One would think that a child nearly dying in your arms would be the worst of the story. For us, that was just Day 1. The subsequent week for us, a year ago, was filled with each day more awful and unbelievable than the day before.
Day 2, we were nearly released after what seemed like an exhaustive amount of tests. We just needed ENT to take a look at Blake before we were cleared for discharge. Around 4pm, chaos ensued. ENT’s scope of his problematic vocal chord was enough to put him back into crisis. My family was ushered out of the room, and nearly 20 medical professionals scrambled to figure out how best to respond. It resulted in moving us from a respiratory unit to intensive care. (In hindsight this was a blessing. Had we been sent home, Blake likely would no longer be with us.)
In the PICU a new team of intensivists started their process of discovery. Immediately the EKG showed abnormal results. Then on to getting an ECHO. The picture was not good.
Two days prior we thought we had a healthy kid. One day prior we were close to being released. Day 3 we were being told he is classified as “severe” and near death with a heart/lung condition. He was experiencing heart failure. They would need to begin medical interventions and order a new series of imaging if he were to have a chance. We were given a diagnosis and told not to google it, because outcomes were not good.
Day 4 though, July 7, was a new low. The hospital was encountering scheduling conflicts as they wanted to put him under once and get 4 tests/procedures done concurrently. The attending Dr that day dropped the bomb that anesthesia was the “enemy” to the diagnosis and undergoing the tests were extremely risky. My heart nearly stopped. The reality was he was not going to make it without knowing more about what was going on, but he might not survive the tests to get us that information. Filled with anxiety, we proceeded.
It still brings me to tears to think about the moment he was wheeled away on the gurney. We gave him kisses, told him how much we loved him and walked away in more emotional pain than we had ever felt or thought possible.
Those two hours were the longest of our lives, mostly filled with silence, tears and disbelief. And then it was time to head back to the waiting room for an update.
Our social worker found us first. She said he did great! The nurse who put in his PICC line followed with good news that it went smoothly. The anesthesiologist gave thumbs up. And we got one more confirmation that all was good. It was the first time in hours that I could feel the knots in my stomach loosen.
And then it happened. A code blue was called, and each of the people that had given us positive confirmations were RUNNING back in the direction they came from. Our social worker flew back into our waiting room and said something had happened, he’s not doing well and they would move us to a closer room for quicker updates from the Drs.
This was our 2nd time in this particular room. To me, it was the “bad news” parent conference room. We were emotional disasters and it was intense. Rob was yelling through the walls encouraging Blake to fight for his life; essentially Blake had flatlined. After several updates, he was revived and stabilized, however they were not going to wake him up. For the time being, he would remain “under”, but we would soon be able to join him in his room.
We were led back to the same PICU unit, but it was different. Our baby boy was now intubated, unresponsive, hooked up to machines and more than a dozen lines. The future was uncertain. It would be nearly a month before we would hold him again.
#miraclesdohappen #forblake #forevergrateful