Sunday, February 28, 2010

What do Marie Osmond and Nathan have in common?

The contents of Nathan's stomach. (And no, I didn't get a picture of this one!)

On Tuesday the Children's Miracle Network was doing a fund raiser through IHOP where IHOP donated free pancakes that day and then "donations" could be accepted. Marie Osmond is on of the spokespersons for the foundation and so Tuesday afternoon she popped her head into our room and asked if we'd like a visitor. Nathan hadn't been doing particularly well with his feedings that day and was having lots of retching problems. Nathan was sitting on my lap when Marie came in the room. She was very happy, (SKINNY), and very personable. She chit-chatted about Donny winning "Dancing With the Stars" and not her. She also brought in a blanket and asked Nathan if he wanted it. Clear as day Nathan retorted a clear "No" out of his mouth. I guess not many people say no to Marie and so she was a little taken back and passed the blanket to give it to me instead. I put the blanket underneath Nathan's crib when Nathan started retching badly. His sats started dropping and his heart rate shot up into the 180's. The nurse was watching Nathan outside of the room as I pulled out the g-tube syringe to vent him. Before I could unclasp the g-tube clamp Nathan started throwing up on me. With his nissen, this is a very unusual occurrence to have so much force as to be able to do that. When the clamp was undone, Nathan's stomach had so much pressure that the milk, bile, and mucus in Nathan's tummy flew out of the g-tube and syringe like someone shooting a water gun. Marie was right in the line of fire.

The nurses came running in to help me and Marie backed out of the way to the door. "Um, I think you're a little busy at the moment. I'll come back later" was what came out of her mouth. The truth is she didn't return and I couldn't blame her! The nurses at the nursing station were laughing about it as soon as she left the pod we were on.

Does Nathan know how to leave a strong impression or what?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Anyone up for a game of chubby bunny?

A mother should never cringe after looking at their child, but oh, Nathan's face looks so painful! He is a much better sport about it than I would be. I know this for sure since I was not a very good patient last March when I had my own jaw surgery!

Yesterday (Sunday) was a much better day overall for Nathan. We brought him a new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD to watch and he was SO EXCITED to sit and view it. He stood up in his crib and was trying to hold onto the crib bars and dance a little! Overall you can tell he's still pretty miserable, but he's such a trooper.

He would have done even better yesterday if the nurse hadn't forgotten his afternoon pain medication. This is my biggest complaint about having a hospital too full. The nurses are trying to do more than what they should have to be. Nathan's nurses weren't just sitting around the station chit chatting with each other. They were bustling around. Since Jake and I slept in a little yesterday we didn't get to the hospital till late morning. We watched Mickey and then decided to have Nathan get up and move a little bit. We got a wagon and took him to the Forever Young Zone (the playroom for inpatients at the hospital). He loved every minute of it till the pain hit him like a train. He was sitting there and all of a sudden he started screaming and crying. We hurried and took him back to the room to discover he had gone almost 7 hours without pain meds. Oh, I miss the PICU. There's a certain level of comfort there knowing that the kids are being watched like hawks and that pain management isn't overlooked. I probably feel way too secure in the PICU, but it broke my heart to see Nathan hurting like that and not being able to communicate how he was feeling other than crying.

The distraction (the moving of the pins to break his jaw and move it forward) starts today. Ugh, poor little guy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

19 Surgeries and Counting...

No one should ever have to go through this many surgeries in their life, especially for someone only 24 months old. Nathan is sure one tough little guy!

Yesterday afternoon Nathan had his second jaw distraction. I've been told by the ENT that this has only happened 1 other time in the last 20 or so years here at Primary Children's. The "expert" of these surgeries in Minnesota has only seen a second surgery a dozen or so times in his practice. The surgery lasted about 5 hours and Nathan faired very well during the surgery. He was taken to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for observation and more controlled pain management. Nathan's airway showed some anomalies, but nothing that could be fixed. With all of Nathan's airway issues, he has to be watched very carefully for the first 24 hours to make sure that his body is ok and that his lungs don't fill with fluid as that has happened many times in the past.

Primary Children's serves the intermountain west. Unfortunately although they have expanded another 14 beds in the PICU, that is not nearly enough to service 5 states! They had overbooked the PICU by 4 children with 7 more admits coming through the doors. Since Nathan was considered one of the more stable kids, they sent him down to the children's surgical unit. Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic that he is doing so well.... but his pain management was more controlled in the PICU than on the surgical unit floor. The surgical unit is also double booked because of all of the RSV kids and H1N1 kids. These rooms are so little and having 2 kids in them just doesn't work. The surgical unit nurses are running all over the place because they have 5 kids each to work with. Its just not a happy situation for anyone. Nurses are stressed, parents are wanting privacy and more attention for their kids, and the kids are feeding off of each other's crying. What a day!

Nathan doesn't want anyone to touch him except Mom. Even then for a while this morning he didn't want even me to hold him. He is being VERY PROTECTIVE of his face. I can't blame him. I'm sure it is awful! He has slept most of the afternoon and seems to generally be a little more peaceful. He's having a hard time finding a good spot to rest his head. As a baby the distractors were closer to his face and the pins were not so prominent. This should be very interesting for the next two months!

2 days down.... at least 10-12 to go!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Party Fit for a Princess.... Happy 5th Birthday Ellie!

For Ellie's 5th birthday we decided to throw her a princess birthday party, complete with fully dressed princesses, an updo, and a tea party. We invited 9 little girls to come to the party dressed in their princess best. Every child invited came to the party!

We began with Grandma reading "Sleeping Beauty" to the the princesses as they awaited each other's royal arrivals. When it was time to go, we buckled all of the girls in their booster seats and took them to MATC college in Spanish Fork. Our babysitter, Nicole, is going to school there at night. The school has a program for their girls to gain experience and so they charge $5.00 for a birthday party per child to have an updo, small makeup done, and their nails painted. The girls were in 7th heaven being made up to look like little princesses! All of the girls looked so adorable!

After we were done at the school, we came home to play a game and to have a small tea party. I bought green and pink bread from the Provo Bakery and the girls had chicken salad sandwhiches (or peanut butter), along with pink lemonade, pink cupcakes and ice cream.

Following that Ellie opened all of her birthday presents. This year I made a Heritage Maker's book for her. It included pictures of Ellie from birth to age 5. She has been looking at it every day and asking us more stories about when she was younger. I love that she likes it so much!

This was a fun party and I appreciated everybody's help with keeping things under control!