Yesterday we got home from church and the kids were finishing up their lunch. I picked up K, and as I was wiping her mouth, I noticed that her lips were blue. Then I looked at her hands, and her fingers felt cold and were blue as well. I turned to Ed, "K's lips are blue-- we may need to take her to the ER!" She didn't seem to be in any particular distress, but she has had a cold and is being treated for an ear infection. Also, the past few days she has had a fever of 102. So I went to get her changed out of her church clothes and noticed that her toes were blue as well. I called the urgent care line, and talked to a nurse. She asked me a series of questions, "Is she breathing ok, or is she wheezing?"
"Um, I don't know. I mean, she has had a cold, and she is congested, but she doesn't seem to be wheezing, particularly"
"Is she sucking in air, is her belly moving in and out, can you see her ribs between breaths?"
"No, I don't think so."
"Let me listen." I put the phone to K's mouth and she did a few raspy breaths into it. When I came back on, the nurse said,"She's wheezing."
At this point K's lips and hands were still blue, so we took her temperature, which came back perfectly normal, not under. But the nurse was concerned, so we bundled everyone up and left for the hospital. On the way, we dropped N off at a friend's house, where E already was on a playdate.
When we arrived at the ER we were taken back to the triage area where they took K's pulse-ox, which was normal, at 100%. It was at this point that I breathed a sigh of relief, and felt that she was probably OK, and maybe had just been cold. Her lips were a rosy pink again, and she was blowing kisses to us as we got her undressed. Her temperature was rising though, and it was now 99.3. I had given her motrin at 7 am for a 101 temp,so by this time (1:30 pm) it had worn off.
Nevertheless, we were now in it for the long haul. We got a room, they kept her hooked up to the pulse-ox, and we kept answering the same questions over and over, and different nurses and doctors came in. Poor K, she was getting warmer as time passed, as well as more tired since we were way past her normal nap time. Ed and I took turns holding her and she would lie in our arms, occasionally letting out a cry before sucking her thumb. We got her to sleep a couple of times, but she was still very uncomfortable and slept fitfully.
Around 2:30 I left to get lunch and as I walked back to the room I could hear her crying. She was just finishing the RSV test in which they put a tube down the baby's nose into her lungs to get a sample of mucus. They gave her a dose of tylenol since her fever was now up to 102, and I settled down on the bed with her to try to nurse her to sleep. Ed left to get something to eat and I was left alone with K. She pressed up against me and nursed for the next 45 minutes as she slept.
After Ed came back he immediately left to pick up the kids and take them home, to wait for my call. K went for her chest x ray, to rule out pneumonia, and then we came back to wait for the results. K was feeling a lot better, as her fever had gone down. Instead of bright red cheeks, they were a healthy pink. Her eyes were bright, and she was in a great mood. Not looking at all sick. She ate her dinner- some baby food that the nurse kindly got for us. And then, to pass the time, we played on the bed with every single thing in the diaper bag. Spoons banging on the wipe container to the tune of "Skinny Marinky Dinky Dink", water bottle sucked on and shaken, empty food containers were knocked over like blocks, and put on my head for her to knock off- to her delighted giggles. Finally, around 6:15 the doctor came in to say the tests were all negative, she was free to go home. We were very thankful for this news, but still a part of me felt a little foolish for bringing her in. We had wasted an entire Sunday afternoon, put our sick baby through unneccesary medical procedures and all she had needed was a sweatshirt and some tylenol.