Sunday, 29th of May- Ricki had been coughing for several days, but with no high temperatures. Yet, knowing that she had once (as a baby) had pneumonia with low fever, I took her to the doctor, just to be sure that nothing was “cooking”. The doctor heard nothing in her chest and saw nothing in her throat, and I returned home assured that it was just another one of her innumerable colds.
Wednesday, June 1st:
Ricki was still coughing, but more than that was not DOING anything. She would sit up sleeping (or half-sleeping) day and night. The doctor quickly sent me to the health fund to get a chest x-ray and blood saturation (“O2 sat” from here on) level. The O2 sat was 73, so we went dashing to the local hospital. They started intravenous antibiotics and an oxygen mask. At one point that evening (when her oxygen was removed for a few minutes) the O2 sat even hit a low of 60!
Thursday, June 2:
The local hospital noticed that there was fluid in Ricki’s lungs, so they sent us to a bigger hospital (Schneider), as it was evident that she would need a drainage tube. We arrived in the afternoon, and a drain was inserted, releasing a HALF LITER of fluid from her lungs. The whole night I was awake, fighting with Ricki not to remove her oxygen mask.
Early in the morning, Ricki’s drain somehow got pulled out (Ricki DID NOT do this), and we went running to ICU (me dialing on my cell phone in panic to family members, saying just “PRAY!!!!”), fearing a pulmonary collapse. However, thank G-d, no air had entered the pleural space. In ICU they decided that Ricki’s lung were not strong enough to take her fighting the oxygen, and they intubated and sedated her.
Ricki’s pupils were reacting strangely to light, and were not the same size. Although, 98% sure that this was due to her sedation, the minute possibility of intracranial bleeding sits heavy on my thoughts.
Sunday, June 5th
Her pupils are reacting better, but her kidney function i9s not 100%. I am half-reassured by the staff who say that this happens often with long-term sedation, but nevertheless, a mother ALWAYS fears even the unlikely alternative explanations….
After large doses of Fusid (a diuretic), her kidney output is OK, but now the meds are making her blood pressure vacillate between 60/40 to over 200/ whatever. I feel that my daughter’s whole body is simply crashing down and I fight back the tears of my fears. However, the daily x-ray FINALLY shows a miniscule improvement.
Tuesday (date of my last update of the blog)
They insert an IV into her neck, as her arm IV is not flowing so well. They have to X-ray for this afterwards, so as she gets her third x-ray in 24 hours, I quip to the technician “Soon she’s going to be a ‘Glow-in-the-Dark’!” Only inside I am not laughing……
Ricki’s x-rays are slightly better, but her O2 sats are still (especially for someone getting oxygen non-stop) pretty low, around 90.
Her doctors are still worried about her kidneys, and in addition wonder if some heart condition has not arisen (and been the cause of all this…). Ultrasounds of the heart and of the kidneys are done, but both come back normal, thank G-d. I take a photograph of Ricki under sedation, so that when we DO get out of here, I can make a book for Ricki explaining where the last two weeks went to…..
Yesterday (SAT. June 11)
Ricki LOOKS better, and her O2 sat (when receiving oxygen) are a lovely 97-98. However, the x-rays show minimal improvement. General staff consensus is that she WILL beat this, but that we are in for a long haul…..
Today: Thanks to you all for your prayers and good wishes.....