I'm Traumatized by my son's hospital stay - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 10-04-2005, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there..
I've only posted a few times but have been encouraged by some of the advice that I received...so here I am again...

On Sunday around 5pm my ds (nine months old) started to look rather unwell. He was also making some strange "grunting" sounds - as though he was feeling pain or trying to clear a passage way. We thought he might be experience some hard gas since I had given him some new cereal in the morning as well as some toast. So, we gave him some gripe water around 6pm. This didn't settle him down so we decided to take him to emerg.

I won't go on about my frustrations due to the wait except to say I really wish the staff had the time to be compassionate towards a crying baby sitting in the waiting room for nearly an hour. Once we finally went inside we continued to wait for someone to see us. On occasion my ds was hysterical - crying and in obvious discomfort. My heart was breaking as I held him and we both cried. We are not from the "cio" school of thought and can't stand to see our son cry!

Finally a doc came and there are troubles began. They ordered x-rays not once, but on two different occasions he had to endure what was to him "torture" - and to me as well. I felt overwhelmed. I know the staff are well trained but I wish they would have taken a few minutes extra to allow for a "nicer" experience rather than whipping him around in the name of "it doesn't hurt him, let's go as fast as we can." (Don't get me wrong - the staff were kind but I would have done things differently.)

Watching my son standing suspended in this clear plastic tube, strapped in with his arms above his head screaming his head off just ripped my heart out...two days later it's an image that still brings tears to my eyes!

Well, to make a long story shorter, he continued to look uncomfortable although seemed to settle for periods of time throughout the evening. They gave him a "ventilin" mask for ashmatic patients thinking that it might be ashma...holding him down he screamed through that too...they decided to keep him over night..the grunting stopped while he slept. But still they decided in the morning to pin him down and give him another mask as well as a dose of another medicine for ashmatic patients - which he threw up. An ultrasound and blood test later showed up nothing.

In the afternoon he returned to his normal self and the doc put it up to something that must have passed since all the tests came back normal. She let us go home last night.

Through all of that story I have two things...

1. How does a mother live with seeing her child in those situations. They say that he has already forgotton about it but, for some reason, I feel that he still remembers those horrible things. I know I do...and my heart just aches, and I feel a lost joy!

2. I don't know what could have been wrong with him. But now I'm afraid to take my eyes off him..could he have eaten something? Did I leave a bottle out too long? Have I given him something that made him sick? Is it something that I could have avoided? I have no idea...

THey did decide that it wasn't respiratory but perhaps a bad belly. Am I a bad mother to just let it go since the results came back normal..I couldn't bare to insist more tests..he seems well this morning...going about the house like he normally does.

Sorry about the long post...but thanks for listening...and the input!
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#2 of 5 Old 10-04-2005, 01:34 PM
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I am so sorry that happened to your family. I can relate a little bit because my dd was only 4.5 weeks old and got RSV and ended up in the hospital for 5 days. She is now 3.5 years old and has severe asthma and has been to the hospital many times. We have had to do the mask and the horrible oral asthma meds that can cause vomiting (I am guessing it was an oral steroid). It is really difficult to see your child go through this - worse to have to take them home and continue the treatments yourself.

I am definitely NOT saying you should have done anything differently at all, but I know for myself it is VERY hard to know when to try to advocate for your child for the medical staff to do something different, or advocate to skip a test, when you are so scared about what could be going on with your baby. I have learned to be a little better at this just because I have taken her to the hospital so many times. But still I often end up wondering if things could have gone better if I had done something differently while there. The thing is, we are consumers of the health care industry, but really don't know about what we need. And when it is an emergency situation, there isn't much time for us to demand they educate us on the tests and treatments, risks and benefits.

When mine was just 4.5 weeks old they kept wanting to do an RSV test on her which involved putting something down her nose. I kept declining, because they said her treatment really wouldn't change - it is a virus, not much they can do. I know they just wanted it for their stats. Well they finally talked me into it, her nose started bleeding, I as a new mom freaked out, my husband overheard the nurses talking about me in the hallway about how I over reacted, and nothing changed for my dd even after they confirmed the RSV diagnosis!

She has a great specialist now who has told us to take her to our local Children's hospital when she needs to go to the ER. We had just been taking her to the closest hospital. Luckily, she hasn't had to go back in since we have had this doctor, but I imagine the Children's hospital will do the best with her. If you have a Children's hospital in your area you may want to try that next time.

I wish you peace and continued good health for your little one!

Rockin' mama to Allison (9), Asher (5) and Alethea (3), head over heels in love with my sexy husband, Tony.

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#3 of 5 Old 10-04-2005, 01:35 PM
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Hey there, fellow Canadian here. My son was very ill after birth, I mean NICU, coma, I watched them give him a spinal tap... you name it, my kid got it. In the 8 months since then, I've come to terms w/ a few things.
1) How awesome that we even have hospitals to care for our sick kids. The Stollery here is a fantastic hospital, and I'm so grateful my son received world-class care. And it was free.
2) I'm way more content that I was there for him, whether he remembers any of it, or not. I couldn't handle it if he had to go through all of that alone. And your son likely won't remember. We moms, however, don't forget and I still cry when I think of it.

You're not a bad mom, a sick child is nerve-wracking to say the least. Sometimes medical care is unpleasant, but he had mommy there for him and you did your best. Just love you little one extra for the next while, and yourself,too.
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#4 of 5 Old 10-04-2005, 02:06 PM
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Jazmyn You are SOOOO not a terrible mother! Never say that!

Like the pp, my ds was in NICU beginning the day that we were to be discharged from the hospital. Though it wasn't to the extent of pp's situation.

I woke in the middle of the night to ds on his side with a foamy substance coming from his mouth. Within seconds of my going to the bassinette and aspirating him, I picked him up and he went from a healthy pink to blue in my hands. It is still a vivid picture in my mind that makes my stomach churn into knots and makes me cry (you should see me right now). I spent 4 hours in my room crying and praying, praying and crying that my sweet boy was ok. I'm so thankful that the post-partum nurse on duty was so wonderful in just giving me hugs, words of encouragement and best of all-went back and forth to NICU for me to get updates.

My poor son was poked and prodded for nearly 2 weeks until we found out he had reflux and PDA. His poor feet were spotted with needlemarks, he was hooked up to all kinds of machines and monitors (he also had apnea), but thankfully was the healthiest child in the room.

When it comes to your child, anything you do IMO is completely ok. I flipped out this morning because ds has been a little stuffy, and this morning he was having additional breathing difficulty when on his back so I immediately took him into the pediatrician. Turns out he has an upper respiratory infection which is hitting it's peak. He has to be clear of this infection because his PDA surgery is in 2 weeks. I'm happy that our ped and the nurses are so wonderful and accomodating, especially in our circumstances. I wish that all care givers could be that way, but we unfortunately can't count on that at all.

I am SO sorry that your experience was so terrible. Never second guess your gut instincts, and certainly don't worry about what the hospital employees think about you or what you ask. If their child was in the same situation, they would do the same thing, I'm sure. If you want additional testing done to make sure that your dc is ok, go ahead and do it. Don't let anyone discourage you or talk you out of it. YOU are the parent, not them. They don't have to worry about your child, they won't spend the sleepless nights ready to pounce at the first odd sound. That's what not only makes you a mother, but a phenominal one at that.
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#5 of 5 Old 10-04-2005, 02:19 PM
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I've been there. It is so hard.
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