Here I sit Yet Again with Kaety in the Hospital! by Christine

Christine, mom to Kaetlyn, wrote from a Naples hospital room this afternoon:

…it really makes me feel better to share our journey with others. We need to continue let each other know that we are not alone in this special life!… Today we are just letting her rest and regain her strength and such after this ordeal. The Dr cannot yet tell us when she can go home all we know for sure is that she will definitely be here through the night as it is standard protocol to remain hospitalized at least 24 hrs post extubation.

Saturday March 10, 2012

Kaet had been nearing the end of her recovery from the hysterectomy (My Fragile ChildWoman Hit Her Like a Tone of BricksThe Latest on Kaetlyn) and planned to return to school this coming Monday. We had a routine dental checkup schedule yesterday morning along with a follow-up visit with the pediatrician from last weekend’s hospital drama. We left the house with Kaetlyn in GREAT spirits; super happy to be getting in the car and the entire ride to the dentist. I was feeling it was going to be a wonderful day :)…boy was my intuition way off !

We got to the dentist office and still the same the staff all commented on my “dancing” baby girl. I updated the dentist and staff of my own observations; that I believed she was cutting new teeth and had one of her remaining baby teeth that was loose. Upon initial exam of counting the teeth and logging, the Dr confirmed that she still had 3 baby molars and several “partially erupted” adult teeth. He did not however believe any of the baby teeth were loose…

As I held her down, the dentist proceeded to do the cleaning using the mouth clamp to keep her mouth open (totally routine); as he was doing so I noticed that her mouth was bleeding on the top (more than a “usual” gum bleed). I brought it to his attention and he acknowledged he would get to it in a second. By this time Kaet was totally out of control; the Dr found the source of the bleed; the baby tooth I suspected was loose was in fact gone; where had it gone ?; we had not a clue… We ended the exam abruptly as to not keep Kaetlyn stressing. (in the past once we concluded a cleaning, she would immediately calm). The dentist and staff looked all over for that tooth to no avail…we concluded that she probably swallowed it and would end up passing it.

My instinct was to get Kaetlyn out of the office and outside for some fresh air; she would be okay once she was out of there…again my intuition was failing me!

I proceeded to drive down the road to our next appointment Kaet still upset. I was really hoping the movement of the car ride would calm her. It wasn’t until I starting to hear what sounded like a plugged up nasal passage that I started to become a bit concerned. Kaetlyn has a history of swallowing issues in which food goes up and out her nasal passage; could that missing tooth have done the same and be blocking one of her nostrils? I felt pretty comfortable that since we were headed to the pediatricians office we would soon find out.

We arrived at the pediatricians office and were taken right to the room where the Dr was trying to get an idea of what was happening; she kept on relaying her concern that Kaet looked very pale. From my point of view (from the side) I really didn’t see what she was talking about…I was insisting on  her having something stuck in her nose. As the Dr left the room to get an order for an x-ray; I stood up and finally noticed myself what the Dr was talking about in regards to being pale. She was definitely not “right”. When she returned, to the room, the Dr and I debated if we weren’t better off to take her to the ER instead of just an x-ray. Our final conclusion based on our observations was to head straight to the ER. I left the office and started the luckily short drive to the hospital; as I was driving my adrenaline was rising; I was watching Kaet in the rear view mirror- her eyes rolling back in her head, her head drooping; OMG!  she was loosing consciousness on me!  – The Dr called while I was driving to let me know that she called ahead to the ER and they would be expecting us. I expressed my concerns of what I was seeing in the rear-view and she talked me down to remain calm that I need to keep driving. I hung up and kept talking to Kaet to stay with me, we are getting her help.

We arrived at the hospital and I hurriedly got her out of the car, shaking myself, the entire time. I took her in to triage and under the circumstances, they took me straight back and announced we needed a room…At that point it turned into a real life episode of ER – All hands on deck!  – they were all “barking” orders, getting her settled and evaluated…need this med and that med, tubes and syringes, and X-rays and CT scans, call this person and call that person, etc and trying to get information from me here and there; it was a chaotic scene but I had a sense of peace and faith that she was in good hands. In the end, all the tests and scans came back with our answer as to her distress and struggle to breathe. The “missing” tooth had been located finally after creating a 3-D image of her airway…she had aspirated the tooth some time during the course of these events and it was lying in her right lung! – Yes, you read that right, she aspirated a tooth!!!

Kaety's tooth lodged in her lung

Now we were facing surgery to remove the tooth before it caused more damage to her lungs…Once the surgery team was in  place, the were able to get the tooth out through a bronchoscopy procedure (thank GOD; no open chest surgery- that was “worse case scenario” and I was praying to God to spare us that; Prayers answered) she would remain on the ventilator and sedated overnight to allow for steroids to reduce the swelling from all the manipulation of the lung and airways.

Kaet, true to form was a fighter through the night and needed to be heavily sedated. Her X-rays this morning show no residual damage to the airway…as I write this, she is now off the ventilator and slowly waking. This strange journey (in for a routine dental cleaning and ending up in Pediatric ICU) is thankfully coming to an end…another example of how fragile our special children are.

I must give lots of kudos and credit to the wonderful staff at North Naples Community hospital…they do an extraordinary job and I should know, we have now spent 3 weekends in a row here!  Christine

finally resting

2 Responses to Here I sit Yet Again with Kaety in the Hospital! by Christine

  1. Celia (HHL) says:

    Christine, she is an Angel a true blessing to all whose life she touches, be it in person or virtual. Her strength and will power an inspiration. I’m so happy that all is well now, I can’t begin to imagine the terror and helplessness you must have felt.

    Kaety will continue to be in our prayers for a fast recovery from the latest events .. Blessings to you all!! xo HHL

  2. Lea Haven says:

    Hope she recovers quickly. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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