I have been fluctuating all day on whether I should be patting myself on the back or feeling embarrassed.
Kiran had a rough night last night. Possibly the most alarms we have ever had in one night on the pulse ox. This means his oxygen saturation levels were dipping below 65. As has always been the case (other than watching him turn blue in the hospital a week ago), he had no concerning symptoms. He slept through most of the alarms – his mom, on the other hand, did not (his dad had some trouble, too, but his mom continues to be amazed at how many he can sleep through).
This morning, I was trying to figure out what I should do. He was still dipping, even after being awake. His respiration rate was high (I counted 84 while relaxed). I was seeing the tracheal tugging that indicates he’s working hard to breathe. All of those factors together (plus his recent hospital stay and not quite being over his cold) ultimately led me to the ER for him to get checked out.
It was like taking a car to the mechanic.
His levels were perfect. His lungs, clear. His respiration rate, beautiful. Heart rate, normal. His throat looked good, his ears looked good, his heart sounded like his heart should. They monitored us for a little while, chalked it up to a possible reflux issue or monitor issue (sometimes I really hate that machine), and sent us on our way.
They were encouraging. The doctor said we will likely be in and out of the ER, doctor’s offices, etc, until we really feel confident and know him… And then we will know him better than the doctors, and they will rely on us for information. The nurse said she would have brought him in, too. I felt validated, vindicated.
But also foolish. Maybe I should have just called cardiology and talked it through. Or called and had the weekend home health nurse drop by and look at him. I should have remembered to move the pulse ox to the other hand or to his foot to see if it would read differently.
Then again, had it been something….
The nurse did see the tracheal tugging, while his sats were at 88. She said it is likely a heart issue, not a respiratory one, and it may just be his new baseline.
Great. I was just learning his baseline, and of course, as he grows, it changes.
I have to say, though: I made it three whole months before taking him to the ER (other than when specifically told to take him). I think, given my anxiety levels, that is a huge win. And it was because I was seeing the signs I was told to watch for: I do think I ultimately made the best decision I could in that moment. I was worried. It was not normal for him. I was sleep-deprived.
But it’s a little embarrassing they already know me. The lady at the front desk of the ER said: “Weren’t you here a couple weeks ago?”
Yes. Yes, I was.
Welcome to the life of a Heart Mom.
I’m convinced I can’t be the only one to have ever done this. So. I’ll own it. I took my son to the ER. I probably didn’t need to. I probably should’ve listened to my levelheaded (often too relaxed, in my opinion) husband. I probably should have/could have taken numerous other courses of action. But I’m still learning, and I had legitimate concerns. So I am trying to give myself the same level of grace I would easily give others.