Intussusception

The ordeal began like any other morning. Faith wakes up at 5:30 or so, I pretend not to hear, she falls back to sleep. Faith wakes up at 6ish, I pretend not to hear, and Nicole gets up to get stuff prepared to feed/pump (see My New Breast Friend) and I eventually roll out of bed to feed Faith, before I lay her back down and get ready for the day. Not this past Monday, though.

This Monday, Faith decided she wasn't too hungry. Normally, I (in a drowsy state) persist, and she gets into the groove, finishing the bottle. Monday? She fought it off. I could tell she didn't want to eat it at all because I told Nicole, "She doesn't want to eat it at all." I know. Get on with it. So, after only 2 ounces, I brought her downstairs so I could continue to see if she would take any more of the bottle. She took maybe a half ounce, so I tried to burp her. She proceeded to projectile (guys, it's kind of amazing; girls, you wouldn't think so) over my shoulder. I yelled for Nicole, and Faith vomited on me more. This wasn't normal spit-up. Mucus was in it. So we called the doc. Nic was going to bring her in, and because she didn't have a fever, I decided to go into work. 

From here, my details are different. But here is what Nicole has told me (and a few others) since. Nicole was going to take Faith into the ER because she became lethargic (unresponsive). It was a scary deal. Faith has a very happy temperament, and can give a bright smile whenever coaxed. Not then. So on the way to the hospital, Nicole called her mom, and noticed that Faith was not even responding when she called her name again. She just looked weak. Because of the unresponsiveness, Nicole called 911. The medics came, they discussed what was wrong - one of the medics pointed out that she was stuffy. really? like we'd call 911 for a stuffy nose while on the interstate? - and eventually they were off to Children's Med Center in Omaha.

What I got was a phone call at about 9:15 while at school. Normally, I don't answer my phone at school, but I knew I should this time. It was Nicole, telling me she was in an ambulance on her way to Children's. I immediately got a teacher into my room, stopped in the office, and drove the fastest I could go; white-knuckling the whole time. Now, I didn't do anything illegal, but that's another story.

While in the ER, the doctors did a lot to Faith to determine why she would vomit and become lethargic, but have no fever. When the nurse and student nurse took off her diaper to insert a catheter (it's as bad as it sounds) they noticed bloody-mucus in the stool. Apparently it was an immediate tip-off to the nurse (Kyle - good guy) and he sent it to the attending. Within a few moments we were in an x-ray room, scanning Faith's abdomen. We got back to the ER room we were in, and the attending told us the possibilities, and that we also were supposed to do an ultrasound to verify. That's when we learned what Intussusception is.

The quick and dirty: Intussusception occurs when one portion of the bowel slides into the next, much like the pieces of a telescope. It usually occurs from ages 5-10 months in about 1 to 4 in 1000 infants (find out more from kidshealth.com here).

Worse-case scenario? Faith would need surgery, but that would fix the problem (the high-risks of infant surgery is why this was a last effort). Immediate treatment, though, was an air enema. Again, quick and dirty: stick in a hose with air, it "unfolds" the bowel, and done.

There is a 10% chance of recurrence for up to 48 hours after treatment.

Within an hour, Faith had another bloody stool, and the procedure was repeated. This time they used a dye, which would show any lesions in the bowel. We got to watch both procedures with a live x-ray, and I did my best to keep Nicole calm by pretending I knew what I was seeing. I was able to infer that if I didn't see dye outside of the thing that looked like a cross between a sausage and a balloon, then we'd be okay. We were okay. *Side-note: I have realized I'm very procedural when I write. Nicole would be telling you about the awesome x-ray tech that did the procedure and how she answered every question we asked, and was wonderfully nice and seemed very caring... but, back to procedure.* We were okay.

The attending in the ER determined that we should be okay at this point, but because we've already had one recurrence (which turns out might not have been one at all, but just some bloody stool) that we should have 24-hours observation. So for every 4 hours, Faith would have her vitals checked and the whole time she would need an IV for fluids because she wouldn't be able to eat a bottle.

It's hard to really get into a lot of detail of what went on in the hospital room. It was a lot of watching Faith, checking her stools, checking her vitals, rinse, repeat. Overnight. And I didn't have the nice bed ;) It was good though, because there were a lot of nurses, and other staff, that genuinely seemed to care.
Faith sleeping on the chair/mom.






We got the good news this morning (10/26) that the night went well - which is what we expected based on how she slept and didn't fuss, vomit, or poop blood. That meant we were allowed to go home.

Before we left this morning, Faith (and mom) back to normal.

Faith has been an absolute trooper, and that's on top of being the smiling, giggling baby girl she normally (and now, again) is. She has been good with her bottles and not had any issues *knock on wood* and she is sleeping now as I type.






The video is Faith still with the IV, late Monday night. Just more proof of how lucky, and blessed, we are to have her happiness in our lives.


video

~Rob

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