Christmas 2012 did not go according to plan. On Sunday, we headed down to my parents' house to spend the night, and then spend Christmas Eve with them. Noah woke up with a fever of 101, which was alarming, but he was just getting over an ear infection. We gave him Tylenol and didn't think much of it. By the time we arrived in Covington at around 1:00, his temperature was over 104. We got back into the car and headed back to Kennesaw and the Children's Healthcare Urgent Care Center. We were told there was a five hour wait. We had given him more Tylenol and he seemed to have perked up a bit. He ate some Cheerios and was pretty alert. So we headed home and planned to go see our pediatrician the next day. My parents loaded up their car and came to our house to stay the night and spend the next day with us.
On Christmas Eve morning, we went to the pediatrician. Noah's temperature was again around 101, which they don't really panic about. The doctor said his lungs sounded perfectly clear, his ears were clear, it was probably just a nasty virus. Give him Tylenol and let it run its course. By that afternoon, his temperature spiked to 105 and he was miserable. He just wanted to sleep and be held. He wouldn't eat anything and was barely drinking. But, with more Tylenol, his fever started coming down slowly. He was breathing more rapidly, but didn't seem to be really struggling to breathe. So we went to bed, hoping the next day would be better.
Again he woke up with the fever at around 101. But he seemed like he felt at little better. He opened his toys from Santa and played with them. He played with our sister-in-law when she got here for breakfast. He seemed good until around 11:00. The fever started rising again. He only got worse from there. He was burning up, wouldn't drink anything, and only wanted to be held. At 8:00 his fever was back up to 105 and he was having a hard time breathing. At that point, we made the call to head to the ER at Kennestone.
When we got to the ER, they started monitoring his oxygen level and pulse. His pulse was up around 200. They wanted it around 130. His oxygen level was at around 88. They wanted it at least at 92. His ears were also infected. We did a breathing treatment that he didn't really respond to, so we did another hour long breathing treatment. When he didn't really respond to that, they decided we need to go to Scottish Rite. They gave him fluids, antibiotics, steroids, and oxygen and we settled in to wait for a ride to Scottish Rite.
We arrived at Scottish Rite around 4 am on Wednesday morning. After a few hours in the ER, they got him admitted and moved us into a room with a bed for Noah that looked like a cage.
Throughout the day, they gave him more fluids, more antibiotics, more steroids, and kept him on oxygen. He had no energy at all, was drinking okay, but still wouldn't eat anything. He got breathing treatments every three hours, which he hated and screamed through. We finally saw a doctor at around 7:00. He said it looked like the flu and wanted to run a panel to test for viruses. That night they changed the breathing treatments to every four hours. His respiratory rate was really high that night, reaching as high as 100 breaths per minute. They wanted it around 30. The respiratory therapist decided that the treatments were helping, but not quickly. He recommended a different kind that has pressure to force the air and medication down into his lungs where he needed it more. He was not taking full breaths, so his lungs were not fully expanding. The airways at the bottom of his lungs were the ones that were clogged, but the medicine was not getting down there. These pressurized treatments were supposed to help with that.
Thursday morning, we started the new breathing treatments. He got more antibiotics, fluids, steroids, and oxygen. They started trying to wean him off the oxygen slowly. The results of the virus panel came back and said he had something called Human Metapneumovirus. There is no specific treatment for it, so the plan was to continue what we were already doing. Noah was awake more during the day and seemed to have a little more energy. He finally ate some yogurt and a little bit of fruit. His respiratory rate was much lower Thursday night and he slept more peacefully.
On Friday morning, he was like a different child. They turned his oxygen off and his levels stayed up around 97-100. He ate more and was much more alert. The only downside to that was that he remembered how much he likes to be outside and realized that he was stuck in a hospital room. He kept getting really upset because we could not take him out of the room. They came in Friday evening and said that his oxygen level, pulse and respiratory rates had been good enough all day that they could remove all the tubes and monitors. The only thing they left in was the IV, but it was no longer connected to anything. Noah could get down on the floor and walk around. I've never been so happy to see him toddling around before. He slept great that night, with his respiratory rate remaining right where it should be.
On Saturday morning, we saw a new doctor and were cleared to go home. We got a prescription for a steroid and were told to continue with the breathing treatments at home every four hours during the day. They came in and took out the IV and we packed up our things. I don't think Noah has ever been so happy to get outside. And we've never been happier to see him smile and hear him laugh. He has since been to the pediatrician for a follow up and they said that his lungs were clear. I have thanked God more times than I can count over the last week for taking care of Noah and taking away this illness. We are truly blessed to have our happy, silly little boy back. And while the people at Scottish Rite were great and took really good care of him, we hope that we never have to see them again.