Adeline Starts to Struggle

Wednesday

The next day when we got to the hospital, the nurse informed us that Adeline was a struggle overnight. 

Over the day, we had struggle and struggle. It was getting to the point that the doctors were running out of options, and they needed to start pulling out all stops.

Influenza A

Adeline had contracted Influenza A.  

What?

How?

When?

What?

Knowing this would obviously help the doctors treat Adeline. They could give her an intense course of Tamiflu and be optimistic it would help. Most of the time, a person would take Tamiflu for five days. The Infectious Disease Doctors felt strongly that Adeline needed to do at least seven days. The Influenza had appeared quickly in the culture, so they knew it was bad.

It was going to be a rough 24 hours as we waited for the Tamiflu to do its thing. Adeline was getting worse and worse. We all hoped the medicine would kick in quickly and start giving Adeline some relief.  

Adeline got a Belly Catheter placed to help drain a LOT of fluid.

Adeline Gets a Belly Catheter

Then, it was decided that Adeline would head down for a CT scan that morning. She was not in a very stable place, but steady enough, and they needed to look. They got Adeline ready to go, which given her status, was quite the task. They had Adeline prepared to go, and away she went. 

Luckily, the CT scan did not take long. 

The results from the scan were about as fast as the scan itself.

After Adeline got back, we learned nothing had shown up on the CT. They had anticipated that they would see a buildup of fluid somewhere on Adeline, but none was found. The next plan of attack was a bedside operation.

Within one hour, we had a Pediatric Surgeon in Adeline’s room preparing for a “quick” bedside procedure. 

The Surgeon was going to insert a belly catheter into Adeline’s side to help the fluid drain. We were able to watch as the Surgeon used an ultrasound machine to carefully insert the long, sharp catheter into Adeline’s side. After the Surgeon placed the catheter right where he wanted it, the fluid started draining fast.

Over the day, Adeline drained over 300 mL’s of fluid from her belly, with most of it being within the first hour. For a baby so small, that was such a large amount of fluid she was carrying on her body. 

After the fluid was mostly drained, Adeline looked much better, and the swelling in her belly went way down. At least one thing was looking up!

The Oscillator

The last significant event of the day was that they decided to put Adeline on the oscillator ventilator. As Adeline’s condition continued to struggle, the traditional ventilator wasn’t doing the job anymore. Adeline just needed more support than the typical vent could give her.  

An oscillator is a strange-looking machine. It looks very outdated, but it does the job, and it does it reasonably well. It was a tough machine to get used to. 

The oscillator is a very loud(it sounds quiet in this video) and sounded like a small little tractor engine running. The machine also took up a lot of space, so our room grew smaller than it already was. And, since Adeline was so little, it just shook her whole body.  

I have said this so often, but we never realized just how bad Adeline’s condition was becoming. 

I mean, people get the Flu all the time, they pull out of it too. Adeline would have to do the same; we just knew it. We took the situation seriously, but we didn’t, mainly because of our ignorance.  

Adeline was continuing to struggle, we just didn’t realize how bad it was.

Reflections

We didn’t know how to read the machines, tests, or even our baby yet. In essence, it was a blessing, not knowing how much she was struggling. We needed to rest at night, and if we had known what we do now, we would have been a wreck. Exhausted is not a good state of mind at the hospital.

To show how bad my ignorance was, every day, I would check the Mayo App to see if they had an x-ray scheduled. I didn’t want to harass the doctors, but I thought this would indicate how long we would still be in the hospital. Unfortunately, at the time, they had x-rays scheduled as far out as it could go.

When the doctors had mentioned the Adeline had to take the Tamiflu for seven days, all I could think, geez, we must be here seven more days?! I just can’t believe myself, thinking such foolish thoughts, but at the same time, I was scared. We were supposed to be going home, but here we were, stuck. Adeline just needed to get back on track so we could go home. 

And, I knew she would pop right back here shortly, I just knew it.  

But she didn’t. She just continued to get worse and struggle more and more, and it was scary. Even scarier because all I could focus on was crazy things-going home.

~Jessi

To start reading where this all began, start here.

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