Last Friday Noah woke up with a bit of a cough, but seemed okay to go to school. By the end of school he was coughing lots, had a bit of a temp and was vomiting a lot and breathing really fast. He settled down a bit once we got him home and out of his wheelchair and onto his side, but as the weekend went on, his rapid breathing just wouldn't settle down for very long.
On Saturday night I was up and down all night checking his temp, giving panadol and suctioning him and I knew he just wasn't right and probably needed to see a Dr. I was hoping to hang out until Monday so we could take him to our usual GP as he knows him well and knows what is normal and what isn't and when we should be worried.
By Sunday lunch time I knew I couldn't wait any longer and had to take him to the after hours medical clinic. The Dr there listened to his chest and said it sounded like he had pneumonia. He checked his pulse rate and sats which were down to 90% which made him quite worried. I told him that even when he is well it's only usually 97% but he wanted to ring the paediatric Dr at the hospital to see what he should do. After a big discussion he said he really thought Noah should go into hospital to get on IV antibiotics and oxygen, even though I asked if it would be possible to try oral antibiotics first. Deep down I knew that Noah really needed to be in hospital as was really labouring to breath but I just knew that once we were in we would most likely be in for 5 days or more as they hook him up the IV and then want to continue IV antibiotics for the whole course.
The GP and the paediatrician talked for a while and the GP told him I was keen to get out of hospital ASAP and that I care for Noah very well at home. He also arranged for us to be fast tracked though A&E so we didn't have to wait for hours till we had an X-ray, bloods and urine done and could be sent to the ward quickly. He sent me off with a letter which made me laugh as he said in it that "mother does not want a long stay in hospital, 3 well boys and a husband at home". The GP kept asking me about home and if I had a partner at home, and when I told him I had four boys and he realised what Noah's condition was he kept saying 'you are amazing!'. He kept telling the paediatrician that we care for Noah well and supposedly the paediatrician told him that our 'tanks can run low' when caring for a child like Noah, so they will do all they can to make it a quick hospital trip. It has been a very long time since we have been in hospital so we have been really lucky, so I really can't complain.
After an hour or so in A&E they came to the conclusion that he probably has a virus which caused the chest infection and a bad ear infection. The funniest thing was being asked over and over again 'are you Noah's Mum?'. I don't know how many times I get asked that. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. When I tell them I am, I usually then get 'do you care for him at home?' and then 'you do a great job'. It's nice hearing it from Drs and nurses as they really appreciate the amount of medical care that goes into caring for Noah. One of the nurses looked at his file yesterday and told me he had been admitted 54 times! Most of that was in his first 2-3 years.
We finally got up to the ward at about 9.30pm and were glad to see that we were given a single room. The downside of the room is that the TV in it doesn't work and we are across the hall from a screaming teenage girl who obviously has an eating disorder as she screams a lot when the food comes around that she doesn't want to look at it and 'can't do it'. Thank goodness I have boys! I know no one is safe from issues like that, but hopefully we won't have to go through what her poor parents are dealing with at the moment. It does make count my blessings that I never have to worry about things like that with Noah.
Aaron took carers leave today so that he could get the boys to school and we could work out how long Noah is going to be in for. This morning he came up to visit with Kobe. It is Kobe's first experience with hospital and he LOVES the playground that they opened the day after he was born. He spent ages in there today running around and going down the slide again, and again, and again!
It was nice to have a visit from Simone, Oliver and Lisa this morning after they went to the gym. The best surprise was that Simone brought me in their Virgin Mobile USB plug in to borrow, so I can hook up to the net on Aaron's laptop!!! Thanks sooooo much Simone!! Best thing ever - especially since the TV doesn't work! Now I can at least check my email, get distracted on facebook and blog :)
Noah's paediatrican does rounds at the hospital every morning so we were glad to see him this morning. He was having a little chuckle at me saying he was surprised that I agreed to come in! I told him that Noah didn't give us much choice as it was obvious he needed oxygen. I asked him if we could try weaning him from the oxygen to see what happened with his sats so we could get home ASAP and he said that was fine. As soon as we took the oxygen away his sats dropped into the low 80s so it was obvious that he still needed it. As the day has gone on he has improved and is now only on 1/2 a litre (down from 2) and his sats are sitting at 96% which is good. At least he can get a few more doses of IV antibiotics while he needs the oxygen.
I told his Dr that we needed to get home today as it is our 14th wedding anniversary and we didn't want to celebrate it in the hospital cafeteria. He had a bit of a laugh and told Noah off for mucking up our plans. One of our favourite nurses was on this morning (she helped arrange to get us some funding for our ramps in our van years ago) and was laughing that it was our anniversary and we were stuck in hospital. She joked that we were obviously only still together after 14 years as it's too hard to get divorced as it means you have joint custody and therefor have the kids even more than you do when you are together, so staying together was a much better option. She cracks me up. It's nice to have fun nurses around that we know from years ago who can make you laugh despite being stuck in hosptial.
We had arranged for Di to work late tonight so that we could go on a 'hot date' for our anniversary, so she still came up and spent a couple of hours with Noah so we could have a break and go and get some tea. So our 'hot date' for our anniversary ended up being at KFC with three boys - very romantic! ;) Harri wanted to take a photo so I told him to take one of Aaron and I for our anniversary. This is what he came up with as he said 'uh oh - that's NOT good!'.
After school the boys were excited to come up to the hospital - not to see if Noah was okay, but to play in the playground! I guess it's a good thing that they are so used to things like hospital that they don't worry too much about Noah.
Hopefully we will just have to spend tonight in hospital and can get home tomorrow - all going well with no oxygen. I told Noah off as I'm way too busy this week to be sitting around in hospital. Next week would've been a much better time to have gotten sick! ;)