Friday, April 9, 2010

Hospitals, IV's and Sleep

Tuesday marked a day that I've been dreading for 6 months. I had to take my Audrey Belle back to Abbotsford hospital for a DMSA test (google it if you will but I'm so not going to try to write the whole thing out). Basically, they were checking out her kidneys with a special scan to make sure that the scarring and swelling that we saw when she was so sick back in October, hasn't left permanent damage on her kidneys. The consequences to there being that kind of damage are great, and scary and, well, I don't want to think about them.

Sometimes, the not knowing is easier than the process to find out. And since she's been basically healthy since last fall, I've wanted to pretend she was never sick. Everytime she's warm from crawling around though, I worry she's getting a fever, every time I change her diaper and it's not soaking wet I worry that she has a bladder infection. It seems the fear never subsides and, on Tuesday that fear was magnified. By going, by letting them do yet another test, they might be telling me that my little girl was still sick. I didn't want to hear that, "Lalalala I'm not listening"

But, because I'm her Momma, and I love her we went. The alternative answer, that everything is fine, is exactly what I wanted to hear and the only way I was going to get close to that answer was to get this test done. So, I did what I always do, I googled the procedure, I prepared my brain for what was coming, I prayed about it and off we went.

Part of this test requires the technicians to inject her with a radioactive solution (not the same as the dangerous CT solutions, totally safe but same idea) via an IV. Great, just what we wanted to face, another IV. The ladies in the Nuclear medicine department said that since she's so little they were going to send us up to Pediatrics to let the professionals start the line. While they are all capable of starting an IV, kids are tricky and they wanted to let people who do it everyday do the job. You would think that was an excellent idea, Tuesday, however, it was not.

They left us waiting forever up on Peds, which is fine. I can understand there are seriously ill kids there, I can understand they face emergencies and other things crop up. But the longer wait was hard to keep AJ entertained and I was worrying myself into a puddle.

Finally our turn came, and she took us to register (something I so could have done while she was puttering around, making us wait. I heard her say radiology had thrown her schedule earlier by sending someone up late, so she wasn't going to rush with us), while we were doing that she comes in with a syringe full of sugar water and announces that it helps infants with the pain.

Huh? Um, lady what have you been snorting? I mean, sure, we can try if you think it's best. After all it's just sugar water.

And I was ok with trying, the problem was she didn't warn me she was going to try to give it to Audrey. She just lunged at her while I was talking about it, pinched her little face and tried to ram the syringe down her esophagus.


If you've ever seen us give AJ medicine, which we're pros at because she was on it for 3 months post infection, that's not how it works. If you tell her it's medicine and to open her mouth, she will. Then you squirt it right in the center, she'll flinch and swallow. You don't need to attack her. And I told the nurse as much and took the syringe. I did it myself, it went smoothly all things considered. Except of course my water loving baby thought it was disgusting!

Then onto the actual IV. They decided to bundle her. Fine, it's safer if her other arm is contained. I stayed and the children's development Therapist blew bubbles, which was helpful for a minute, but ultimately all she did was cover my shoulder and my hand with bubbles and spit - thanks for trying :). They took their time getting set and then grabbed the needle and did the poke. They got the line first shot, even though poor baby Audrey was wailing. And then it all started to fall apart.

I have had my fair share of IV's over the years, in fact in the 6 weeks I was in the hospital with Bethany in my early pregnancy I had 12 IV's. So I'm pretty sure I know the procedure works. I've also seen them do IV's on little kids, on my little kid. It's not rocket science, but all about speed and kindness.

These two nurses lacked the same amount of speed and kindness as they lacked brain cells. Once the line was started they didn't connect it right away, or even flush it. They let it bleed, EVERYWHERE. If they hadn't have bundled AJ her clothes would have been ruined. And, as soon as Audrey saw the blood her cries went to fearful screams. Finally they figured that was enough blood, it had pooled between her little fingers, under her nails and all over the bed, so they flushed and attached the line. Then came time for the taping. This IV only needed to be in for 45 minutes, long enough they needed to make sure it was secure, but not so long that it was going to become her perma-accessory. That fact didn't quite sink in, they used what seemed like half a roll of tape, and not one but 2 stabilizer boards. Poor baby, had her hand looking like I had laminated an IV line on it. I'm all for safety, but that was ridiculous. Then they put the tubing cover on and left her all bloody and sobbing, still bundled and decided to chat. I took one look at Audrey, rolled my eyes dramatically at them (it that were a paid skill I'd so be a millionaire) and scooped her up. The could shove the idea of leaving her there a second longer, she was done and so were they.

I was angry then but coping. As the same dingbat nurse walked us down to wait to get our paperwork for downstairs she said, "We have other tricks to make that easier, emla patches for the pain, stuff so that it's not so tough on them. But I didn't have time and figured she'd be fine". Angry isn't quite the word I'd use for the emotions I was flooded with then. I was ready to hit her in fact, not just a little slug in the arm, but a black eye inducing wallop. But, I wanted to stay with Audrey and didn't figure security would let that happen if I dropped a peds nurse so I just lamented "Goosfraba, Goosfraba, GOOSFRAAAABBBBBAAAA!" in my head. (Bad Boys 2, yo!)

I got AJ all calmed down and headed back to the Nuc Med department. She whimpered and showed everyone we walked past her little arm. They did the injection, took the line out, while cursing the peds department on such a messy tape job (they said the 8 month old before her had an IV that looked worse) and told us to wait our 2 hours for the test.

We waited, we ate lunch, we shopped in the gift shop and then the time came. I took her back up, into a room with an MRI machine, that had a special attachment. They needed her on the bed, strapped down for a total of 45 minutes.

Awesome, 45 minutes of sobbing and screaming right? Even though they had a ceiling movie projector I knew she'd hate it. The thing is, she was exhausted. The mornings IV debacle had left her so sleepy I said to the Tech, "If you let me get her to sleep this might not be so bad". No problem. They turned down the lights and shut the door, trying to muffle the screams and wails of two other little kids getting the same scan, and in 5 minutes Audrey belle was out. We carefully laid her down, strapped her on and tucked her in.

She slept through the whole scan, waking only just at the end. It was a prayer answered. She didn't even cry when she woke up, just looked around and I picked her up.

God answered some seriously huge pleas that day. The radiologist said from a quick glance, everything looks good (AMEN!) but the final results will come in 2 weeks at the Pediatrician's appointment. I feel like I've finally taken a real breath, not a deep one though, that will come after the appointment, but we're on the way to a healthy little girl again, and I'm so glad!


Kami's Khlopchyk said...

What an ordeal! I feel for you. When Jack was 18mons and sicker than you can imagine it took 4 of us to hold him down to get an IV in. Jay wanted to hurt all 3 of the nurses.

So glad she slept through the scan at least. Both of you were troopers.

And praying that the preliminary results are also the final results!!

Anonymous said...

Hugs Little Rosebud. Grammy loves you and I am so proud of you. You are growing so beautifully and we are so thankful for your smile and giggle and kisses blown and that the test appears to be good!!! Loving you is so easy little one.
Hugs n'kisses n' prayers

Janice Vandyk said...

wow! i am always amazed sometimes at the lack of compassion of some nurses - while i have had some amazing ones... its the crappy ones that stand out. Sorry your little one had to go through that all...
hopefully in 2 weeks things will be ok and you can put this behind you..

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Audrey and you made it through such a debacle Ashley, and that the test appears good so far. It had to be excrutiating for you to have to watch Audrey be put through such harsh treatment. I can't help thinking that it would be doing many children to come a favour if you and other parents brought the Peds nurse's unacceptable behaviour and treatment of Audrey, to the attention of the head of nursing or the Hospital Administrator.