Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The continuing saga...part 4

Timmy's life keeps getting crazier and crazier, and the more things that happen, the more this moose falls behind. But tonight we are breaking in a brand new nurse (yay!) but thise moose does not feel comfortable going to bed until we know for sure we can trust her, so this moose thought it would be a good time to continue his story.

The last time I wrote, I told you all about Timmy's mommy and daddy's birthday party. We had a lot of fun and it was so good for Timmy to hang out with his cousins. But another big thing happened that day, we just did not realize it at the time. On Saturday, Timmy started taking a new medicine called Zantac to help keep his stomach juices under control. Timmy's mommy and daddy did the same thing they always do when Timmy starts a new medicine--they asked the doctors what to expect and what side effects to watch out for. They were very happy to hear that it was a drug with virtually no side effects.

Sunday morning, Timmy and his mommy and daddy and I drove home to Maryland. We were worried that Timmy would have trouble with the long drive (since he had only been out of the hospital for a day), but he did just fine. He slept like a log Sunday night and on Monday morning he was back to his cheerful baby self. We put Timmy to bed on Monday night, and, as always, we hooked him up to his pulse ox machine. It is a very nifty machine that monitors Timmy's heart rate and his oxygen saturation levels. If either one gets too low, it sets off an alarm. Normally, Timmy only sets off his alarm once or twice a night. His heart rate at night is usually in the 110s and 120s, and sometimes it will dip down very briefly. But usually in the nighttime, when we look at the pulse ox machine we see something like this:

The red number on top is his oxygen saturation level. We like it to be as close as possible to 100, and 98 is a fantastic number for Timmy. The green number is his heart rate; this is also a good number for Timmy.

But then a few seconds later, we looked at the machine, and we saw something like this:

And then we saw this:

And not two seconds later, it was this:

And this continued all night long. Timmy's heart rate was extremely erratic and it went much lower than it normally does. In fact, Timmy went from triggering his alarm only once or twice a night to triggering it about ten times an hour. Timmy's mommy and daddy and I started to get a little bit worried because this was very unusual for him. I pointed out that Timmy had just started a new medicine, and that maybe it was the Zantac's fault. So we decided to skip his nighttime dose to see if he would get better. But he did not improve--all night long the alarm went off, and Timmy's mommy and daddy and I did not sleep much.

In the morning, when Timmy woke up, his heart rate went back to normal. That day Timmy had a previously scheduled appointment with his new GI doctor at Johns Hopkins. We thought it was very good timing--we suspected his heart troubles were due to his Zantac, and since it is a GI med, we thought a GI person would be the best person to ask about it. We picked Timmy's mommy up from work and drove all the way to Baltimore. We went inside and waited for a long time, but it was worth it, because Timmy got to see a really good GI doctor. We told her about Timmy's heart trouble, and she said that even though it was possible that his problems were due to Zantac, she did not think it very likely at all. She has prescribed Zantac to hundreds and hundreds of kids and has never seen this reaction. But she decided to order a EKG to check things out. It came back normal, and we decided that maybe the heart thing was a fluke. She told us to call her if it happened again, and we all drove home.

That night was much worse. Timmy's heart rate dropped into the low 60s many, many times, and he set off his alarm approximately 20 times every hour. Timmy's mommy and daddy did not sleep that night. Timmy slept like a rock.

The next morning, Timmy's mommy and daddy called the pediatrician. His nurse told them to take Timmy to the ER. We did not like that answer, so we called the new GI doctor. When she told us to take Timmy to the ER, we decided that we did not have very much choice. So Timmy's mommy left work early again and we drove back to Baltimore.

They were very nice at this ER and they hooked Timmy up to the monitors right away. But they did not believe Timmy's mommy and daddy that he was having lots of heart troubles. We kept telling them that it only happened when Timmy was sleeping, but we could not prove it. They called the heart doctors and asked them what to do, and the heart doctors just said to send us home. We tried to call our GI doctor before we left, but we could not get ahold of her. So after several hours of sitting in the ER, Timmy and his mommy and daddy and I went out to the car and drove back home. About five minutes after we left the hospital, Timmy's new GI doctor called us and asked us if they were admitting Timmy. When we told her that they had sent us home, she was upset. So she started making arrangements for Timmy to come back to see her in her clinic the next day.

That night was the worst of all. We started trying to write down all of the times his heart rate dropped so that we could show something to the doctors. Timmy's mommy started counting, and Timmy triggered his alarm 86 times in thirty minutes. His heart rate went down to the low 50s, and sometimes it did not come back up very quickly. Timmy's mommy and daddy and I did not really sleep that night either.

The next afternoon, we drove back to Baltimore to see Timmy's new GI doctor...

(And this is where I end this part of Timmy's ongoing saga for tonight. Maybe tomorrow night, since we will be unable to sleep again because we will be breaking in a new nurse) I will write more.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the update, Mortimer. We are praying for Timmy and his mommy and daddy.