Monday, April 2, 2018

Matthew's ER visit

Friday night around 10pm, Matthew started complaining he was having trouble breathing. It was obvious he working hard to breathe, but I was hesitant to rush him to the ER. I started a shower in their bathroom and closed to the door to make a steam room. I sat with Matthew in there, put Vick's Vapor Rub on his chest and then went to get my stethoscope so I could listen to his lungs. When I came back, Matthew said he was scared to be in there all by himself. He was audibly wheezing when he breathed, he was even sticking his tongue out and almost "panting" when he complained of the difficulty. I listened to his lungs, and they sounded horrible - wheezing all throughout. We obviously had to take him somewhere. I always try my hardest to avoid the ER. I looked up Urgent Cares open after 10pm - only 1 - Cook Children's - was open until midnight. They were full, but accepted walk ins. Then I came to my senses, and thought: This is ridiculous. Why am I shopping around for the best place to take him. I know the best place - Cook Children's ER. They won't send me somewhere else if I take them there, and this is clearly the kind of emergency that ER's exist for. 

At 10:30 we finally left for the ER, 30 minutes after he initially complained. Looking back, I would have left sooner, but I was in denial that he really wasn't going to get better without medical intervention. I left Alan at home with the other two kids, and Matthew and I rushed to Cook's. (Alan had to help him steady himself, because he was feeling so weak.) By that time I didn't even think an ambulance would be much faster than us. I wanted him to talk to me on the way there, so I would know he was okay, but he was having to take frequent, wheezing breaths to talk, so I told him to save his energy for breathing. Then he would get really quiet, so periodically I would call back to him, "Okay, don't talk, but is it still hard to breathe - yes or no." The only purpose of this was to make sure he was, in fact, still breathing. It was dark, so I couldn't see him. I prayed the whole way to the hospital. 

We arrived at 10:45, parked, and walked into the ER. Immediately a nice man at the entrance asked if we needed to see a doctor. Of course, Matthew had been complaining he could barely "hold it" on the way there, so I said, "Yes, but first we need a restroom."

We checked in at 10:55 and we were called back 3 minutes later. The triage doctor actually followed us back to the triage room to assess Matthew. He pulled up his shirt (which I hadn't done at home), and we could all see him using his neck, intercostal, subcostal, and abdominal muscles to breathe. All of this extra work he was doing to breathe was at least keeping him oxygenated, as his oxygen saturation was 99%. I was so happy to see that number, since I was worried about hypoxia. The doctor said he was definitely wheezing as well, and ordered a strong breathing treatment and steroids immediately.

The charge nurse asked a one or two more questions, then wheeled Matthew to a room. On the way she called the ED RT, and the RT met us in his ER room. She said, "Here's what we're going to do, Matthew. You're going to watch TV, and you're going to start breathing better." He nodded. He got to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (one of his favorites that I rarely put on for him) while the RT gave him a "mega" breathing treatment of 6 doses of Albuterol and 6 doses of Atrovent. The RT later told me she hadn't heard many breath sounds at all before his treatment, since he was so tight. His vital signs continued to be good. I could tell he quickly began to breathe easier during the treatment. (Still working to breathe, but not as hard as time went on.) By 11:20, Dr. Neil (the ER doctor), the RT and RN were out of the room. The breathing treatment started around 11:10 and lasted until 11:40. At 11:29, Matthew finally said, "I'm breathing good now." (1.5 hours after he had first complained.)

The RT checked on us about every 10 minutes, and after the treatment, the nurse gave him two chewable steroid tablets. His hands and feet were shaking now (a side effect of the breathing treatment), and his teeth were chattering. His pulse was pounding at 130-140bpm, which is also a normal side effect they had warned us about before the treatment. I was just happy he was breathing so much better. Matthew said, "I'm glad there are doctors that know what to do."

He was still wheezing and retracting some. The doctor checked on him often. He would ask me what I thought. They all knew I was a NICU Nurse by this point, since I had told them I heard wheezing in his lungs when I listened with my stethoscope at home. (Usually I try to avoid telling medical people I'm a nurse.) About an hour after the treatment, the nurse commented, "I have a sneaking suspicion he may be staying with us." 

They also did a chest X-Ray (since this was his first incident of wheezing). I didn't hear any results for over an hour. I asked the nurse, but she said she didn't have access to the results. (So of course I assumed that meant she didn't want to tell me the horrible results.) About 30 minutes after that, the doctor came in, and very seriously started listening to Matthew's lungs. I just knew he had pneumonia, or lung cancer, or.. 

Then the doctor said, "Oh, did I tell you his X-Ray was normal?" I replied nonchalantly, "Oh. No, I hadn't heard." 

It was around 1:30am now. Matthew was still working a little to breathe, but much improved. We had to wait a full two hours after the treatment to see if it had worked. So we settled in. The nurse gave him a Blue Yoshi plush toy, which is exactly the kind of thing Matthew loves. (The kids have a whole collection of Mario plush toys.)

At this point I decided we should probably try to rest, since it was just a waiting game now. So we turned off Mickey Mouse and turned out the lights..

Matthew fell asleep and didn't wake up for any other time they checked on him. At 2:50am, his wheezing and retractions had completely stopped, so since this was a full two hours after his treatment, the doctor cleared us to go home. He was diagnosed with mild intermittent reactive airway disease, which has the same symptoms as asthma, but can just be a temporary response to an irritant in the lungs.

The doctor prescribed him steroids for 5 days and a rescue inhaler. We had to wait for the RTs to come and teach us how to use the inhaler. At 3:20am, two RTs had to wake Matthew up (very difficult!!) and together they taught us how to use it.

It was weird going to sleep that night in our own beds. Even though we'd only had the monitors for a few hours, it felt strange just trusting that he would be okay through the night. I told him to tell me if he had any trouble breathing at all.

He was fine all day the next day. As he was going to sleep the next night, I heard a little wheezing in his lungs, so I gave him the inhaler before he went to sleep. So far, that's the only time we've used it.

I am definitely thankful to Cook Children's ER, they did an amazing job! Thanks to our friends and family for their prayers as well :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Olivia is 18 Months Old

I can hardly believe Olivia is 1 1/2 years old already! The last year and a half has FLOWN by! Olivia's baby-ness is starting to go away too. She demands to be included in everything the boys are doing ;)

Mama (or Meme)

--She doesn't say a lot of words yet, but she understands a TON. And she is able to communicate very well by pointing, grunting, and making happy or angry coos. It's pretty entertaining to watch!

Favorite Activities:
Playing in the sandbox. (She does this on her own, as long as the boys are also outside. I can watch her from the kitchen while I cook/clean.)

Playing in the bathtub. (She loves to have the faucet running a little, then fill up & dump a cup out repeatedly. I have to be careful about saying the word "bath," because she will squeal and run to the bath tub, then start tapping it with her hand and grunting to be let in.)

Being outside. I am careful not to open a door unless I intend for her to come outside as well! She also likes to go up the the back door and tap on the glass when she wants to play outside.

She has just starting bringing books to me and then backing up in to my lap to listen and point to the pictures. I love it! She was ignoring us when I read to the boys before.

Playing games with Mom/Dad. (Monsters, funny faces, etc)

Playing with her brothers!

Favorite Things:
She loves, loves, loves her blue gel shoes her Granny Bee got her. She will bring them to me and demand that I help her put them on :)

Purses. She doesn't actually own a purse, but anything that can go around her arm (like a flip flop) becomes her little purse.

"Bracelets" - usually my hair bands. She will wear several at a time as bracelets.

Climbing, running, (trying to) jump. Mostly climbing! She has been able to climb to the second story of our play area in the back yard for a few months.

Eating :P

Olivia falls a LOT. About a month ago, she fell at church (there is no padding, just concrete) and cracked her tooth really badly. We got it filled in so it looked better, but then that fell out just 3 weeks later. The dentist now thinks the tooth may be dying. (It is her top left tooth.) We are going to keep an eye out for an infection, but if there's not problems she may still be able to keep the tooth. If not, she will not have one of her front teeth until her permanent one grows in around age 8 :( We are hoping she can keep it, and when she gets older, we can fill it in again so it looks better. Poor, sweet girl!

We love you Olivia Ruth!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Our Hearts and Days are Full!

We have been keeping busy, and I like it. I think we need a lot of activities in our week to keep these active kiddos happy and Mommy sane ;) But, I also love, love relaxing family time. 

Here is what our weeks are looking like: (Although we are on a break from Classical Conversations until January.)

Sundays - Breakfast @ Cracker Barrel at 8:15, then the boys go over to Alan's parents for a while. Lots of cleaning done.

Mondays- Usually free. Schedule misc. appointments. Try to squeeze in some quality pre-school time :)

Tuesdays - Classical Conversations (for the boys, but I take Olivia too). Followed by playground time with the group. Then sometimes the boys were going to my parents' in the afternoon.

Wednesdays - Playgroups every other Wednesday morning, nap time (or quiet time), then grocery Shopping (Double discount Wednesdays @ Sprouts. Woot woot!)

Thursdays - I have been trying not to schedule anything on Thursdays so we can enjoy Alan's work from home day together. I absolutely love Alan working from home! (Every 3rd Thursday we go as a family to Alan's chiropracter - Also a family friend.)

Fridays - "Sporties for Shorties" (they do a different sport every week) followed by playground time.

Saturday - Relax in the morning (sometimes take a nap during Olivia's nap time while the boys watch a show). Then, church in the afternoon.

So, most of our activities are in the morning, then nap/quiet time, then getting dinner ready/cleaning house/dinner & family time in the evening when Alan gets home.

Also, mornings (except Saturday) I do a 30 minute beach body workout with the boys (Or sometimes later in the day if I can't fit it in early.) I have finally lost alll of my baby weight. (I never lost it after the boys!) After the kids go to bed I get my quiet time in. I can't manage to get quiet time in in the morning, because the kids get up too early for me! (6:30) Then usually Alan and I watch a show together before bed <3 p="">

Family time is my favorite. Here are some pics from tonight:

 Usually in the evening after dinner (while I clean up), the kids sit on Alan's lap and watch him play Mario or Donkey Kong on the Wii U. Olivia actually starts hitting the chair to let him know it's time to sit down. Olivia will be 18 months tomorrow. She is getting so big. I'll write an 18 month post on her tomorrow (hopefully :P)
 I had to take pictures, it is too adorable when they all sit on Daddy's lap.
 Tonight they were actually watching Football.

The boys were getting tired & cuddling with Daddy. Time for bed.. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Working out with Mama

4 year old Matthew did every single move of my "Pilates Fix" workout (30 minutes) from the 21 Day Fix program. This is a first!

Here were some quotes:

"My legs are on fire. Do you know why? Because they hurt."

"My legs already hurt all the way to the top!" (These were during the "side series" that really burns out the legs."

"Daddy, don't workout all day, or you will get sore."

He also groaned through about the last 15 minutes. I was pretty proud of him for sticking it out though!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Matthew: Does God have blood?
Me: No, He's a Spirit Being.
Matthew: Oh. What happens when he gets a boo boo?

Me: You can have some milk when you get home.
Adam: Ooo, yes! Milk! Milk is my favorite word. And booty.
Matthew: And butt! I like butt too!

Matthew (pretending to write a letter): Dear Grandma, I love you. I spent alll your money. Dear Grandma.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Day Camping

Beautiful day for some Day Camping!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Finally Four!

Adam and Matthew - the boys that made me a Mommy and Alan a Daddy - turned 4 this month! I can't believe it!

4 is an age I've been looking forward to. More independent play, more sitting still, more creativity more back and forth conversation, more listening to Mom and Dad, etc. I do love the stage the boys are in now. They are getting so smart, and they say new, clever things all the time. 

Activities: Watercolors, reading with an adult, reading alone (looking at the pictures), writing letters on the computer, using the paint program on the computer, using a screwdriver

Colors: Adam - Red
            Matthew - Blue
             (They will not accept a sippy cup that is not their color!)

Foods: Milk in sippy cups, yogurt, fruit, eggs, bread with butter (Matthew) or honey (Adam), honey & lemon tea, dessert of all kids

Adam: He loves affection, and is always asking for hugs. However, he is in a stage where he does not want kisses at all. But he is very generous with his kisses to us :) He's our sensitive one, and we often hear "You made me sad" when we tell him no. He loves anything outdoors and active.

Matthew: He is our servant hearted boy. He is first to want to help out, and Adam will ask Matthew to do his chores for him. Matthew will help Adam out, but I've been trying to make sure Adam does his own chores (putting his dishes in the sink, clothes in the dirty clothes, etc.) Matthew can get frustrated and lash out, especially at Adam while playing Mario Bros! 

Both of our boys are so loving, and we give them lots of love in return!

A few months ago, Alan let them play the original Mario Bros. on the old NES system. It has become their favorite thing to do. "Can we play the Mario game? Please? We really want to." So of course they wanted a Mario and Luigi themed birthday party. Matthew loves Mario, and Adam's favorite is Luigi.

We put up stickers in the dining room. The boys were so cute describing the scene to us.

"The shoot (bullet) is going to kill Luigi."
"They need to get the flower so they can boom (with the fireballs) the shoot."
"What happens when Mario jumps on the white bad guy (Boo, the ghost)?"
"Mario's losing his lunch!" (The mushroom is falling into the hole)
"The big green thing (Yoshi) is going to save the day!"

They also got to help put Mario and Luigi stickers up in their room.
 They were so happy to finally be four! This year they had been focused on their birthday for months! (Matthew in blue, Adam in black/yellow.)

 My mom and I made Mario and Luigi cakes that the boys really loved!

I made an obstacle course with pipes, Goombas (made from balloons with paper plate feet) and Bowser (Daddy).

 The  participants got a "Question Mark Box" with goodies inside!

Opening presents. They love their watches from Daddy!

The books were some of their favorite presents! We actually had to pull them away from the books to open the rest of their presents.

The Kiddos! 

Our Family <3 td="">
Happy Birthday boys. We love you so much.