Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Which Way is the ICU?

Well Carson missed the hospital so much that he decided to take another trip back. Friday morning our night nurse let Heather know that she had to put Carson on oxygen during the night to keep his O2 sats up. This was a little surprising to us since Carson has been off of oxygen for a few weeks now. Heather asked the nurse if Carson had a fever or anything, but she said that his temperature was normal. Heather decided to take it again and found that he had a 99.5 low grade fever. In the 10 minutes or so that she was talking to the nurse, Carson’s oxygen sats dropped to 83% and he began to breathe very labored.

Heather called in to Carson’s primary care doctor and got an appointment for the afternoon. (It would have been sooner if they would have called back sooner!) When they got to the doctor’s office, Carson was put on their monitor and his heart rate was around 170 bpm resting (it’s usually at 130). Tony, Carson’s doctor, gave him a breathing treatment to see if it would help his labored breathing. It didn’t help much so he told us that we would have to admit Carson to the hospital. We decided to take him down to Primary’s since that’s where all of his care has been in the past.

When we got there we were put right into a room because his doctor called ahead and got a room set up for us (his doctor is so nice!). Once he was in the room, it quickly filled up with doctors and nurses and respiratory therapists. They tried to give him so more breathing treatments, but those didn’t help. They did a blood gas analysis and found that he had a high level of CO2 in his blood. He was moved to the pediatric ICU after that and was greeted there by a whole mess of doctors and nurses. He was put on a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to help open up his lungs and get him to breathe off the CO2. When Heather and I left Friday night his heart rate was still very high and he was still very labored in his breathing.

We visited Carson again on Saturday night and he look a little better. He was awake and was sucking on his fingers like he does at home. They were still giving him breathing treatments and monitoring an on-again / off-again fever. We left that night hoping that he might be improving and home around midweek.

At 2:30 am Sunday, we got a phone call from the hospital. The nurse told Heather that everything was ok and that Carson was fine, but there was some trouble. Carson had gotten a plug in his trach and his O2 level dropped low and caused his heart to slow down to 30 bpm. They had to give him CPR and use a resuscitation bag on him to get oxygen into him and to get his heart beating faster. He made it through it but it sure gave us a scare. When we went to the hospital to see him on Sunday he looked worn out. He slept for our whole visit.

On Monday Heather went up to the hospital and was told that they had put Carson on a ventilator. They had switched him from the CPAP to the vent on Sunday, but what they told Heather was that Carson was very weak and was having trouble breathing on his own. So they turned on more of the controls on the machine to help him breathe. He was still sleepy on Monday.

Heather called the hospital today and Carson’s condition hasn’t improved or worsened. So, hopefully he’s working through the thick of it right now and will start improving soon. They are going to be putting a feeding tube down Carson’s throat and into his intestines. The ventilator has been pushing some air into Carson’s stomach and they need to vent that out. So as long as he’s on the vent he’ll have the feeding tube. His CO2 levels are still high but they aren’t too concerned about it right now because his PH level is ok.

So things are a little wild right now with Carson in the hospital, our plans for moving, and life in general. But we’re doing ok with all of the support that we have here.


  1. WOW That is a lot of stuff going on for him and all of you all. Praying for you all and for Carson to get better soon. Miss ya all!

  2. Hang in there. we went through a similar situation with Randy at 2 months and 4 months old. He actually had RSV. His lungs were compared to that of an 80 year old who had smoked for 60 years! It was hard but he pulled through twice! Will keep you all in our prayers and thoughts and you keep us updated!! Hugs to all of you!

  3. Praying for you and little Carson. Hang in there!
    Paul and Marcie