March 5, 2013

Carter's scare!

It's been almost a year since my last post, but I have been wanting to write about our scary experience back in October.  October, which is usually my absolute favorite month out of the year turned into hell in a hand basket.  I know many of you knew Carter was sick and he was in the hospital, but I haven't written or told the whole story to everyone.  I don't know why it has taken this long to write about it, maybe I wasn't ready to make those words real. "He wouldn't have made it".

Monday October 1st, started off like any other day.  We got up had breakfast, we played, we painted pumpkins, Carter ate the paint, and we ate lunch.  After lunch I got him down for a nap, he slept for two hours and woke up crying.  The only time he wakes up crying is if he has a fever.  I went upstairs to get him and sure enough he was warm and lethargic.  I was holding him on the couch for about an hour and he started dry heaving and foaming at the mouth.  I called his pediatrician took him in and they confirmed that he had the stomach bug that was going around to try and keep liquids in him and not to worry if he isn't eating.  That night Carter woke up in pain tossing and turning he couldn't get comfortable. Each day after that was the same, he wouldn't eat, barely drank anything, he just wanted to be held, would cry if I put him down, and at night he would wake up writhing in pain again and would throw up.  I am thinking this whole time his stomach must be really crampy with this stomach bug.  By Wednesday my sweet friend Korey called to check on Carter, she had told me that her little boy Jack had the stomach bug the week before and they had taken him to the ER to get fluids and anti nausea medicine and he had perked right up, and that maybe it would be a good idea to take Carter the next day.

The next day I called his pediatrician to let him know that he was getting worse and that I was 100% sure that Carter was dehydrated.  Took him in and he confirmed what I already knew and called the ER to let them know we were headed there so we didn't have to wait.  They admitted him in the ER and hooked him up to an IV.  The nurses kept checking on him to see if he was perking up at all and he really stayed the same.  So finally the doctor came in and gave us the option to take him home to see if I could get him to drink or to admit him over night just for observation and to guarantee that he would get the liquids in him that he needed.  We chose option B just to be on the safe side.  Throughout the evening Carter seemed to be feeling better he even sat up and ate ice cream. During this time Korey's husband Robert came up to check on Carter.  He brought to our attention that if Carter had the stomach bug for going on 4 days now why haven't we gotten it, then asked us if he could have swallowed something.  Hmmmm...Carter has an oral fixation and is constantly putting things in his mouth why didn't I think of this of course he could have swallowed something!!!!!!  I asked the doctor if we could get an Xray of his stomach and she agreed that we could go right down.  Jeff was in the Xray room with Carter and I was behind the wall with the computer so as soon as it was taken there it was! It looked like a metal lifesaver in his stomach.  My first reaction and the doctor's was is that a washer?? I was wracking my brain where would he have gotten a washer?

They were wanting to see if he could pass the "washer".  My sister decided to stay with Carter and I that night so Jeff could get up and go to work the next morning.  After we had laid down and Carter was fast asleep, around midnight he woke up screaming and again writhing in pain.  The doctor gave him some morphine to ease his pain and he would sleep for an hour then wake up and it began again.  We didn't sleep at all that night.  At 5am Carter was screaming, he was so unhappy, so uncomfortable, I held him we turned on the lights and I noticed he was burning up and his color was way off he looked gray like a shade close to death.  It was the absolute scariest moment of my life, the doctors and nurses came in and I just kept saying something is wrong this is not my child we have to do something! His temperature was 105 and his heart rate was in the 180's.  Something is seriously seriously wrong here!  Jeff came as fast as he could get there and he got there when they were in the process of hooking Carter up to all the monitors you could think of along with oxygen and wheeling Carter and I to the PICU.  Many doctors and nurses came in and was talking and saying things and all those things were not clicking with me.  I was sleep deprived going on 5 days now, I was freaking out on the inside because I knew something was wrong I just didn't know what!  The surgeon came in and was telling me that he didn't think that it was the "washer" that was doing this to him that they were going to still observe him to see if he would pass it.  Meanwhile, I was freaking out in my head I was keeping it together on the outside.  I can't let Carter know that I am scared I have to stay strong for him, for Jeff, for my mom, my sister everyone!  If  I freak out everyone will fall apart! Stay strong Kristin stay strong! 

By noon that day after about three other xrays to check to see if the foreign object had moved at all, the surgeon came in to let us know that it hadn't and that he wanted to go in and remove it.  Was I scared? Absolutely! I wanted him out of pain and deep down I knew this was what was causing his pain no matter how many doctors told me there was no way!  The surgery was supposed to take 2 hours.  We went to eat lunch in the cafeteria, I felt like a zombie.  Life was happening all around me, but I felt like I was moving in slow motion.  I just had my tiny little boy ripped from my arms unwillingly so he could be cut open!  Oh dear God keep him safe I kept saying over and over in my head.  Jeff helped me with my tray in the cafeteria and I was going to add condiments on my hospital cheeseburger and I lost it, I broke down in the hospital cafeteria! 

Our pager went off and we thought it was early (it had only been about an hour and a half) we spoke to Dr. Becky who was the PICU doctor and was watching his surgery the entire time.  She had let us know that it was going great, but taking longer that they had originally thought.  She explained to us that when Dr. Farooqui (the surgeon) got in there they found that the object had wore a hole in Carter's intestines which caused the bowel to perforate.  There was bile, and bacteria leaking throughout his entire tiny abdominal.  This means he has sepsis she said.  Oh ok I have heard of that before I knew that it wasn't good to have but nothing could have prepared me for what Jeff had to say...3 hours later the surgery was done.  I stayed in Carter's room to wait for his post surgery arrival while Jeff talked to Dr. Farooqui.  He told Jeff everything, then Jeff told me everything...Everything went well, Carter did fantastic, he went inch by inch through all of his intestines cleaning everything to make sure all of the bile was cleaned out and to make sure there were no more holes.  Then came the part that hit me in the gut like a ton of bricks "if we hadn't gotten in there when we did, he wouldn't have made it" wow! My eyes filled up with giant crocodile tears, what if Carter wouldn't have made it?  Life would have no meaning, I would have no reason to smile, no reason to laugh, no reason to get out of bed in the morning!  What if is all I kept saying to myself life with no Carterbug would be no life at all! They wheeled his crib in the room and he was still sedated and I just kept looking at this precious gift that not only God give me once he gave him to me twice!  I was just so happy to see him I wasn't worried about the breathing tube and the monitors I just cared that he was alive and he was going to be ok! 

Jeff let me go home and finally sleep that night, it was the hardest thing to go home without hearing Mickey Mouse clubhouse in the background, or having to clean up a billion toys!  It was quiet and not a good quiet I couldn't sleep not having his heavy breathing in my ear from his monitor I wanted him home!   My mother and father in law arrived from Georgia that night and she stayed for 2 weeks (she truly is the best mother in law in the world).  Each day something good happened.  His breathing tube was out the following day, but he had gained eight pounds in water weight.  I couldn't believe how heavy he was.  Four days later he moved out of the PICU into a regular room on the floor.  That was nice, because we could lay with him and cuddle with him!  He was so over being in the hospital by day 6.  Sick of being poked and prodded and woken up.  It took him forever to talk or to even smile.  We would take him to the playroom in the hospital and he wouldn't want to play he just wanted to be held. Carter stayed on an IV the entire time, along with a picc line going to his heart with four different antibiotics, and began nutrition through his IV.  After being there for over a week we were all over being at the hospital, he finally began to eat a little bit. Wednesday the 17th after being there for two weeks we finally got to take our baby boy home!!!!! 

That was a long scary journey for our family and I am so thankful for all of the awesome doctors and nurses that took care of him, our family who is an amazing support system and our friends (especially Korey and Robert for telling me to take him to the ER and for telling me to order an Xray! You were our guardian angels during that time!)  It's so scary to think about him not being here, but it makes you realize how precious life is that you never know when your child could swallow a metal button, you never think that your child could be diagnosed with cancer until you hear those terrible words, you never know if when you say goodnight it could be the last goodnight!  I make sure I tell Carter that I love him at least 50 times a day, give him lots of kisses and hugs, and I thank God every night for giving us this second chance with our Carterbug!

post surgery
supporting my baby bo

Dr. Becky


Daddy loving on his boy

when we moved to the PICU that scary morning


finally a smile

Home at last!


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