Sunday, January 30, 2005

January 2005 PICU Stay

What a crazy month January was. We were scheduled to leave on the 6th for Ben's "Make A Wish" trip to Disney World. The kids were SO excited! Unfortuanately Ben got sick on the 4th - two days before we were to leave. I still had great hopes that we would make it home in time to leave. (wishful thinking) I took Ben to the local ER like I always do and there they did all the regular tests and blood work before calling for DHART to come pick him up. On the way to Dartmouth, Ben got worse and they ended up putting him on the vent to rest him until he arrived in the PICU. There we found out that he had pseudomonas - something he probably is colonized with - but when his immune system is compromized, it can infect him and make him really sick. He actually looked really good for being so sick. The doctor's tried to wean him off the vent the next day so that he could fight this on his own but Ben would have no part of that. He was on a small amount of pressure support, just enough to make life a little easier while coasting through his illness. He had IV access for ceftazidine which they treated him with for 14 days. For some reason, we couldn't wean Ben off the vent. After the first week the doctor's began thinking that maybe Ben's brain was deteriorating and shutting down slowly. All his numbers continued to get lower and lower the longer he was on the vent. He was hypothermic, had bradycardia, low blood pressure and his CO2 levels were really low as well. I had my hunch that the vent was causing all of this and not his brain. After 3 weeks there I wanted them to push him more and get him off the vent so that he could bring up all his numbers. That is exactly what they did and sure enough his numbers came back to normal. We were prepared to go on his wish trip with a vent - which we were trained on - but thank goodness that did not have to happen. We were so happy. After 23 days, Ben went home!
Daddy and Ben with his buddy "Elephant"
Ben on his vent
A bigger view of his vent
Ben right after his bath
Mom kissing her sweet boy