A week of anguish… (Frankie’s confinement)

August 31, 2016, was my 3rd day of having a high grade fever a 39.4C to be specific due to a Systemic Viral Illness. Frankie and I were staying at my mom’s house so someone could look after her while I rest in bed.  Late afternoon she was given a bath by Yaya Ida and she told me that Frankie was a bit hot, so I got out of bed to check my chubby bunny, took her temp and it’s a 38.6C. I gave her paracetamol and was thinking that it was just a viral illness since she had those episodes before.  After 45 minutes I checked her temp and it shoot up to a 39.7 Celsius, I immediately assessed if she has rashes on her body but there was none. Then checked her face, and there it was; reddish small flat rashes that envelopes her neck and cheeks. That’s the time I got alarmed and decided to bring her to the hospital. At that time I forgot about myself, I forgot that I was also sick, forgot that I should be nursed too. Because at any given time and circumstance, I am a mother first… always! Luckily my Dad dropped by the house to see how I was doing and I asked him if he can drive us to the Emergency department of one reputable hospital in Ortigas.

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…her rahses was not that visible here but on natural light it was…

Reaching the hospital, all I can do was gulped due to the high volume of patients that I saw. But I had no choice but to push through. Frankie has no energy at all, she is very irritable and she just wanted to be carried and doesn’t even want go with Yaya Ida.  I was nauseated and feeling so weak that time but I just had to gather all the strength that I have physically to be able to go by.

Vitals we’re taken again and she did not improve, all laboratories that needed to be done were drawn (CBC and Urinalysis to be exact) but it even got worse, she vomited here and there. She hadn’t been this weak before, I was alarmed that she might be dehydrated so I kept giving her fluids. After 4 hours of waiting, finally the results were out. “It’s just SVI (Systemic Viral Illness) maam” as uttered by the resident Pedia on duty that time. I asked about the rashes, and they said that that was part of the SVI and soon we will be discharged. At that point where I should be relieved because it was just SVI, I was not! My daughters temperature was rising even though paracetamol were administered and seeing her that weak; going home is not an option for me. So I talked to one of the resident’s and asked if she can be confined. Why? I don’t want to worry and just wait every time I see Frankie vomits or her fever keeps on going up, I want an immediate treatment if something goes wrong, and it would save me from going to and fro to the hospital and No I can’t wait and just do nothing.

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…rising temperature now at 40.3 C.

So we waited another hour before the resident approached us, she told me that viral illness usually has high fever and rashes appears and everything was all normal on her laboratory results, so I should not worry and it will go away in 5-7 days. Again, I requested for more laboratory tests: Dengue test and a chest x-ray for Pneumonia to be exact. I just want everything done, and see to it that there is really nothing wrong with her. Because what the doctors were saying was very contrary to what I feel- yes it was a mother’s instinct!

Hours and hours we waited again and nothing was happening. I took the responsibility to check on Frankie’s temperature and administer paracetamol every 4 hours where it should be the nurses’ duty but I understood since there are a lot of patients.  My mother and sister came and mom took Frankie and carried her and asked me to rest for a bit. She asked me about the progress, and I told her what had transpired. Thanks to my mom who brought out the fire-spitting dragon in her (when needed), because through her the doctors and nurses were alarmed again on our situation. Her exact words were: “Pag may nangyari sa apo ko idedemanda ko kayo lahat! Hindi nyo man lang pahigain yung bata ang taas taas ng lagnat!” and yes it was heard all over the emergency department.  We were just sitting for almost 10 hours that time, until one of the nurses approached us and told us that there is an available bed and we are queued for admission. The thing is, there is no available room yet and we we’re #17 in line. We have no choice but to wait, my mom left after several hours since she has work the next day, Yanie (my sister) was the one left with us. She was the one who look after Frankie overnight since I had to rest too.

The next morning, Frankie’s Pedia took rounds and went to see her. She told me that the Dengue and Pneumonia results were both POSITIVE! L So, I was correct there was something wrong with her. My instinct and God guided me well on this. After which I prayed to God, thanked him for guiding me to make that decision. Imagine if I followed the doctors’ advice to go home because it was just viral? What could have happen to Frankie? Her condition must have gotten worse if we did.

When we were transferred to a room, she was inserted an IVF for the first time. Brave little girl did not cry, or maybe she was just too weak to do so.  She was given anti biotics and was monitored well, though she did not have an appetite to eat. Third day of confinement came, where she started being irritable and kept on crying. Good thing my mom was there again, she carried her, hushes her to sleep, massaged her whole body which includes her abdomen cause we were thinking that she might have colic, still we weren’t successful for making her at ease. We called the nurse to report this to the attending physician on duty but to our dismay it took them hours to be able to check up on Frankie. Physician came and assessed her and asked us questions, in the end they cannot prescribe any medication for Frankie because they said that her manifestations are normal. I told the physician that stomach aches are one of the common symptoms of dengue fever and if we can do something about it, but to my dismay he just replied “we cannot give any medication as of now, let’s just observe her”.  Mother’s would agree on me in this one, I cannot just lay here be comfortable while seeing your kid suffer in discomfort right? So I called our family doctor and asked for an advice on what to do. He prescribed Frankie a medication (anti spasmodic/ anti cholinergic), after administering this to her thanked God that she was relieved and fell asleep.  The resident physician came back after some minutes to check on Frankie and I told him that I have given her the anti-spasmodic medication and he said that he is not familiar with that medication and even asked me what that is for? Now seriously?!? (Insert face palm!). Later that evening her Pedia came and I narrated what had happened to Frankie earlier and she prescribed her Ranitidine (it blocks the production of acid in the stomach). So imagine if I waited for her Pedia to come and just let Frankie be in agony, well in fact doctors can prescribe medications for the comfort of their patients.  Midnight that day, the nurse came in to give Frankie her due antibiotics through IV, while giving it to her she was crying (so that would be normal since most anti biotics are painful due to their heavy and thick consistency). After administering the medication, she cried loudly and I wondered why. So I opened the diaper that was wrapped around her left hand where the IV site is, and there I saw that it was already “bulged”.  (Again insert face palm!!!) Can’t they check if the IV line is patent before giving medications?  So Frankie’s IV line was then transferred to her foot by the attending Physician.

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…she vomitted with blood 😦 

4th day of confinement- (The most heart breaking and nerve wrecking day for us both) Frankie’s condition was not improving. Her platelets are going down and hematocrit is a bit above the normal range now. She still has fever, and vomits from time to time. Today she vomited cured milk with blood and boy it did scare the hell out of me. Seriously, I can take it when I see blood vomits from patients but not with my own daughter, but again I have no choice but to stay strong.  I know that the following days would be the critical stage for Dengue (4-6 days) since this is the time that the platelet will decrease. The attending physician took his rounds again and told me that once her fever is done everything will be on normal range. And I was like huh?! So I told him what I know about the critical stage of dengue and from what I have experience in the clinical setting but he said it otherwise. So never mind! I won’t waste my time and energy battling up with his theory over what I know… end point; he is the doctor.  Later that evening Frankie’s Pedia came and discussed with me her present condition and what could be expected. She is now on every 6 hours platelet monitoring, meaning they will draw blood every 6 hours now compared to the other days which is just once. Vital sign monitored every 2 hours now, and if her condition does not improve she will be transferred to the ICU for a close monitoring.  “Okay, breaths in and out digest everything Aeycee and stay  calm. Everything will be okay”.  I don’t wanna panic or anything, at that moment I prayed to God that I trust him on this one and I know deep within me that everything will be okay.  Midnight came and Frankie’s IV was out again (same scenario as last night, they did not check the patency of the IV line before giving the medications to her again). She was crying and crying, that’s the time I told the nurse in a calm way to please check her IV site first before administering  any medications because I tell you, it’s painful (like a knife that cuts your skin open).

The nurse called the pedia resident on duty and after some minutes she came. She entered the room, went straight to Frankie and took a look on her swelled foot. With no whatsoever introduction like “Hey I’m the pedia doctor on duty tonight” or “I will be inserting another line for us to be able to continue the medications, etc”. NONE! So I was just looking at her, keenly observing what she was doing. She took a while in checking which vein would be the perfect candidate for the insertion, though she has a vein scanner with her still it took her a while. Guess how many times she attempted inserting an IV line to Frankie? 5 times! 5 times!!!!  Her last one was even through-and-through (inserted through the skin and the needle went out on a paralleled skin) imagine how painful that can be. I just want to kick her and slap her for doing that but I need to understand that it’s important for an IV line to be secured. After the unsuccessful attempts she left and said she would return in a while. When she returned, she was now accompanied by another physician. They we’re brainstorming where to which vein to insert and IV to Frankie and here goes their conversation (in front of me and my sister).

Doctor 1: “hhmmm pwede dito and dito kaso mas stable siguro ito…”

Doctor 2: “sige ako dun sa isa, ikaw dito (while giggling at each other subtly).”

When they tried to insert Frankie’s IV to her foot, she was crying on top of her lungs then she shouted “Nanay”… “Dada” that’s the time when I want to break down and cry because I can see how painful that is for her. My sister was in tears too, but I do not have a choice but to be strong that time. If only I can take away every inch of the pain/ discomfort she is feeling even if I too was unwell, I would in a heartbeat.  We’re they successful? NO! Another resident came in and did it successfully much passionate compared to the two.

Coming days, Frankie got better. Her fever was gone, her platelet did not decreased to the critical stage where blood transfusion would be required, and her Penumonia was resolved too. She was now active, like nothing had happened.  We were discharged on the 6th day with home medications to continue to god be the glory that everything turned out well. 🙂

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…getting better 🙂
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…we missed that smile, finally 🙂

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…IV free and ready to go home 🙂

Realizations:

  • You don’t always have to agree what the physician says, sometimes you have to be the own doctor of your child. You know your child more than anyone else in this world. So if you know that something is wrong, trust your instinct. It’s never wrong to ask, remember prevention is always better than cure.
  • To the resident doctors, please be compassionate enough to your patients and their family. Please be cautious enough of your words and actions especially when you’re in front of the patient and the family members. Books and knowledge aren’t always enough to get you to be a successful doctor, it’s having a genuine heart that cares.
  • Family is Family, you can always count on them no matter when, what, and how the circumstances are.
  • Always pray and ask the lord for guidance. All this time I always ask his guidance and to bless me with more strength, physically and strength of heart. It is never easy seeing the love of your life suffer, if only you can take away all the pain you would.
  • It is never wrong to ask and observe on what and how they do procedures to your child. Make a research on how properly things must be done specially if you are not familiar with it.

***I would again like to extend my gratitude to the following:

Nurses: thank you for extending your care to my daughter, you have a noble job.

Frankie’s Pedia & Family Doctor– thank you for always calming me, updating me and making sure Frankie gets the best treatment.

for our families: for extending your prayers and concern for Frankie, for visiting her, i truly appreciate everything.

to Francis– even though he is tired from work, he still manages to come by the hospital and spend the night with us. I know he is more anxious than I am if something was wrong with Frankie.

Special thanks to my mom, yaya and Yanie- for being there and spending some nights with us, and never left me alone while Francis is at work. Words arent enough how thankful I am that you guys were there. 🙂

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