I thought it would be a good idea to try to keep up a blog with updates on Benjamin. I will keep it up as I can.
You may already know that my 13 month old preemie became very sick last week. He is in the pediatric ICU right now at Riley Children's Hospital. I will tell you a little background as to how he got here and why.
Last week, Benjamin developed a sudden wet cough. I was immediately concerned because of his early birth history. He was born 6 weeks early and had lung disease including pneumonia when he was in the NICU. The doctors there warned us to be extra careful with him in the first year since he is more susceptible to getting sick and for it to turn ugly. Since he was rarely sick, usually never more then a little cold that passed quickly, we thought the cough was unusual and it concerned us. So we made an appointment with his pediatrician on Friday.
After looking at his chest x-ray, the doctor thought that maybe he had aspirated something to his right lung. The left was clear and he did not have a fever or other cold symptoms, common to pneumonia. He sent the x-rays to the specialists at Riley who thought he should be seen there and asked us to come to the ER. We arrived to a very small waiting room with standing room only of sick kiddos. Not a very fun place to be. We waited 4 hours to see a doc, which was really hard on Benjamin since they told us not to feed him or give him anything to drink because he may end up in surgery. Poor guy. He couldn't understand why I wouldn't just nurse him like he wanted. At 11pm we talked to a resident and awhile later saw the head doctor. They repeated the chest x-ray and prepped him for surgery. We were all expecting to find something that he aspirated but there was nothing there! What they did find was mucus and it looked like pneumonia.
When he came back from surgery, he was quite agitated. He started off with a little assistance breathing and ended up being put on a vent to breathe. Part of his right lung collapsed.
After 2 days in the pediatric ICU, he was doing great with his breathing and they decided to take him off the vent. I was there for that. He did not do well at all, which surprised everyone and they had to put him back on it.
They continue to take x-rays to evaluate his progress. Today, they learned that he has an atypical bacterial infection, which is what caused the pneumonia. He can get something like this from a common cold. We also learned that he has acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). His lungs are very sick and he is receiving respiratory therapy and chest percussions every 4 hours to loosen the mucus.
Knowing Benjamin like we do, we know that he is a fighter. He is strong willed and will recover from this. It will just take a lot of time and prayer. They plan to keep him on the vent to breathe for at least a few more days to keep him stable and allow his body to fight the infection.
He received music therapy treatment from an intern from Iowa yesterday. (I did my MT training at Iowa too!) She left me a guitar to use, which was really nice. They also have this very cool program for their ipad where she can record my voice and have it play in his room when I am not there.
We very much appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers and messages that you have sent. They really mean a lot. We have been through this before when he was born and truly never could have foreseen this happening again. It is hard but we are doing our best to balance being here at the hospital and home with our 3 year old Andrew. He is being well taken care of now with my parents though.
I put some recent pictures below that I hadn't posted yet of Benjamin. Some are from Andrew's birthday party on the 18th. I will do an official bday post on that later. I also have a few pictures here in the hospital so he will know just how sick he was and how far he came when he is old enough to understand:)
Please continue to pray for healing and strength for our sweet Benjamin.
Hmmmmmmm. I didn't know he was into the cake that day too! He was caught in the act:)
We went to David's work BBQ at a nearby state park recently. The boys loved playing there.
playing a messy game of peek a boo. :)
I love spaghetti!
I will keep you updated as I can.
Thanks for your prayers and support! If you'd like to send Benjamin a note, you can do that through the Riley hospital website when you go to the family support page.