Thursday, February 10, 2011

Saturday, January 31, 2009



I rolled out of bed at 5:45.  I had slept-in 15 minutes.  I was allowed to set the medicine out the night before so that it would be at room temperature in the morning, so no worries there.  I washed up and gathered the equipment on the tray.  Giovanni was usually asleep when I gave him his first meds for the day, so I just let him stay in our bed.  I cleaned the Broviac port.  Then it was time for the saline injection which was always done first to make sure the line was clear.

For the first time ever, the syringe wouldn't budge.  I was confused.  I tried again.  SNAP!

The Broviac line snapped in two.  I was shocked, but somehow sprang into action.  No blood was coming out of the line, but I was worried about infection.  I told Antonio to grasp the line an inch above the break, and to pinch it as tightly as he could.  I didn't know what else could be done while I called the nurse on-call!

The sweet Narnia-fan nurse answered and was calm, "Oh, no.  Emily, I was worried that might happen.  Go get the clamp from the bag and clamp the line.  Then come back on the phone."

When I got back to the phone to assure her that I had the clamp on, she told me to go on to Dell Children's and that she was praying for us.  She kindly told me that the line had weakened due to Giovanni's yanking on it, and that she was so sorry that our family was going through this.  (I will never forget her thoughtfulness in the midst of a crisis, and I hope that I will have the same thoughtfulness towards others when they are suffering.)

I threw a waffle in the toaster.  (I actually wasn't hungry, but my husband wisely told me that I needed to eat something on the way since I had fasted for over twenty-four hours!) I threw on my clothes, while Antonio got Giovanni dressed. I grabbed the waffle on the way to the minivan, and away we went down the highways to Dell Children's Hospital.

When the ER nurse asked me for the medical history she had to flip through the charts to verify what I had said.  She couldn't believe that Giovanni was only in the hospital for six days and that he was never in ICU.  When the ER doctor asked for the history again (doctors and nurses often ask for repeats of info from parents to make sure nothing was left out), he did the same thing, checking through all the records because he couldn't believe our story either. They were in awe!

They drew blood.  They did an xray.  We waited.  I prayed.  I asked for mercy in one breath, then I'd confess that I wanted His will not mine in the next.

Then the doctor popped his head in.  My son's sed rate was 4!  It had dropped 67 points in only five days!  The other number was 0.4!  Both numbers well into normal!  The xray was deemed to have shown "much improvement"!  It was time for another surgery!

The surgeon who took out the Broviac was the partner of the one who had put it in.  It was done smoothly and quickly.  Giovanni didn't need to be in recovery long. We were home by 1 o'clock in the afternoon.

Giovanni had to take an oral antibiotic until Wednesday, February 4.  The Infectious Disease doctor was in a good mood when we saw her for the follow-up after the ER.  She let me know that in all probability it was a strain of pneumo-strep that caused the pneumonia.  His ears had remained infected after two weeks of the IV antibiotics (eventually they cleared up, but it wasn't until the third week of treatment).  Also it was discovered that the pediatrician had missed giving the last dose of Prevnar (which I had assumed he gave because I took my son to every well-appointment for all of his vaccinations).  So the mystery was solved, he had pneumo-strep in his ears which progressed to his lungs.

The numbers and xray were so good that she took Giovanni off of all antibiotics.  She also told me that his white blood cell count indicated seasonal allergies, confirming what doctor's suspected. She therefore recommended that we continue to keep him on Claritin.

He would continue with xrays until May.  May 18, he had his last xray and was given the all clear, a clean bill of health!

We have had a few scares since then, but thankfully nothing came of them, and there were no ER visits or hospital stays.  He hasn't needed any breathing treatments, and the diagnosis from when he was a year old that he had restrictive airway disease is considered a false diagnosis.

By God's mercy and grace, our little guy will celebrate his fourth birthday next month!

Praise be to God!  And thank you for letting me share Giovanni's Story!


© 2009-2015 Emily Woodham

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