He has had a stuffy nose absent of a fever for about 2 weeks now. He has been eating normally and still has his alert times throughout the day. He does seem cranky at times but I figured that may be due to his stuffy nose. He has always done this little "puppy dog" panting while breathing occasionally. He usually does that when he is hungry or irritated. On Sunday he had been doing that almost all day. By late afternoon I was getting worried. I happened to glance down while he was sitting in his bouncy and noticed around his mouth was slightly blue. I scooped him and brought him into a brighter lit room. It immediately went back to normal coloration. My husband came home shortly after and after expressing my concerns we decided to call the on call doctor. I had already planned on calling the pediatrician in the morning regarding his rapid shallow breathing but the momentary discoloration around his mouth made it clear we could not wait. I had timed his breaths per minute twice and got a reading of 44 bpm and then 50 bpm. That's in the normal range but slightly elevated for his age.
I did happen to notice afterwards that when we remove his pacifier the area around his mouth is slightly blue but once removed the skin turns back to normal. JJ never used one but I was pretty sure that it wasn't normal.
After discussing JD's symptoms with the on call doc he said it would be best if we brought him to be evaluated. I agreed. We fed him a quick bottle and then I left to the ER with him while my husband stayed with JJ. I arrived around midnight.
The nurse took his temperature and it was normal. He then did a pulse ox and it was at 99%. When the doc came in he looked him over and listened to his breathing which sounded clear. He then ordered a chest xray to rule out pneumonia but was pretty sure it was nothing serious and we would be good to go home.
After the xray I must have waited an hour and a half. I knew something wasn't right but desperately tried to fight off that feeling. When he eventually came back in he said that he had the radiologist take a look at the xrays. He said that everything was structurally ok but the radiologist thought that it was possible JD had viral pneumonia. He stressed that they were not positive. NO JOKE. They were not sure! He then went on to explain that since it wasn't bacterial pneumonia that it couldn't be treated with antibiotics. He said JD should get better on his own and be just fine. He told me to follow up with his pediatrician the next day. I was baffled. As those words came out of his mouth that JD may have pneumonia I felt as though someone had pushed me over. I distinctively remember leaning to my left and feeling as though I was not in my body. I had heard him because I knew what he said but could not play back his words in my mind so I had him repeat himself. When it registered that they didn't know positively I was furious. How could they send a six week old baby home with such a diagnosis!? Of course he didn't send me on my way until responding to one of my remarks that if it was his six week old he would be scared as well. That was reassuring.
It was 3:30 a.m. when they started discharging us. I took JD home and starting counting down the hours until we could see his doctor. I arrived home around four a.m. and curled up on the couch with JD and just cried. I was terrified. I have had major anxiety ever since accompanied by chest pain. Terrified is understatement on how I am feeling.
When you have lost a child everything that could happen to one of your living children becomes a more real possibility. As my friend Amanda stated a few weeks back: "About statistics: When you have been a one, no number of the other side looks big enough." I have learned first hand that "it" can happen to us. Thoughts of something happening to JD and JJ constantly fill my mind. The fear is always present. Add in a possible pneumonia diagnosis and what runs through a bereaved parents mind is everything they have been through in the past repeating itself.
Later that day I brought JD to see his doctor. The nurse took his temp which was fine and did a weight check. He now weighs 9 lbs 3 oz. That doesn't surprise me with the way he eats! When the doctor came in she did another pulse ox on his foot and his oxygen level was at 100%. What a relief. I told her about my experience in the ER hours earlier. She said she received the xrays and she did not see pneumonia on it. I was extremely relieved. I still cannot shake the what if though from my gut. What did that doctor think they saw? What if they are right... She went on to tell me that she did not understand why if they thought he had viral pneumonia why they would send us home. She told me that they treat it the same as bacterial pneumonia just to be on the safe side. She also said there is no way to tell for sure from an xray what type of pnemonia it is. Why I keep going to the hospital closest to our home for ER visits is beyond me. Next time we are definitely taking the extra 25 minute drive to the hospital I delivered JD at. Maybe there will know what the hell they are doing.
She went on to check his ears and listen to his lungs. All were clear. Since his oxygen level was fine she thinks that the skin around his mouth being so thin plus the sucking on the paci may cause the discoloration. She did notice that on the bottom part of his ribs when he is breathing the skin is slightly retracting. She said to keep an eye on it and if the upper part starts to do the same thing to come in. She also said to watch for other symptoms of him sleeping more, not eating as much, increased fussiness and worsening of his breathing. She did express concern about RSV going around right now. She said to call with any change and had us make a follow up appointment for Friday.
It did not help to learn this morning that little miss Eleanor that I spoke about in my last post is in the NICU with RSV. Thankfully she is doing well now.
This is all so scary to deal with.
Today JD has been doing ok. He is still having episodes of his panting type breathing but there has been no other changes. He has been slightly fussy and did not sleep as much throughout the early part of the day. His appetite though if anything has increased. I wish I could put him in a bubble until spring.
I have not been getting much sleep and know I will not be able to relax until he is feeling 100% better. If it wasn't for the angel.care monitor we use I probably wouldn't get a wink.
Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery and also little Eleanor until she is home safe and sound.