I never want to go through this again, putting an IV in a toddler is the worst thing I can imagine right now.
Last week, Lexi was sick. It started with vomiting on Sunday, which faded by Monday afternoon. Late Tuesday, diarrhea started. Sorry, this might be TMI for some. So all told it worked out to around five days of either vomit or poop, which seemed bad. So I made an appointment for her at the walk in clinic on Thursday because she threw up her breakfast. But then she seemed to perk up and had lunch and did well on Thursday afternoon, so I cancelled the appointment. But the diarrhea was lingering still, and she just wasn't herself. So Friday I made an appointment with the pediatrician. While we were checking in, she threw up at the counter. They noticed her lips were dry and her tongue was dry and so they pricked her finger to run a test or two. Her glucose was low so they decided it would be best to admit her for IV fluids. ADMIT her. To the HOSPITAL.
Cue parental failure brigade. Didn't notice your own child fading with dehydration right in front of you. FAIL. Didn't notice her super chapped lips and dry mouth. FAIL. Failed to know that so much vomit and poop would mean she was dehydrated. FAIL.
Getting that IV was the worst thing I've had to witness so far, no question. It took three nurses and FOUR attempts to get a usable vein. She was screaming so much Brian could hear her down the hall. Without a doubt the worst thing I've ever had to witness and participate in as a parent or in any capacity. I had to hold her down, and I'm pretty sure the EMT guy they brought in was also to hold her down because she was a very strong wiggler. Who could blame her. Friday she filled up on IV fluids, also drinking several juice boxes of grape juice. For dinner she had two cookies, more juice box and a bite or two of chicken nugget. Friday night was difficult, she slept pretty well, but they woke her at least twice to check vitals and look at her IV spot to make sure all was well. Saturday morning we were up around eight because the doctor was coming around. So she slept ok, but not as long as usual, nor as long as most toddlers require.
Saturday the doctor came in and said we would take the IV out and see how she did. If she could keep fluids down, and maybe some food, she could go home and we could take it from there. Ten minutes after he left, she threw up all the grape juice from the night before. So, she kept her IV. They gave her a nausea drug to help calm her tummy, and the rest of the day she drank more juice, ate some small lunch and read books. Just before dinner we talked with the next doctor on call and decided if she could keep the liquids down the rest of the day and maybe eat a little dinner, she could go home. She had a little dinner, drank her juice, and the nausea medication wasn't a factor since it wore off after four hours. So...
It was such a difficult decision. Do we keep her there overnight, really load her up with the IV, get another night charged for the hospital and insurance, etc. Will we be sorry if we take her home and she can't maintain it on her own? Will we have to come back and get another IV and go through it again? It was so difficult, we didn't want to make the wrong decision. In the end, we brought her home. She was so tired from all of it, and from the interrupted sleep, we got home, cuddled for a bit and went to bed.
Sunday morning she was a new girl. Chipper in the morning, playing the 'i'm sick' card to bring her pacifier down with her. She has a free pass for the next couple weeks - whatever she wants as long as she drinks all the juice and pedialyte that I bought. Seriously, I think I cleaned out the Target shelves of all juicy juice juiceboxes. She was playing with her toys, using her imagination, calling people on her cell phone. She hadn't played like that in over a week. Holy moly the relief. Today, she's even better. Playing and drinking, and she's back to her happy go lucky self. I am so relieved I find myself on the verge of tears when I look at her and think about the last few days. Thank you God for taking care of my baby girl.