Monday, October 15, 2007

ER: Episode 2

We made another visit to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital ER yesterday. Last year, we ended up there when Reagan had a respiratory infection and got severely dehydrated. This year, it was an intestinal virus. At about 12:30 AM Saturday, Reagan came into our room crying and said, "I throwed up in my bed." We quickly cleaned her up, got her a drink of water, and let her get in our bed. Then, I went to work on the middle-of-the-night laundry. Did I mention that she had eaten tomato-basil soup? Yep, it was disgusting. About 45 minutes later, she threw up again. (This time we were ready with the bucket.) Then again at 2:30. Then 3:30. After that, she seemed to settle down and slept for a few hours, but Mama certainly didn't.

The next morning, we thought the worst was over. She had begun to drink a little bit of water, but within a couple of hours she was throwing up again. They cycle continued for most of the day: she would perk up a little and drink, then within the hour she would throw up.

We had a memorial service to attend that evening, so Scott's parents came over to watch the girls. Reagan hadn't thrown up in a few hours, but she was very sleepy and lethargic. When Scott called to check on her, his mom said she had been asleep in her lap the whole time we were gone. We got worried (flashback to lethargic, dehydrated Reagan and our last trip to the ER) and came home. We arrived, roused her, and made her drink a little Sprite. Scott went back out and bought every variety of Gatorade under the sun. She, again, perked up and even sat up to make a craft for Ms. Sandy (our children's pastor, whose husband's memorial we were attending). But, ultimately, she didn't drink much and she was throwing up in the middle of the night again.

Sunday morning, I called the triage nurse and got a "re-hydration plan." Scott went to church to set up the computer (he was schedule to work in the booth, and I had already traded my nursery duty with another volunteer). We decided we'd wait and see if she could drink without throwing up, and then make a decision about going to the ER or immediate care. She did great for about an hour--every five minutes she had about a tablespoon of water--but then she threw up. I called Scott and he headed home. I left the triage nurse another message, Scott called his parents to come watch Presley, and we debated the virtues of immediate care vs. the ER. Finally, I called the immediate care center and they advised us to go to the ER, since they couldn't do IV fluids in their office.

We got to the ER around 10:00 AM, and Reagan threw up shortly thereafter. Fortunately, it wasn't crowded, and we were evaluated fairly quickly. Reagan even had to use the bathroom--she hadn't in about 16 hours!--so they were able to get a urine sample. It took a bit of waiting (isn't that always the way at hospitals?), but Reagan had an IV with fluids and some anti-vomit meds before too long.

Reagan was such a brave girl--she didn't even flinch when the nurse put the IV in! She did, however, ask for more stickers when the nurse gave her a few. She also got comfortabe enough to say, "Can you bring me a movie?" and a bit later, she said she was hungry and wanted a cookie! We started with apple juice instead, and then she got a packet of Teddy Grahams. After she finished, and after more waiting, we were released at around 1:30 with a prescription for anti-vomit meds and instructions to call our pediatrician on Monday.

We were a little nervous when Reagan was extremely sleepy on the way out, until we read the discharge notes that said the meds would make her drowsy. She slept a lot throughout the afternoon, but she finally woke up and drank a little. She also got to have that cookie she wanted, as well as a few crackers.

We gave her the meds last night so that she would sleep well, but this morning she is med-free and has eaten several crackers and is drinking water. She seems much more like herself (that winning personality that we all love), so we're hopeful she can get back to regular activities in a day or two.

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