Noah had been struggling with phlegm, coughing, and general reflux discomfort over middle part of last week. We had been in touch with Noah's pediatric GI doc and tried to figure out what we could do to ease his digestion and clear out his throat.
After sleeping with his dad in the living room recliner Thursday night, Noah almost lost the fight to keep his airway clear. We awoke Friday morning to find Noah limp, unresponsive, and struggling to breath. We rushed him to the emergency room in Tuscaloosa where he was immediately put on a ventilator and prepared for transport to Children's Hospital in Birmingham.
It was, without a doubt, the scariest moment of my life.
He has been in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children's since Friday. Saturday morning, after getting feisty with the nurses and attempting to pull his breathing tube out, Noah came off the ventilator and has been breathing on his own ever since. His lungs and airway still sound junky and the nurses are suctioning out his airway periodically to ease his breathing.
Noah slowly seems to be returning to his spunky self. He is actively playing with his toys and interacting with us. He has most of his nurses wrapped around his little finger... this morning we arrived to find him propped up like a king, watching TV and playing with his toys that the nurses had rigged to hang over his bed.
The nurses and doctors continue to monitor Noah's breathing... and will likely keep him in the ICU until they are satisfied that he is getting plenty of oxygen and flushing out plenty of carbon dioxide. The next step will be to evaluate his digestive issues and possibly do a surgery that will strengthen the muscle at the base of the esophagus so that he can't reflux as easily (and therefore is less likely to aspirate).
We are digging in for a long haul... the attending doctor in the PICU said she would expect that Noah wouldn't be discharged until the end of the week at the earliest. Unfortunately, this means our anticipated trip to St. Louis is cancelled... fortunately, because we had planned on going to St. Louis, Josh's schedule is clear and he won't really have any work responsibilities this week.
The best part about the PICU is that there is always a nurse within a few feet of Noah's bed... and they kick us out overnight so we have to get rest. There are some families who crash in the hospital lobby or the waiting room... Josh and I have opted to stay in hotels so far (Birmingham is about 50 miles from Tuscaloosa, a little too far for us to drive back and forth every day). We are hoping to find some slightly cheaper housing for the rest of the week, but the details still need to be worked out.
I'm off to get some sleep now. More updates later. Thanks for your prayers.