Thursday, August 9, 2012

Today in History

Remember when I wrote about Nate's hospitalversary back in April?  Last year, he was in the hospital this entire time (minus a couple of weeks in June).  August 9th is when he got discharged after getting his trach. 

Looking back, he was not ready to be discharged because 1) he was not stable yet and 2) Scott and I had no idea what we were doing.  Yes, we had been trach-trained at the hospital but there was a lot we didn't know, and we didn't know we didn't know it. 

We were so excited to get him home that day.  We just lounged around the house feeling happy we were getting back to some version of normal. 

When we put him to bed that night, we hooked up his vent to a humidifier (it's like a water chamber that heats up and humidifies the vent circuit).  His whole vent/humidifier setup had been checked in our home by a respiratory therapist earlier that day.  As soon as we hooked him up to the humidifier, he seemed like he couldn't breathe. 

We suctioned him and it didn't help.  He turned blue.  We used the manual resuscitation bag with all the oxygen we could give him and it seemed like it was only sort of working.  Called 911.  Went to the ER and couldn't get him stabilized.  They couldn't get an IV started on him quickly enough so they drilled it into his bone.  The sound was horrible. 

the shirt they cut off him in the ER
Nate had had a lot of very close calls up to this point, but this was the only time I really truly thought it was the end.  His heart rate was barely there, his oxygen was barely there, and he had an entire team of ER doctors working on him who couldn't seem to do anything about it.  If I hadn't been watching the monitors, I would have thought he was dead.  He definitely looked dead.  Scott and I just sat there silently begging God to let us keep him.  I'm not sure how long the whole thing actually lasted.  From what I remember we were in the ER for a couple of hours before he was stable enough to be transferred to the PICU. 

He got a good night's sleep and went home again a couple of days later (no it was not his last trip to the hospital that week).  So, what had happened is the hospital sent us home with their humidifier.  It wasn't compatible with our vent.  When we hooked it up, it started shooting water directly into Nate's lungs, drowning him.  At this point, something like this would never, ever happen because we know exactly what we're doing now.  But we didn't then, and Nate wasn't strong enough to handle the mistake.  If the same thing happened today, it would be bad but I don't think we would have the same result.

I tell this story not because I enjoy reliving any of it but because I feel like everyone needs to know that Nate is actually the Boy Who Lived, and Harry Potter is just an impostor.


  1. Annie, I had no idea it got to that point. I can't imagine what you and Scott went through. Wow. I am so happy little Nate is alive and well now.

    I'm coming to California at the end of October, and I really really want to come hang with you and Nate!

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  3. Annie, thanks for always sharing your story with us. Conrad and I think about you 3 often and keep you in our prayers. We hope everything continues to get better and look forward to one day meeting the real Boy Who Lived. :)

  4. He is definitely the boy who lived. You go Natey! That sounds horrible that the things were not compatible!

  5. I think I need to go wake Tommy up and hug him now. Give sweet Nate a big kiss from me