Brooke is her usual self. Maybe has a little wimpy cough. Nothing to be concerned about. I think "oh no, I hope that she doesn't get a cold." Later that night she starts fussing around 9:00pm, and I end up going in her room to comfort her. Cough is getting a little worse, and she begs me to stay- so I did. She tosses and turns all night long, and the cough gets worse. Almost sounds like a barking, hacking cough. Not a good night for us. Definitely she is now getting a cold or something.
Wake up and go about day as usually. Brooke is playing and we go run some errands. The cough is persistant, so I call the Dr's office. I am now getting paranoid that she is going to be sick, and then get myself and the new baby sick. Go to the Dr's office in the afternoon, and they said Brooke has Bronchiolitis, and does a nebulizer treatment at the office. She shows improvement in her breathing, so the Dr. orders one for our house. We do another treatment, before her bedtime. She sleeps much better this nigtht. I now think "oh good she is getting better."
Wake up in the morning and give a treatment. She just wants to sit on my lap and watch Elmo. I give in, because she is acting sick. Does not want to eat breakfast. I worry because she didn't really eat the day before, but think it's ok because she isn't feeling well. She falls asleep on my lap 2 times in the morning. We do another treatment at 11:30. I try to give her lunch, but she wants nothing to do with it. She tells me she is sleepy, and I let her take a nap. I finally go in and wake her up at 3:30, and give another treatment. I take her temp again, and this time it is 103.8. I start to freak out, because she is burning up. I give her Tylenol, call the Dr. and rush her over. She is now having difficulty breathing normally. She was working way too hard to get her breaths out. Get to Dr.s office, and do 3 more treatments to try to control breathing. Does not work. Dr. calls ambulance, and sends us over to the hospital. We get to Condell Hospital. This was not my 1st choice, but was the closest hosiptal. They ended up being really helpful there, and make me feel better that I am in a peds. ER. Brooke is on oxygen. Her breathing is still labored, they monitor her. I am now holding her on my lap, to comfort her. They do a chest x-ray, and say that Brooke has pneumonia. They are going to send her to Children's in Milwaukee, via helicopter. Now this is serious. She then starts to cry out, and gets irritated. Nurse runs in, and checks her. Then starts to pull things out of the drawer, and I know this is not good. We leave because they are going to intubate her to get her the adequate oxygen supply. They have trouble intubating her, and it takes 4 tries. She then codes, and they have to do CPR to bring her back. Meanwhile Jay and I are standing outside the room, listening to this. It was the longest and most terrifing minutes of my life. They shock her and bring her back. They get her stable, and the life flight crew then arrives, to transport her to the Hospital. After what seems like a lifetime of waiting. The flight crew look her over, and get all of the lines and wires right. The flight team takes her to the helicopter, for a hopeful 15-20 min. ride to Children's in Milwaukee. Jay and I stop at our house, pack some bags, and drive up to the hospital. When we get there, we see a team of about 15 people all gathered around Brooke, and they quickly escort us to a waiting room. We then find out in flight, she was not responding to the oxygen given, and her levels were dropping again. NOT GOOD. The Dr's tell us, she is very sick. They don't know exactly what is wrong with her, but her body is not responding to the treatments given. The cardiac Dr. now tells us, that he is going to put her on an ECMO machine, that will bypass her lungs and do the work for them. She has to be sedated, and a big cannula is placed in her neck. This machine takes the blood out of her body, mixes it with oxygen, and then reenters her body. It's purpose is to get the correct amount of oxygen to all of her organs. We are informed this is a very, very serious situation. It's now about 3:00am, and all we have to do is wait, and see what happens to our little girl. We sleep in the waiting room, a whole 2 hours and worry about Brooke.
They come and tell us she still is not doing well with just the lungs being bypassed by the machine. They have been tweaking the meds, and she is still not stable. This infection or illness that has entered her body, is taking it's coarse. The Dr's inform us, they are now going to bypass the heart with the machine as well. The ECMO machine is going to do all the work of the lungs, and heart so Brookes body can recuperate from the shock of all the hard work it had been doing. We wait it out, for what seems like forever. They report back that the procedure went well, but she is still very sick. We go into see her, and the poor girl has tubes all over the place. She just looks very calm. I have brought her blanket from home, and placed it in her hand while she rest. We talk to her, and hope that she can hear us. We head out to a Hotel, to get the much need rest we have lost. What a nightmare.