Day 4 of 30 Days of Gratitude: Thank You, Pulse Ox Machine…

Day four is late. It’s late because last night Isabelle gave us quite the scare and because we spent half the night trying to calm her down I didn’t have a chance to write. it’s not like I can say “Hang on, I have an entry to post…” when she is screaming. It was one of those ‘pack a bag, we’re going in’ kind of moments. I don’t think I will ever get used to them.

It started out as any other night with chaos in the kitchen. After going back and forth about what to have for supper, it was decided that we would have tacos. Chris ran across the street to Perry’s to get the hamburg (they have the best hamburger in town, seriously) and I began chopping up the last of our tomato harvest. Liz stood and watched, the way teenagers tend to do when not tasked with anything.

Initially Isabelle was going to have Chicken Soup and Rice but she wasn’t crazy about it so I gave her a little taco meat, some tomato, and a little cheese. She ate the whole thing. Shoved fistfuls of the taco meat into her little mouth, smiling in between hands. I love it when she eats like that. Makes up for hell I went through trying to get her to take an ounce of breast milk. For dessert, we gave her one piece of Kit Kat which got all over her face in the cutest way.  Tubbie prep was in the works and she couldn’t wait for her shoes to be taken off before she tried climbing in.

After washing the little ones we began dressing them in their PJs and getting ready for bed. Isabelle started to cry a little but nothing major. She was wandering around the coffee table and then ‘plunk’ she landed on her tush. She started to cry. I picked her up and it only made her cry harder. I started to rub her back and soothe her how I always do but this time it wasn’t working. Chris took over and tried calming her down. She reached back for me. I sat down on the couch and she began to cough. Then the belch came. Then came everything she had in the past 24 hours. All over me. Continuously.

Changed her out of her pajamas. Started another tubby. More crying ensued. We couldn’t get her to stop. I had to get out of my sweater without getting vomit into my hair. I was successful since I have had a lot of practice with this and consider myself a pro in the “Getting vomit covered sweater off without getting it into hair” category. We get her and myself clean, dry and into replacement clothing. She throws up again. We take off the second pair of PJs and opt for no clothes until the storm passes. I however, change my shirt again. She is still crying. It’s been over an hour.

Finally she passes out on Chris’s lap. He looks at me and says “How close were we to leaving? Another minute?” He was already packing a bag for an overnight mentally. I was just trying to get her to stop crying and was on the verge of panic when she passed out. He went to put her in her crib upstairs. She woke up and the crying continued. We try to give her Tylenol and she throws it up. I decide on the Alternate Route for medication and give her acetaminophen via the Alternate Route. Thank goodness. She finally falls asleep. I call the doctor’s office and a nurse calls me back. The second I mention her cardiac issues she wants us to go to the ER. I hesitate, aren’t there a ton of germs there? Is that a good option? She is sleeping and I don’t want to wake her. I tell the nurse we will go and hang up. My husband suggests we check her sats. Good plan. If the sats are low we will go in. I wrap the sensor around her thumb and turn it on. It beeps loud enough to wake the neighbors. After a minute the reading still says ’80’, which is low for her. Hmmm. We try her toe. This time it reads ’70’. I tell my husband that maybe the crying brought her sats down. The decision is made that if she wakes up again crying like that, we will be ready to go to Children’s. Bag is packed, both Patriots and Red Sox shirts are in the bag. We are good to go.

Chris stays in the living room where she is sleeping in the pack and play while I go upstairs to get some sleep. He is smart. He knows that it benefits him and the ER at any hospital if I get some sleep. At 2AM I wake up to hear her crying. I rush downstairs, we give her apple juice, and she falls back asleep. Ok. We can go back to sleep now.

In the morning we check her sats again. This time the reading was ’85’. We’re good! She is happy, pink and enjoying some cheerios. We were seeing the pediatrician at 11:30 for her 15 month checkup anyway, so I was happy to see her doing better.

Thank God we have that pulse ox machine. The insurance company wanted us to send it back but our pediatrician wrote a script for it so here we are. Thank God. It helped us make the good decision to stay home and not exposure her to RSV or any other virus out there. A little boy we knew caught a virus not long ago and died. Viruses are not something we can afford so if we can avoid them, we do. The pulse ox gave us a good indication that she was ok, even though she cried a lot and got sick. If she was getting dehydrated, it would have given us a lower reading. It is a lifesaver and I am so grateful we had it last night.

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