She has been sick since Sunday night with an upper respiratory virus...some version of the crazy enterovirus! We've had a few sleepless nights, but with all the snot and nonstop coughing spells, Mila has been her usual happy, sweet self. Her appetite even dwindled some, but she was still drinking adequately. Side note...Michael and I are psycho about her drinking even when she's 100% well. Since she's nonverbal and doesn't tell us when she's thirsty, we're always shoving drinks at her.
Tuesday night we continued our ritual of saline spray, steamy bathroom, warm bath, and Breathe essential oil on feet and chest. She went to sleep pretty quickly and didn't hear any coughing. I checked on her multiple times and no gurgles of snot. I didn't sleep in her room that night since all was quiet when I went to bed. I got up Wednesday morning around 8 and she was snoozing hard. Felt her head and belly...no temp. 9, 10, and even 11am rolled around. As each hour passed, I thought for sure she would be waking up any minute. I trumped this sleep fest up to her "recovery" phase and knowing she had done this one time before (post virus), I wasn't crazy concerned. At 11:38 (15 hours of sleep) to be exact, I went in to wake Mila up. She slowly aroused. No smile. Eyes open but no eye contact. She didn't seem ready to get up. I hunched over the crib, rubbing her back and playing with her hair while talking out loud about how she had sleep the entire morning away. With almost 10 minutes passing, I thought, I'll leave the room. She always gets upset if I don't pick her up right away and leave the room. I look back after crossing the doorway and she hadn't even noticed I left. Waiting close by, she gradually pulled herself up to a standing position. Her head was wobbly and she was staring off into space. I started to get a tiny knot in my stomach, but convinced myself she is totally fine.
I picked her up from the crib, her body just kind of slumped onto my shoulder. At this point, its feeling awkward. I stayed calm and laid her on the floor to change her diaper. Her little limbs were like limp noodles. Her muscle tone had reverted back to exactly how she was as a baby. Her head is to the side, eyes glazed over. I'm talking to her...raising my tone with each word...talking...talking...and to the point of yelling at her. I swear her blinks were 30 seconds long. At one point she turns to face me, but is looking right through me. As I'm yelling at her to hope for some kind of response, it felt as if she wasn't even there. Mila is the kind of girl who is sensitive to a loud tone whether it is pleasant sounding or not. Tears are falling as I continue to yell at her. Her feet are the coldest I have ever felt. Cold and almost gray. Her capillary refill was delayed. I couldn't find a pulse. Her breathing was not compromised, but her distal circulation was crap. For a split second, I thought maybe I can't feel her pulse in her feet because its been too long since I've assessed someone...or maybe because I'm in panic mode and my trembling won't allow me to feel anything. I knew something was wrong. I immediately thought she had to be dehydrated. What else could it be? I thought for sure she was going to have a seizure right in that moment.
I paged Michael with our first 911 message. I scooped her up and my phone immediately rang. Im hysterical, telling him something is wrong with Mila. I gave him the full story. He's pleading with me to stay calm. "Is she breathing?" Really, that was his first question. I'm kind of giggling as I type this because I definitely would not have called him first, had that been the situation. "Whats her color like?" "Can you feel a pulse?" I'm pacing with my phone on speaker, cradling her, trying to feel for adequate circulation. Obviously, she had blood circulating. Her radial & brachial pulses were fine. He's leaving work as we're speaking. I sit down on the couch with her to try and get her to drink. Still not appropriately responding, she actually was sipping her cup if I left the straw near her mouth. If anything were to change before Michael got home, I would leave with her immediately.
She's slowly sipping. Her feet look like crap. Even in my "calmer" state, her pedal pulses were really faint. I called my friend, Catherine, who is also a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Thank God she answered. Going through the scenario with her and my panic plea, she said I had definite reason to be concerned, but to call Mila's pediatrician to see if they administer fluids. It was perfect timing-insert sarcasm- the office was closed for an hour and a half for lunch! I should apply for a job. I knew there was no way in hell I was waiting that long for her vitals to be taken, and for them to possibly tell us they don't administer IV fluids.
We drove across town to Michael's sister hospital and luckily the ED was pretty empty. That was, until about five minutes after we signed in. I hear the triage nurse say, "We have a TIA, a head bleed, and man vs tree that just walked through the door." They all three literally walked through the door for treatment. I knew at that moment it would be a while for her to be seen. Luckily, she was still willing to drink for us. She had almost 32 oz over a few hour period. Although she was still heavy eyed and groggy, my baby finally looked at me. She really looked at me! Her movements were starting to become voluntary. Despite her efforts to drink and respond more appropriately, we knew she needed fluids we couldn't give her. Our wait didn't continue for too much longer. The nurses got a urine sample without having to cath her (Mila decided to pee a fountain while they were prepping her, and the nurse literally caught some mid stream in the test tube), and they also got a great IV on their first attempt! Hallelujah!
Mila got 500cc's of fluid, had no UTI, and her electrolytes were normal! Praise God! It is amazing how dehydration can affect ones ability to function. A sick Mila is not fun. A Mila who doesn't respond to the one person she doesn't want to be without, is terrifying! Things could've turned even worse in a matter of minutes/hours. Im so glad I didn't let her sleep any longer. In fact, I'll never let her sleep that long ever again! I'm grateful for modern medicine, my motherly instincts, friends who support those instincts, and Michael's calming nature. I hope we never re-live that moment again.