Sunday, April 20, 2008

Brooke's Birth Story: The Final Installment

I called my friend, R, the next morning and asked her if she'd watch my kids while I went to the army base to go to the doctor. She said she'd come over with her daughter and she'd just drive all of us in my van. it was 80 degrees outside and I was in sweatpants and a jacket looking like death warmed over. Mastitis gives you flu like symptoms. My left breast was bright red and on fire. I had to wait an hour just to be seen and then after the doctor came in and determined it was mastitis (brilliant) gave me a prescription for antiobiotic and prepared to leave the room. In my mind I was yelling at him, "My husband comes in with a little leg infection and you admit him and keep him for fours days to lie around and rest, while I am in immense pain, feel like I've been hit by a truck and have a new baby and four other kids to take care of and you send me home with a bandaid and a get well wish!" But, I actually said, "Okay, thank you. Could I get some pain medication?"
R. drove us all home after stopping by the store for some cabbage leaves, the old wives remedy. But, my body was so hot the leaves wilted by about 5 minutes. I am not good with medication. If there is a side effect to be had, I will get it. So add throwing up to the list of ailments. All in all I was in bed for the next two weeks. I had to go back up to the doctor on that Thursday because the doctor wanted to make sure it wasn't an abcess. So I had to have a one inch incision in my left breast. It turns out that there was no abcess, but I had to have that incision packed with guaze til it healed. I think that was probably as painful as labor! I'm so thankful for my friend, L.. She came to my house twice a day for two weeks to change the dressing. She was a registered nurse. Otherwise I would've had to have changed it myself, yikes!, or had to go up to the army hospital twice a day. I'm also very thankful for R. She became my personal organizer. She scheduled people to come to the house to take care of the kids in shifts from breakfast to bedtime. It was literally Grand Central Station. I don't know what I would have done with out her or all the people that came to take care of us. It was really a great portrayal of the serving hearts of God's people.
They had done a culture of the incision and found out that there was antibiotic resistant staph. The typical protocol was to be placed on six weeks of IV antibiotics, but thankfully after upping my dose of oral antibiotics twice, I was on the mend. So since I was recovering the doctors decided to not give me the IV antiobiotics. By the third week, I could mostly stay out of bed all day and only had people coming by here and there to see if we needed something. You know you are feeling better when you are ready for people to get out of your house! But, I deparately needed them up until then!
The day after I found out that I wouldn't need the IV antibiotics, Tuesday, I noticed that Brooke was starting to get some red spots. It looked exactly like baby acne and she was at that age. I dismissed it the first two days and then on Thursday she was splotchy from head to toe. I just thought, Wow, this is bad baby acne. I was just in such a fog from the last six months of life. But that night I noticed she had a fever. One month old babies should not get fevers. The next morning, some dear friends were taking the older four kids to the zoo, so I called to bring her in to the doctor. I went to the army base and the doctor took one look at her and told me I needed to take her to the Children's ER at the county hospital. So, in a daze, I took her over to the Children's ER and the doctors weren't quite sure what to think. Everyone kept asking me what I'd eaten, like she'd had an allergic reaction to something. I had stopped nursing her two weeks earlier because of the incision and the pain medication. I knew it wasn't an allergic reaction. What was wrong with my child?
They admitted her and started all sorts of tests. They tried to draw blood, but because she was so small and splotchy red, they couldn't get a vain and forever they kept poking her and she kept screaming. Then they told me I'd have to leave the room, because they needed to do a spinal tap. I went into another room to wait, and called G (who took the kids to the zoo) to let her know what was going on. I just burst into tears. This was my limit. Thank goodness for G. She called the Red Cross so that they could send David back. She called me back to get the necessary paperwork from the doctor so that they could give him orders to come back and get him on a plane. They still didn't know what was wrong with Brooke, but went ahead and put her on IV antibiotics. I gave them the recent medical issues with David and myself, and they thought it could be the staph, and were afraid she could get septic. (That means the infection would get into her bloodstream.) Friday afternoon they wheeled us up to the peds unit. Thank goodness for some other friends who came and sat with me, and with Brooke while I went to eat. And thanks again to L. who came up to the hospital room twice to change the dressing on my incision! David was able to fly back for 10 days and he arrived Saturday evening. Someone went and picked him up and drove him to the hospital. By the time David had gotten there, Brooke was looking so much better. Apparently, the antibiotic resistant staph had gotten into her body through a little scratch on her head. They gave us a prescription for vancomycyn (sp?) and let us leave on Sunday afternoon. Praise God she was recovering. The staph easily could've killed her.
I fully recovered, Brooke fully recovered and things were less dramatic and eventful for the rest of the time until David returned the following September. And that series of events let us have David home for that additional ten days which we just savored because the whole time he was home before was so chaotic.

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