Friday, November 15, 2013

This Sucks, Part Deux

Well, I guess it's time to fire this thing up again.

Yesterday at  a little before 10 I got a call from Ginny's daycare. She had a fever and would have to go home.   When I picked her up she certainly wasn't herself.   I called her pediatrician and got the next available appointment at 11:30.  Ginny's had a cough and green boogers for a few days and had just finished a course of antibiotics for what we thought was strep. I thought we'd get some more meds and spend the afternoon watching Peter Pan.  Boy was I wrong.

The pediatrician checked her pulse ox as a matter of regular treatment.  She was at 85%.  "I don't like that number," I told the nurse. "Me either," was the reply.  She was given a nebulizer treatment and oxygen,  and checked again. No improvement. Another nebulizer treatment and more oxygen.  No improvement. So.....another ambulance ride for Ginny and Daddy - this time to the new Shands pediatric emergency room.

If you read back in this blog to the very first entry,  you'll see that people don't always yield to ambulances.  Let me be more explicit now: if you drive like an asshole around an ambulance you are endangering the life of someone very special. Don't do it. Also, if I see you, I will follow you. Your day will not end well. I promise.

Ginny was great in the ED. She seemed like she was feeling better, but her oxygen was still pretty low. She was on oxygen and continuous albuterol through a mask (that looked like a fish face).  We were transferred upstairs to the PICU about 6 pm or so.  Upstairs things got a little different.

Even though she was relatively comfortable, she was getting sick of the mask.  She kept taking it off, so we had to give her the nasal cannula. She didn't like that much either, so she ripped it off after 30 minutes. Her oxygen wasn't getting better, so it gave us a chance to try the high-flow nasal cannula. That lasted a little while before she took that out, too. And again, oxygen was still not improving.  We knew that eventually this could lead to intubation,  but there was one more thing to try: the CPAP.

David was our respiratory therapist last night. He's a big dude, bigger than me, and a veteran of two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He was no match for Ginny. There was no way in hell anybody was going to strap another apparatus to her face. This all happened about 3 o'clock this morning.  We made the tough decision to quit wrestling with her, sedate her and put her on a ventilator.   She really didn't like the IV in her foot, but in retrospect, probably handled it better than Rachel would have.

The intubation went well, but shortly after her sedation started to wear off.  With her breathing tube still in, she sat up in bed and tried to pull that tube out,  tape and all.   We've adjusted her meds and she's resting comfortably.  We've been operating under the assumption that pneumonia is the primary problem. Not all of the labs are back yet, but just a few minutes ago we learned that one of Ginny's problems is respiratory syncytial virus or RSV. You can read more about it here:

Her symptoms are probably going to get worse before they get better.  We expect to be in the PICU until at least Sunday, most likely longer.  There's a great crew up here, many of whom remember Ginny from her last stay on the 10th floor.  They make it a little bit easier, but I wish we were having a reunion under easier circumstances.

Thanks to everyone for their love and support.  We really appreciate it.


  1. Prayers for the family and for her to be back to full health!

  2. Ginny is tough, she'll get through this. Praying for her....and you all.

  3. Love you all and praying! Please, please let us know what we can do.