Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hannah's Hospital Experience

My next blog post, I had planned to upload Christmas Pictures and tell all about what we did. But, due to new developments, that will come tomorrow.

For starters, our family spent Christmas sick. Not one person, but all 7 of us ended up with a cold and cough. Yes, one started it, then later in the day, the next person also had it, and then the next day, and so on and so forth. I remember asking how many days Spencer or Hannah had their headaches to know how long until my headache would go away.

Anyway, Saturday Emma woke up pretty sick. Gardner and I debated on whether I should take her in to see a doctor. Being the weekend, there is no doctor, but I would have to take her to Urgent Care. I opted to just wait it out.

Sunday Morning, Hannah seemed to be sicker than before. Gardner also mentioned that perhaps I should take her in to Urgent Care. I also opted to wait it out. But after hearing Hannah cough and watch her panic in her face, I agreed to take her in.

Her cough was barky and it reminded me of croup. She would cough and have a hard time getting air. She actually asked at one point for me to take her in.

So, I showered and went in early. I knew it didn't open until 10am, but got there at 9:30 and waited the half hour. We were the second person there and just talked while we waited.

Finally, we were called in. She listened to Hannah and decided to she needed a suppository. Then she proceeded to ask me to give it to Hannah while she checked on another child. Oh the joys of being a mom. But Hannah preferred me doing that to her than the Doctor. The doctor came back in and Hannah started one of her coughing fits. And the doctor got the panic look in her face and eyes. She grabbed her window and opened it and asked me to stand with Hannah at the Window. Germany has the windows that really open. No Screen. So our heads were out the 2nd floor window.

Then she told me that Hannah needed to go in the Ambulance. I was thinking that was interesting since the Hospital was right next door. But, ok. So the peramedics come and carry Hannah out to the Ambulance. Hannah sat on my lap in the ambulance. It was better for her to sit than to lay, for her to get air, and they also had the top of the ambulance open so fresh cold air could come in.

After a bit of driving I finally asked which hospital we were going to, as it wasn't just next door. We ended up going to a hospital 20 minutes away that had a Kids Clinic to the hospital.

After we arrived, she was examined by the doctor in the ER. She got an IV in her arm. She was a trooper. She didn't flinch or cry a bit. She also took 6 bottles of blood. We went to get Chest Xrays to make sure she didn't have Pneumonia (which she didn't) . Then went through the maze on our own trying to find the Kids Section of the hospital. All I knew is I was looking for something called K5. I asked and asked, and really, a lot of the staff didn't really know where K5 was.

We finally got there and she was weighed, measured and got her first breathing treatment. After that, they showed us to our room. We were in a room with this 18 month old baby.

We got a bit settled and I called Gardner and told him he had to try to get the van from where I left it. Problem was, it was in underground parking and I had the ticket to get the van out. Those not familiar with Germany will wonder why I didn't just leave the ticket in the van. In Germany, most places to pay for such parking is in a building or further away from the parking lot where the car is. And some places, you need the parking ticket to get into the parking garage where your car is. So you always take it with you.

Gardner was able to get the van out. He used the call button at the parking garage and explained the situation and they let him have it.

He then came to the hospital and stayed with Hannah while I ran home. I gathered some stuff together for Hannah to be entertained and clothes for us as well. I also called the Beckers from our church, and they came and stayed with the kids a bit.

I got back to the hospital Sunday afternoon and stayed there until they released Hannah Tuesday Morning. It was nice because they have 4 beds in a room. Two for Kids and two for Adults.

Hannah's days consisted of Sleeping, Breathing Treatments, Videos on our Personal DVD player (there was no tv in the rooms), Nintendo DS and doing Math Homework from school. She was hooked up on saline through her IV the whole time. Plus 30 hours were spent with her finger taped up to the machine that tells you what your oxygen level is. She really couldn't go anywhere. She was confined to her bed. And we had to ask for her to have a few moments of freedom just to go to the bathroom.

By Monday night after she no longer had to have the oxygen level machine on her finger, she was getting restless and wanted to go home. She started getting giddy, laughing and kept wanting to try handstands on her bed.

When the doctor came in this morning and was talking to me, he was telling me that it is really rare to see a child of Hannah's age have croup and as bad as she had it. Most family will remember that this isn't the first time Hannah has been hospitalized for this. And that worried him a bit more hearing that. He said that chances are that she would get it again and they gave me something to help out incase that happens. And if that didn't help, she would need to come back again because she will need the breathing treatments. We are hoping it doesn't come to that again.

A few things about our stay: The 18 month baby that we shared a room with. Her mom did not stay the night with her. And she cried a lot. Seriously, every hour she started crying for 10 minutes. It made a very long night. The mom didn't come back for her until after noon the next day, and she was released. Hannah and I really enjoyed the second night where it was just the two of us. It was quiet and we slept so good. The other thing I told Hannah she would appreciate her regular roommates of Shantal and Emma more. And she agreed.

I also have never been kicked out of a Hospital before. And I so felt kicked out. lol After the doctor came in and told us we were released, the nurse asked me right then and there to get our stuff and get out of the room so they could clean it. We were out within 5 minutes. We had to wait in the Lobby for over an hour for Gardner to arrive to pick us up.

I asked Hannah a few questions about her Hospital stay and these were the questions with her responses.

Me: What was the best thing about being in the hospital?
Hannah: Riding in the Ambulance, except the lights were not flashing and didn’t make noise.

Me: What was the worst thing about being in the hospital?
Hannah: Getting the IV

Me: What was the scariest thing about being in the hospital?
Hannah: Getting the suppository

Me: What was the most fun thing about being in the hospital?
Hannah: Breakfast in bed.


Kathy said...

What a nightmare for a parent. So glad things are good!

Lynn said...

First of all, I am SO glad Hannah's OK!

Secondly, :giggle: that she now appreciates her roommates!

Take care of each other -- glad you're on the mend!

Jackie G said...

OMG, how scary!!
I'm so glad she is home and feeling better!!!

Olena said...

Tamara, I'm so glad she is feeling better!!! And welcome home, Hannah's.

carol said...

What an awful time for you all!! I'm glad things are o.k. now though, i was concerned after what you said in the e-mail :)

Big Hugs to you all
Carol x

Edleen said...

Tamara, so glad to hear she's doing much better now :)

Take care!

Christina | AmiExpat.com said...

I'm so glad she's feeling better now. How scary! And I can't believe that other mom didn't stay with her child! Take care!

planetgermany said...

Wow! What a scary experience - so glad Hannah's OK now.

I also feel sorry for the other kid whose Mum didn't stay. But then again, who knows what the background to that was. She could be a single parent with other siblings to look after or something... we shouldn't judge without knowing.

My son loved his stay in a German hospital when he was 12 because he got an internet connection at his bedside. He was less impressed though, when he found out the hospital also employed teachers, and he was expected to keep up with his school work while he was there!

March 2007