My 8 Year Old’s Hospital Stay Last Week

This past week was one of those whirlwind experiences.  Totally unexpected, but very slow moving whirlwind.  When I say slow moving, I’m talking 9 nights in the hospital slow.  Yes, nine!  Seven of those were in the PICU.  I don’t know if you follow me on Facebook or not.  If you don’t, you don’t know much of my story of this past week.  If you do, you’ve probably heard bits and pieces.

Savannah in Hospital 2

Last Friday night, my husband and I came home from a quick evening shopping trip in a nearby town to find our 8 year old daughter, Savannah, in respiratory distress. Our teens were babysitting and have been trained what to do when she is having asthma issues.  She was originally diagnosed with asthma almost 2 years ago, after a collapsed lung and a life flight and we have been using the inhaler or nebulizer as needed since that time.  On this particular night, our teens had been keeping us abreast of the situation and we were told that she had needed a couple of breathing treatments while we were gone and had used her inhaler.  Nobody realized she was still having trouble breathing as she was just laying on the recliner resting, looking tired and no longer complaining. When I got home (shortly after her treatment), I asked her to meet me in my bedroom so I could fully assess her without any noise. Just walking to my room had her so completely out of breath that I was worried. I called my husband into our room to help me evaluate her and we did a couple more breathing treatments to see if that would help.  It didn’t help, so  we decided we needed to head to the ER.

 

 

Her oxygen saturation levels were low, so they put her on oxygen and began more breathing treatments and steroids.  Since she wasn’t improving fast enough, the doctors decided to admit her into the hospital.  They had taken X-Rays and had seen a small spot of pneumonia on her lungs, too.  After staying a night there, they decided to move her to a larger hospital that was better equipped to deal with children in respiratory distress.  Specifically, they wanted her in a PICU unit.  She had been working for too hard, for too long at breathing.  

 

They transferred us by ambulance to a hospital about 2 hours away.  We were met by a myriad of hospital staff getting her checked in and ready for the new treatment plan.  My husband and I had felt apprehensive about going back to this hospital (the same place she had been life flighted to a couple years prior), but once we were there, we felt a sigh of relief, knowing that these people really knew what they were doing and would not take anything we said lightly.  Just being in a place that specializes in children can make all the difference in the world!

 

The first part of the plan was to place her on albuterol breathing treatments continuously.  This was equivalent to getting 20 breathing treatments an hour.  Something that literally makes your hands tremble because you have so much in your system.  Because her respirations were still so high, she was at risk of aspirating, so the first rules were to go in effect.

 

No Eating or Drinking

 

Now that sounds mean, doesn’t it?  Apparently the need for food isn’t as great as the need for breathing.  Go figure, right?  :D  If she were to aspirate any food, that could have made her recovery that much harder, if not impossible.  It was already hard.  We didn’t need it even harder!  But, it was so hard to tell her, “I know you’re hungry honey, but you have to listen to the doctors”.  All she could think of was food, food and more food!  Her mouth was getting so dry, too!

 

We arrived at this hospital on Saturday evening, late.  Her last meal had been at supper time.  Apparently the other hospital didn’t have any trouble with her eating, as they fed her multiple times.  It wasn’t until Tuesday when they decided to let her have clear liquids.  None of her options tasted very good to her, so she held out as well as she could until the next day when they finally let her order yogurt.  She gobbled up 2 containers of it, almost immediately.

 

As she progressed, they allowed to her to eat more and more.

Savannah at Hospital 2

 

She stayed on the continuous breathing treatment from Saturday night through Thursday afternoon.  She then slowly moved from every 2 hours to every 4 hours and finally on Saturday (a week later), they moved us out of PICU to the regular Pediatric floor.

 

After a partial family sleepover (me and 4 of my girls) in our room that night, they sent us home on Sunday.  We left with an upgraded asthma status (mild/persistent from intermittent/as needed).  9 days in the hospital was a long and boring way to spend that week of our life, but we’re so very thankful that modern medicine can help us so efficiently!

 

Savannah is now home and feeling pretty good.  We are still giving her a breathing treatment every 4 hours and she is now on a maintenance steroid inhaler, until further notice.  She had had a mild cold at the onset of this, and we believe that the cold, coupled with allergies and chlorine are what caused this to get bad so quickly.  We are now taking beginning steps to make her bedroom as allergy free as possible.  A total room clean out and vacuum session, mattress and pillow covers and even new paint on the walls.  We will be doing everything in our power to keep this from happening again!

 

Savannah & Quinnly

 

If you’d like to read more about how we entertained her during that time, please click here.


Make Education Fun – Even in the Hospital with Disney Junior Games

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  

#Ready4Preschool #CollectiveBias

Make Education Fun with Disney Jr Games

If you’ve not been following me on Facebook, you may not know that my 8 year old daughter is in the hospital with pneumonia, a complication of her asthma.  She’s having to be on continuous breathing treatment in the PICU, where they give her albuterol, steroids and regular chest percussion treatment to hopefully rid her lungs of all the fluid and mucous within.  The first  58 hours, she wasn’t allowed to eat or drink.  You can imagine how bored she was getting.  Thankfully, I had bought these Disney Junior games and they have really saved us, when we thought we were running out of things to do.

Savannah in Hospital

I had previously purchased these educational Disney Junior games at Walmart for my 5 year old daughter.  We homeschool and I thought she’d have fun practicing her writing and math skills with them.  After all, what little girl doesn’t like Mickey Mouse or Doc McStuffins?

Disney Junior Games - In Store

 

I bought the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Learning Schoolhouse Activity and the Doc McStuffins Alphabet Learning Activity.

Disney Jr Learning Schoolhouse Activity Doc McStuffins

We used the Learning Schoolhouse Activity here at the hospital.  When I first opened it up, I was a little worried.  It’s actually supposed to be for a Pre-K to K aged child, and here I was trying to occupy my 8 year old with it.  While some of the activities were a little young (like the ABC flashcards), we were able to improvise and have a great time with it.

 

Features of the Learning Schoolhouse Activity

 

Learning Schoolhouse Activity - #Ready4Preschool  #shop

 

  • Learn to Tell Time
  • Practice Handwriting
  • Build Math Skills
  • Learn the Map of the U.S.
  • Letter & Word Recognition
  • Pretend & Play School

 

We used the US Map to quiz her on her states.  I would think of a state that we’ve been to before or one that someone we know has moved to, and she would use her pointer to show me where that state is on the map.  She’s not very strong on her geography, so this was a great educational activity that also proved to be fun, as we told stories about these different places.  You can see where she’s pointing at California, the state I was just in last month for a blogging conference.

Disney Jr Learning Schoolhouse Activity 4

 

She also used the word and picture magnets to make stories on the built in dry erase board.  In fact, that spurred her imagination even further and she decided to make more stories and books for her siblings to give them when she got home.  You can see one of her short stories here.  Her handwriting is pretty messy as her hands were shaking the whole time, thanks to the medicine.

 

Disney Junior Games - Where to Buy

 

She practiced her time telling skills.  We have a clock in her hospital room and I noticed how she was doing really well at knowing what time it is.  We’ve done time telling with her math programs in the past, so this wasn’t new to her, but since we haven’t really practiced it this summer, it was a good chance to go over her clock skills and see if she could figure out what time it was.    She did great and is now almost a pro!

 

Disney Jr Learning Schoolhouse Activity 3

 

We’ve been in the hospital for 4 full days now and we’ve done so many things, we had thought we’d run out of fun stuff to do.  Even watching TV was boring her.  These Disney Junior games saved the day and I’m so thankful I accidentally left them in the van at the perfect time!  Savannah says she can’t wait to get home, so that she can play school with her little sister, Avery.  Since these were originally purchased for Avery, our 5 year old, she’ll get a lot of use out of them in our school year, while the older children are doing their own school work.  I love that they can use these to have fun AND learn.  After all, learning doesn’t have to be boring, does it?

 

If you’re interested in purchasing some, you can find them in the school supplies section at Walmart.  In addition to the ones that I mentioned above, you can also find:

 

  • Learning Easel Activity Center
  • Counting Learning Activity
  • First Words Learning Activity
  • Rhyming Learning Activity
  • Numbers Learning Activity
  • Colors & Shapes Learning Activity

 

 


Donating School Supplies: One Way Our Family Can Serve

Disclosure: “I participated in this program on behalf of Champions for Kids and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.”

 

Many of you know that I’m a homeschool mom.  I don’t actually send my children off to school, but we do love it when school supplies get cheap.  We always feel the need to stock up, so we don’t have to purchase them the rest of the year!

Donate School Supplies - One Way Our Family Can Serve

Just because I don’t send my children to school, doesn’t mean that I think that all children should be homeschooled.  In fact, I know that there are many who definitely should not be.  This year, I decided that I wanted to do my part in helping the community children who can’t afford the school supplies, to get the supplies that they need.

 

Did you know that more than 16 million American children live in poverty?  It makes sense that these children’s families would have a hard time purchasing the items that they’re expected to bring.  I am definitely one who thinks education is very important, and these supplies are the tools that the children need, to begin getting that education, one that can eventually bring them out of poverty if they so choose.  That’s why it is important for us to join together and help them get the supplies that they need for the upcoming school year. 

 

Champions for Kids - Donate Supplies to Local Students

 

I was at Walmart with my husband, shopping without my kids.  I spotted these backpacks from Champions for Kids.  It’s full of many of the items that a child would need for his or her school year and they’re nicely placed inside a backpack.  The cool thing about these backpacks is that they cost only $19.95, but they have a coupon book attached to the outside for you to take off before you donate it, that can save you up to $50!  You could easily save the money you spent on the backpack, when using the coupons!

 

Champions for Kids Back to School Backpacks

 

I decided to go ahead and purchase the backpack, so that my kids and I can donate it.  That way they would have the experience of getting to donate something to the local community, as I believe this is an important thing for children to learn.  While I was out shopping that evening, I got the call that my 8 year old was not doing well with her asthma and we ended up taking her to the hospital that evening and haven’t left since.  When we get back home and settled, I will be taking my children back to Walmart, so that they can make our family’s donation.  Will you join me?

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