Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We're home!

After 5 very long days, Vanessa and I are home. Here's the story

Last Friday, I had an appointment with the Pediatrician to get some drops for Vanessa, like Mylecon, for the colicky gas. Not a big deal, but you can't buy the drops OTC. That morning, Vanessa felt feverish, so I was glad I had the appointment. When we saw the Dr. , she examined her and told us to have her hospitalizes immediately. We didn't understand the gravity, but she said that any 7 week old baby that has a fever like that is a big deal. Since we are on the national health plan, that meant that I must take her to the Regional Hospital. They have the most advanced equipment and treatment, but the hospital itself is old and decrepit. Gives me the creeps.

They examined Vanessa in the emergency room, took urine and blood samples and inserted the needle thingy in her arm. We waited for the preliminary tests, which came back negative for urinary tract infection. So they decided to admit her in order to find out what was causing the fever. The next step was testing for....Meningitis!!!!! Do you know what that means? Yep, a spinal tap. I was furious because she had already been through so much. But the Dr insisted. We left the room. 30 minutes later, they came out and told us that they had been unsuccessful, and had not gotten any spinal fluid. Goodness! All that suffering for nothing! I was in tears. They started an IV antibiotic, just in case. The family had to leave and I was alone with Vanessa in the room. There were 8 cribs, but there were only 5 babies and their mothers. There were 2 recliners. We were told that we must not roam the room, but stay near our crib. We could not touch anything belonging to the other children. We could not sit in the recliners with our babies. It felt like baby prison. There are three levels of personnel. The Drs., the nurses and the Auxiliares. They are the low men on the totem pole. That makes them mean. Our particular one, Romina was a pain. I called her the nazi nurse. She got on to us about everything. She was unbending in the rules, and she didn't seem to like kids. Or their parents. She played horrible music loudly on the radio. Felt like torture.

Nights were horrible because I couldn't get Vanessa to sleep in that loud, well-lit room. Squeeky beds and howling children. I couldn't rock her. I couldn't do anything I normally do to put her to sleep. And once I got her relaxed, someone would come by and wake her to take her temperature or give medicine. She didn't fall asleep until 4 am for 4 days straight. I was desperate for sleep. At six, they would start waking all the kids to check their Vitals and prepare for shift change.

She saw several drs. and all said the same thing. We don't know what is causing the fever. So they would order more tests. More blood. More pain.

Finally, Emily saw her son's Dr, and got her to give Vanessa a look. She is the head of pediatrics at that hospital. She looked over the tests and examined her. She felt that Vanessa's liver was somewhat enlarged and order another blood test and an ultrasound. Two long days later, as we we preparing for another long day, she came and told us that we could go home! You see, up to that time, they could not determine if Vanessa had a bacterial infection, which needed IV antibiotics or a virus. She determined that Vanessa had a virus that was causing problems with her liver, thus calling her condition "hepatitis". Not the regular A, B or C hepatitis, just a viral hepatitis. So, since there is actually no treatment, we coul go home!

So we piled up all our stuff and went home. Vanessa calmed down immediately. We bathed her. She loved that.

We still have to take her for another blood test to see if there is any change in the liver situation, but we'll get that done at the German hospital where she was born. That's much nicer, and they have better blood-takers.

So, here we are, home sweet home.

Thank you, Lord

Thank you all for your prayers. Later I'll blog about why God allowed all this to happen.


Anonymous said...

Oh that sounds like a terrible hospital experience! I'm glad y'all are back home and I'll keep praying for her.

I am looking forward to reading about why you believe God allowed it all to happen.

Happy New Year!

Rhonda in Chile said...

Thanks Michele, and thanks for linking to my previous post. So many people were praying for us. It was horrible, but its over now.
Now, I plan to get some additional insurance so next time we don't have to go back to that horrible place!