that we were there he had a partial seizure so the doctors increased his dose of one of the anti-seizure medications. On Monday the nurses took him off of Intensive care status which means less cords and monitors. WhoooHooo!

On Tuesday at one point he was off of all of his cords so I walked the halls with him. It was a good change of scenery. He loved it! He smiled at every nurse and doctor that he saw. The nurses loved him. They voted him the cutest kid in the ICU!

One of the biggest risks of meningitis is hearing loss. While were in Phoenix the doctors did a hearing screen. Everything came back perfectly normal. This was a huge relief for me. I know this is the result of many, many prayers and fasting in his behalf!

We have so many people to thank!

On Wednesday he was feeling well enough to be transfered back to the Flagstaff hospital. Yippee!

After we finally got all the paperwork done to leave, we loaded in the ambulance to drive around the block and find out that the A/C was broken. It was soooo hot in the back. So we switched ambulances and we headed up the hill. Halfway to Flagstaff our new ambulance overheated. So there we were in the middle of nowhere in the back of a hot ambulance on the side of the road. Austin was such a good boy. He was very patient. We finally got it cooled down enough to make it all the way to Flagstaff. Life is great!

Since being back here, Austin continues to get better and he is almost back to his normal self.

The nurses that helped him before we were flown to Phoenix say that he looks like a completely different kid. That's a good thing.

We had a family vacation planned to leave today to go up to Utah to see our friends and Josh signed up for the Provo marathon. Being in the hospital has put a little damper in our plans but Josh decided to go anyway and take the older kids. It will be good for them to get away and have fun with dad. Tomorrow they plan on going to a water park. My good Friend Brittany is going to watch the kids while Josh runs! GOOD LUCK JOSH!

I will miss them while they are gone but they will have a good time.

The plan is for Austin to be released on Monday morning. Sunday is day 14 on antibiotics.

I can't wait to be out of here, although I have learned a lot of things while being in the hospital with Austin.

Things that I have learned or re-learned:

I love Josh! He is an amazing father and husband.

There is nothing good on TV during the day.

The morning news repeats itself every hour from 5:00am to 10:00am.

Austin is a very patient baby.

I can type one handed.

We have great friends and family.

I am an expert on the Wallow fire.

I love my bed at home.

Madelyn Jacob and Jackson are good kids.

I want to go to nursing school someday.

Jesus is aware of us.

This is a picture of our super huge room in Phoenix.

He is on a stretcher ready for transport.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Austin goes to the hospital again. Part 1

Sunday May 29th we were getting ready for church and Josh was trying to get Austin down for a nap so we could all get ready. Austin was a little squirmy so Josh brought him to me and said he feels a little warm. I felt his arm and it was twitching. I took him from Josh, walked into the living room, sat on the couch and by then I looked at his face and most of his body was twitching, including his face and his eyes were rolling all around. It was one of the scariest times of my life. I said I think he's having a seizure. So I put him in his car seat, Josh game him a quick blessing and I ran out the door, put him in the car and drove like a mad woman to the hospital. The whole way I was trying to listen to him breath. When we got there, he was thankfully asleep. The ER waiting room was packed full of people but they took me in right away. By then he had a 104 degree temperature, he was screaming and they put a monitor on him, he had low oxygen and his heart rate was through the roof!

They put us in a room and we waited for a while, then a Dr. came and told us that this is perfectly normal to have a seizure after a spike in high fever. He would probably go home and never have another issue. The Dr. checked his ears, and throat. Everything was good. He wanted to run some blood work just to make sure everything was fine. They put an IV in and then we waited. This would have normally been very long and boring but since it was Memorial Day weekend, it was pretty entertaining. Alcohol, camping and ATV's don't mix well! It was a complete zoo. Drunk people everywhere and idiots doing dumb things in the woods near Flagstaff. The blood work came back negative. We were still waiting when he had another seizure in my arms. Luckily he had a IV in so they were able to give him medicine right away to stop the seizure. So then the Dr. wanted to do a CT scan and a spinal tap to check spinal fluid. The CT scan looked normal. The spinal fluid looked clear so the Dr. thought for sure it would be negative. They admitted us to the hospital. Our room was next door the the one we were in for 6 days in March. The nurse even said......"You're back?" So that evening the dr. came in and told us that his white blood cell count was 270 something and it should be below 10 which means he has Meningitis. That is a big word for an infection in the lining of the brain and the spinal fluid. It requires 10-14 days of antibiotics through an IV. WHAT!? Do you know how full my calendar is the next 2 weeks? Oh well, it would have to be cleared a little.

Josh and I took turns being at the hospital with him. He was very miserable for the first couple of days. Then on Thursday he had a great day. He was happy, eating, smiling and playing. The other kids were able to come visit. That was the thing that made him the happiest!

Thursday night my sister Ann came to stay with him while I got a break and went to Josh's softball game. While we were gone he did good. Ate and slept. That night he started another seizure. It lasted for over 2 and 1/2 hours. The nurses game him 2 doses of a medicine to stop it and that didn't work. They gave him 2 or 3 doses of another medicine to make it stop. That didn't work. At one point during the seizure while I was holding him he stopped breathing. That was so freaky!I was so glad that I was in the hospital for that! They moved us to the Intensive care unit so they could keep an eye on us better. His foot was still in a partial seizure. The dr. called a pediatric neurologist in Phoenix to ask him what to do and he said that we needed to come down there.

So 2 hours later, Austin was strapped to a stretcher and he and I boarded a plane for Phoenix. He screamed the whole flight. It was the smallest plane I have ever been in. We finally got here to this hospital in phoenix about 3:30 am. They had a million questions to ask me about the past 5 days. I finally went to sleep about 5:00 am. The next day, Josh got everything figured out with the kids at home and then he packed up some clothes and came down to join me. All day yesterday he was just drugged and fussy! He has been miserable all day. He has sooooo many cords hooked up to him and he loves to pull them off. At one point he got so mad about all his cords that they had to put restraints on his arms to keep him from pulling off the cords. He went in for an MRI in the afternoon. The MRI results were what they were expecting. There is just some infection on the brain from the meningitis which is causing the seizures. The antibiotics and time are the only medicines. So here we sit in a very nice hospital watching the Womens College World Series. The hospital has been great. It is only a year old. The hard part is the long distance from my other kiddos!

Tomorrow Josh is going back to Flagstaff to be with the other kids. The older two have 3 more days of school. I will continue to help Austin get better.

We have so many people to thank for meals, babysitting and the many prayers that everyone has given. We have marvelous friends and family! We will keep you posted for the rest of the story...............