When we first arrived at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, the EMT--we arrived by ambulance--told me that we would be going to the ninth floor.
"We take kids to the 9th floor and the 6th floor. The 6th floor* is sad; it's good you aren't going there."
I knew, of course, what she meant by "sad." Any parent can read between the lines on that one.
So, here we are on 9th floor, feeling grateful even though it's certainly been one of the more difficult weeks of my life. Other than when I had my babies, I've never stayed overnight in the hospital. Other than when they were born, my babies have never stayed the night in the hospital.
(Edited to add: the EMT must have got her numbers mixed up a little bit; as far as I can tell, the Children's Hospital doesn't have a sixth floor, and perhaps she meant the 7th floor. But the EMT still made her point.)
So here's the update, some of which you might have already read on Facebook.
Addie is still on oxygen, but not as much. When she arrived, they had her on 60% oxygen (room level oxygen is 21%). She's now on 31%. She no longer has a fever. And today, for the first time since Monday evening, I was able to nurse her. Three times, in fact. It was a happy happy moment.
She still has a crackle sound in her lungs, but her respiratory rate is improving. When she arrived, she was taking at least 80 breaths a minute. As of this evening, she was down to 50.
Her energy level is improved, and she's smiling even at the masked doctors who sometimes make her mad when they suction out goop from her nose. Because Addie has RSV, then she is considered to be in isolation. This means all the doctors have to wear gloves, masks, and coats, and those gloves, masks, and coats have to be disposed of in this room--they can't go out into the hallway.
After tonight, the doctors--and because this is a teaching hospital, there are lots and lots of doctors who see us when they make the rounds--will assess Addie's breathing and see if she can go home tomorrow. Maybe. Hopefully. But if not tomorrow, then Friday. As one doctor said, "She's definitely on the upward swing."
It'll be good when we get home, but it does bring me a great measure of peace knowing that she is getting some really good care and treatment here.
I will say, there have been scary moments.
Monday morning, when Addie couldn't breathe and was vomiting, I was scared.
On Monday afternoon, when I called the advice nurse and she listened to Addie's breathing over the phone, and then said, "You need to take her to the emergency room," I was scared.
I was scared when the ER doctor told me she had pneumonia, "extensive pneumonia," she said.
I was scared when I watched her oxygen stats fall into the low 80s when healthy levels are in the upper 90s.
When the nurses tried and failed three times to get an IV in Addie's head, I could barely keep from sobbing. Addie screamed--in pain and in terror--and even now when I remember that moment...tears.
It's been a rough week, that's for sure.
Not once, though, have I felt alone. I knew lots of people were praying for Addie, and just when I needed some encouragement, a little button on my phone would light up and I'd read someone's words letting me know that they were praying. They were thinking of Addie.
You were thinking of Addie.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
As a person of faith, a person who believes in the power of prayer, I believe that your prayers helped Addie. I believe in the power of medicine and wise doctors and progressive science too, but I believe that prayers brought the right medicine, the right doctors, the right science to help Addie out.
Yes, it's been hard. It's been scary. It's been exhausting.
But she's getting better. And here on the 9th floor, I'm grateful for that.