Family Life

Family Life

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Week leading up to Feb 28th 2010

Toby and I were home form Monash, and it appeared that things were starting to go along smoothly, He was still having his apnoea's but with his oxygen we were able to handle them better and they ar not quite as scary when you can actually do something about them. But he was still having that period at the beginning of the apnoea where his airways would close down completely, and we couldn't bag "resuscitate" him at all, we just had to wait and that time was always horrifying.
Having the oxygen at home meant juggling tubing, machines and tanks. and we never went anywhere without his bag and mask, just in case!. and the following weekend, the 29th was no exception. we were settling back into our lives again. and Larissa had her State Surf Lifesaving Championships, that was held at the Burnie beach. we all went along to cheer her along while Kent had to work. I loaded Toby and the kids up along with his oxygen and all his bits and bobs and we headed for the beach.   It was a beautiful day and Larissa did very well considering it was her first ever championships. Towards the end of the day, it all went horribly wrong. Larissa was preparing for he final event and we were trying to find her amongst the sea of little bodies in the marshaling area. Toby decided it was time he got some attention and he promptly had one of his apnoea's.  only this was bigger than normal. I whipped out his mask and started to resuss  him. there were plenty of onlookers and someone went to get help from the surf life savers who were on patrol while someone else called for an ambulance.  I managed to get Toby breathing again and as I looked around at the horror that was on everyone's faces I sighed a huge sigh of relief. That one seemed to last forever!   when the ambulance arrived Toby was fine, he was perfect in fact but the Ambos wanted to take him to hospital anyway, and the surf life savers I declined as I explained that we had just got back from Monash and we were told that we probably should get use to it and that we don't need to go to hospital with him unless he starts having too many or we are worried.  As it was not unusual for him, I wasn't overly keen to spend hours in hospital, get admitted just to be told that there is nothing they can do for him and that we would get use to it.  he was OK now, so I took him home. 
Kent arrived home not long after us, we unpacked the car and gave everyone a shower to wash off the sand collected from our day at the beach. Kent went up the shop to get some hot chips for dinner as we were both too tired to cook.
As he left, I was preparing a bottle for Toby while he was playing on the floor with Aimee.  He decided to have another apnoea. only this one was BIG,  so much bigger than all the others. When Aimee called out to me.... MUM TOBY'S GONE BLUE!  I rushed to check on him and he was unconscious, blue and clearly not breathing, i calmly got his bag and mask out and attempted to bag him, I got no response, he was still in laryngospasm, I couldn't get any air into his tiny lungs at all, I held the mask over his face and called for Larissa to fetch his pulse oximiter so that I could see more clearly what he was doing. he was still not breathing and as I was attempting to resusctiate him I was getting nowhere, it was like attempting to bag a brick wall!. his airways had completely shut down. I attached his monitor and the numbers were not good I got a reading of 32% then nothing as his peripheral pulses were non existent, his heart rate was dangerously low, I kept trying to resuscitate him as the time seamed to have stopped. this was much longer than any episode he had ever had, as Toby lay limp on the floor,  I calmly told Larissa to call the ambulance and I was relieved when they were on their way, I was beginning to be able to finally get some air into his lungs and his colour was starting to slowly return,  it had been about 8 minutes since he had stopped breathing. Kent came in the door and was horrified to see what had happened while he was picking up dinner. we both crouched over Toby, helping him to breath, desperately waiting for the Ambulance. Aimee, Anthony and Larissa all crowed around, wondering why he was not breathing yet. I had to ask them to stand back, I was really starting to panic and I didn't want to show this to them, they are all old enough to know how serious this was and the only thing that was keeping us together was that I was pretending to be so calm,  god only knows how I didn't totally loose it, I guess you just do what you have to do.   
Then the miracle... Toby started breathing on his own, he started to cry and with in no time he was looking at us like he had no idea what we were all doing and why were we all standing around him. I could breath again too. but I knew that this was not good, I knew that we were definitely going to the hospital this time and I knew that he'd be flown pretty quickly out of Burnie back to a Paediatric ICU. Toby was fine by the time the ambulance had arrived. again!   He still had his oxygen turned right up and he was still very pale, but he looking around wondering what all the fuss was about. we went back in and sure enough the retrieval team from Hobart had to come to collect him. I kissed him gently on the head as he was loaded onto the NETS stretcher and I quietly said a little prayer to myself, praying for him to stay safe.
His flight doctor and nurse both knew him well as they had flown him to Monash and had cared for him for 6 months while he was in the NICU. I knew he was in good hands  but I was still terrified for him. and I hadn't quite recovered from the days events myself. 

I sipped down a few cans of Bourbon as Kent's parents drove me to Hobart.

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