We did not finish 2014 quite as strong as we had hoped. Shortly before Christmas Casey seemed to be coming down with a little cold. She was having a lot of heart rate issues, breathing issues, thick sticky secretions and needed oxygen and pain medicine quite a bit. On Christmas day she seemed to be feeling a lot better so we hoped that what ever it was had passed. Sadly by the next morning she was not looking very good anymore.
Holidays are usually pretty lightly staffed around here. Most of our nurses have their own families and traditions so they take off for the big holidays. It’s hard when we don’t have much help, but we totally understand. If the tables were turned I would take off the holiday to be with my family too. When Casey is sick and we are short handed it can be a little stressful- especially when we add holidays to the mix. We managed to get through Christmas week okay, tired, but okay.
Casey had a pretty good day the Sunday after Christmas. Some friends came by and she was excited to play with her new toys and her friend. Again, we hoped that was a sign that she was over what ever this was and that we were moving in the right direction. Wrong again! Monday morning she was back to being miserable. She never ran a fever during any of this time, she just looked miserable.
On that Tuesday when she was still a mess we decided it was time to get her doctor on the phone. We took her in for an xray on that Wednesday expecting that she had a pneumonia. Her secretions were really bad so it made sense that she could have aspirated and gotten a little in her lungs that developed into a pneumonia. The xray showed that her lower left lung had atelectasis (partially collapsed).
Atelectasis explained the need for pain meds and the breathing issues. We are fairly sure the thick sticky secretions are what triggered everything to start. A few years ago this would have become multiple weeks (or more) in the hospital. Luckily we have set up our home to handle stuff like this now. We put Casey on bipap to push some pressure into her lungs and help to open them back up. We have to use bipap at least once a year. Casey hates it, but it helps a lot when she needs it. The first round she did great. When she just lets it happen and doesn’t fight it we know she needs it. About half way through the second round (the next day) she started yelling and trying to get out of her mask. This is actually a good thing. When she is feeling stronger she is able to fight it and that helps us to know that it has done what we needed it to do.
She is still needing oxygen off and on, but at a much lower setting. Her pain seems to be much better managed now too. She even tried to cooperate when her teacher came in today. She started an antibiotic on Wednesday (New Year’s Eve) and we think it is helping. Hopefully by the time she finishes up her 10 days on antibiotic she will be back to her usual spunky self.
She got all kinds of new toys, books, nail stuff, art projects, etc. for Christmas and she hasn’t been up for playing at all. I’m sure once she is up for it she will have lots of playing to catch up on.
Shortly before Christmas my grandpa went into the hospital with pneumonia and Flu A. He spent about a week there. It was sad that he wasn’t able to join us for Christmas this year. I am glad he is out of the hospital and doing much better now though. We had the house on lock down while he was sick. Everyone that went to see him had to change and disinfect when they got back to our house. With everything else we had going on, we were not about to add the flu to Casey’s list of issues.
Girl Scout cookies are on sale 1/21. Hopefully Casey is ready to go by then- she has lots of sales to make. We hope everyone had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. Here is to 2015 being filled with good ealth, love and happiness.