We do dates every weekn, usually on Friday. We had a date planned this Friday, and it was just one of those days where nothing was going right.
I planned on getting a lot done before our date, but that afternoon Oscar had a choking episode for several minutes. He'd breath for a second or two, then start choking again. This went on and off for about 5 or so minutes.
I've never been so close to calling an ambulance before, but luckily, he stopped and seemd fine afterwards. My friend came over op check on him also, after I called her all frantic and worried. By the time she even got here he calmed down, and was back to his normal happy self. He nursed well, and napped well, and I just chalked it up to him choking on spit up or a little fuzz ball or something.
That threw my evening off, because I wasn't ready for my date when JD got home from work, and we needed to meet up with our sitter downtown, and drop Oscar off at a friends house. We also forgot our cell phone, and just about missed meeting up with our sitter.
We never leave him while we go out, but we thought we'd give it a try, and I thought it'd be a nice break for JD and I.
We went to a restaurant that I had picked out, that I knew JD had been wanting to go to. Once we got there, we were dissapointed to find out that the "hot pots" which we were going to order, needed 4-hr notice now, unlike the last time we had gone, years earlier.
We decided to leave that restaurant and head to another one. We picked out our food and ordered. As the waitress was walking away we got a phone call. It was the mother of the family that was watching him, and she was in a frenzy because Oscar had been choking for her also, and she had to tip him upside down and rub his back...it sounded exactly like what had happened to me earlier.
We drove to her house as quickly as possible, hoping that he would have stopped choking, and that they wouldn't have needed to call an ambulance. Luckily, he was calmed down and happy as a clam when we showed up.
We drove him straight to the hospital. I sat in the ER waiting room, and he made a few pre-choking sounds, but never fully started abn episode again.
We got our food to go, and so we ate in the waiting room. Oscar seemd totally fine by this time, just really happy and chatty.
We got in to see a doctor, who ordered some x-rays. These were pretty tricky, because they had to strap him in this little contraption to x-ray his chest. He screamed a lot at that one, poor guy.
This isn't him, but I found a picture of the contraption:
We waited again for the doctor to look at our x-rays. It showed that his epiglottis was inflamed, which could be from epiglottitis, swelling from his acid reflux, or irritation from something he may have swallowed. No foreign object showed up in the x-ray, however plastic objects would not show up on it anyways.
The doctor ordered another picture of his epliglottis, just to double check, and it showed the same thing.
Between this, my version of his choking episodes, and the pre-choking sounds he was continuing to make at the hospital, the doctor worried that there was more going on.
He did say that he felt like Oscar was probably fine, but that there was no way to tell without further tests, and he was worried enough about it that he felt more tests should be ordered.
This is where it got tricky though. He wanted a scope to check out his epliglottis. Normally these are done easily in the ER, but due to his age, they needed to sedate him.
The Dr. was hoping that we'd be able to drift him to sleep for just a minute or two, do the scope, and then quickly wake him up again.
The anesthesiologist didn't feel comfortable doing this on his own, which is what my doctor had wanted. He would have done it if Oscar was 1 yr or older, but didn't want to do it on an infant. Our next plan was to get an ENT in there with him to do the scope. There is only one ENT in southern alberta. She wasn't on call, and was on holidays for a couple of weeks, so this wasn't an option.
The doctor really felt more comfortable doing the scope, and didn't feel like we should be sent home without one. He called an ENT in Calgary, and they felt the same way.
So, we needed to get up there to the Calgary Childrens hospital. Our doctor wanted it done as soon as possible, and was worried about him being driven by us or in an ambulance, in case he had another episode.
They arranged for a Pediatric NICU unit to fly down from calgary and take him back there in a small airplane, similar to STARS called Fixed WINGS.
JD and I were told that we could both fit on the plane, but we needed a way to get back, so he left right away so that he could meet us at the hospital.
By now we had been at the hospital from around 7:00 or so, until 12:30. JD grabbed some supplies and left right away.
Oscar got put on IV antibiotics, in case there was some sort of infection in his throat. This was traumatizing, as it took several attempts for them to get it in. They pushed and twisted, and looked for new veins...and eventually were able to get one in. He screamed the entire time, and I was a mess also, as I know how painful IVs are.
I nursed him while we waited for te team to arrive, and was instructed to stope nursing him just before midnight, so he would have an empty stomach for him to be sedated.
We waited a few hours, and they showed up sometime around 2. I signed some papers, and Oscar chatted happily. They probably don't transport such calm and happy babies on a regular basis.
As we chatted they told me that there was absolutely no way to take me on the plane with them. There wasn't any extra seats, because it was such a small plane.
I was devestated because JD had already left, and left me with the cell phone, so I had no way of getting ahold of him.
The nurses and doctors in the ER felt awful, because they had all thought that I would be able to go with him.
They paid for a taxi ride for me to get home, and I got home shortly after 2.Or babysitter for the other boys had offered to stay the night. He was sleeping and had the front and back door locked, so it took eme w lot of calling his cell and knocking on windows to wake him up and let me in. I grabbed my things and quickly left in the car.
It was really difficult driving, just because it was so long and I was so tired. Thankfully I made it in pretty good time, and didn't crash! ha ha
I arrived at the hospital sometime around 4:30 or 5:00. Luckily JD had gotten there before Oscar arrived, so Oscar didn't have to spend a lot of time without one of us.
While we waited for the ENT to come by, which we were told would be around 8, we weren't aloud to feed him at all. I typically don't get even 3 hours through the night without him nursing, so he was not happy about being so hungry. We took turns rocking him while he half-cried and half-slept.
I was able to pump while I was there also, which was nice.
We were in an ER room the whole time also, so it wasn't super comfortable.
At around 9 the ENT showed up and ordered more x-rays in that contraption, and an extra x-ray where they push on his diaphragm to knock the wind out of him beforehand.
They were awful, and I was just a mess by this point. I hadn't slept at all, and I was SO over starving my poor child.
This ENT was also comfortable with doing a scope while he was awake. So he did that also. He said that the espohagus looked clear and the epiglottis looked fine, just slightly red, probably from his reflux. He said that most reglaur doctors wouldn\t know what to look for in an epliglottis x-ray, but apparently the x-ray was pretty normal for a child his age (side note: they seriously need to get more digitized in the medical arena...if doctors could just get x-rays on ipads, we probably wouldn't have ended up in Calgary to begin with).
We thought after that we'd be free and clear, but our ENT was just a resident, and had to wait a few hours for the attending to come and see for himself. So, 2 more scopes and 2 hours later, we were finally cleared.
We still don't know what caused his episodes, or if it was just some object that he passed throughout his choking. The doctors felt quite certain that he was clear, but that they wouldn't know for sure without putting him under and checking his lungs. They didn't want to do that, because its full surgery, and they didn't want to risk putting him under, when they felt confident with their diagnosis. They said to watch out for either a fever or pneumonia, as that could be from some foreign object that they missed in his lungs.
We were happy to hear this as we just wanted to be at home, and over with this horrible night (p.s. parking is super pricey up there!).
Finally, after 12 hours, I got to feed my starving, crying, cranky baby....I felt SO bad not being able to all night. Every time he saw me even sit down in a chair, or hold him, he'd start getting happy thinking that I was going to feed him, and then freak out when he found out I wasn't. It was horrible.
Luckily, Matt and Katie were up in Calgary on there was down here, so they drove one of our vehicles, and JD and I took turns driving the van with Oscar, because we still hadn't slept.
Now that were home, he hasn't choked again, and hasn't been making the pre-choking noises much either.
He does seem to have contracted a cold of some sort, he's just really sneezy, cough-y and mucous-y. Were hoping that its just from teething, or maybe irritation from the scopes that he had of his throat, but who knows. Were just keeping a really good eye on him, and are super glad that we were able to come home so easily, and that nothing worse happened.
I feel awful for all those families that are stuck in the hospital over Christmas, so sad:( I have a greater appreciation of how scary it is to have things happen to your children...maybe, I won't have any more kids?! ha ha...
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers...and especially to our awesome babysitter and his amazing family, who was SO helpful throughout this whole ordeal.
OH, and Merry Christmas!! :)
Here's some photos from the night: