Emmett has a cold. Alisha knew that something was starting mid-week but it was just a slight fever. Saturday he was a miserable little boy. Sunday he seemed to be bouncing back but late Sunday night he took a turn for the worse. There was no question that he had a cold. One that caused him to have a bit of a frog in his throat which, honestly, made him that much more adorable. But late Sunday night there was nothing adorable but only the urgency to get him into medical care. The van was packed and Emmett was on his way to Vancouver and B.C.'s Children's Hospital. The advantage of travelling in the middle of the night on a long weekend was that the normally always busy highway 1 was almost empty so no traffic issues at all.
The Emergency Department was a bit more populated but still not bad. Emmett was immediately in a room and being checked out. He was upset when they checked his blood pressure and took his temperature. He doesn't like the blood pressure cuff. Or the thermometer which has to be held under his arm pit for a few seconds before it registers. He did, however, love seeing the hospital staff. It was not too long before they determined that he did have something in his lungs and he was admitted to the ICU.
A slight cold. ICU! We have said before that a cold can be incredibly threatening for a little one with SMA. Emmett hasn't been rushed to the hospital since this past November. We've been lucky but there is no question that he needs to be there now. Obviously, his sleep patterns have been drastically disrupted. Into an isolation room at ICU where his nurse is literally right outside his window. He'd just fallen asleep again when a respiratory technician came to check him out. Almost instantly made the move from Emmett's little elephant nose bi-pap mask to a full face mask that was obviously connected to hospital equipment. This woke Emmett up and not only was he grumpy but he began fighting the mask. This was looking like it was going to be a long night! Then we looked into Emmett's eyes and told him it was a Buzz Lightyear helmet. Almost instantly he stopped fighting the mask. You see, for the past two weeks Emmett has been on a Buzz Lightyear kick. He has been watching the movies on every car trip. The stories have had to be read to him over and over. His favourite word right now is "Buzz"! Emmett realized that this mask was indeed like Buzz Lightyear and, at 4:30 in the morning with a look of recognition in his eyes, he stopped fighting and shortly fell back asleep. And without much fuss he has been wearing the mask ever since. Hmmmm. Was that a lie or merely misdirection?
Emmett has a chest infection. They are not saying pneumonia because that is a specific type of chest infection. His lungs are full and that is a serious concern. But he is stable right now and throughout this past night has been having RT's doing deep suction of his lungs every three hours. And they have been getting a lot of secretions out! For the medically bright folks reading, his regular bi-pap settings are still being used and he is not getting additional oxygen. He's just getting normal atmospheric air. He is showing strength and fighting this. For all of the rest of us, this is a sign that he is a strong little boy and fighting this the way that he should be doing. And that mom made a timely call to get to the hospital.
Emmett 'Buzz Lightyear' learned how to make elephant sounds with his mask. He started doing this mid-day yesterday and Alisha wondered what was wrong. Nothing, actually, except that the mask was a little loose and Emmett had figured out that he could make these elephant sounds so was purposely expelling more air in quick succession to sound like a very noisy elephant. His little tummy inflating and deflating in quick succession. If you were there you would have laughed with us, because he was having fun and loved being an elephant. That was somewhat short lived as his mask was adjusted so that he couldn't force the air past the mask seal and his forehead anymore.
He will be in ICU for a couple of more days. While the deep suctioning makes him quite mad, he is doing okay. He is placing orders and making requests. For example, through the window into the next child's room he saw they were watching TV. While it took the adults a while to figure out what he was pointing at, it was eventually quite clear than Emmett was not pointing at the child in the next room (there are large windows between the rooms) but their active TV and his inactive TV. We got the nurses to turn it on and then went through a range of channels. He very clearly was saying no, no, no as we flipped through the channels until we arrived at an obviously child's show. And then he was content.
Alisha is beyond exhausted as she hasn't been getting much sleep. Josh is not too far behind. Emmett's sleep patterns are very disrupted. These are things that we would appreciate you praying for. And especially pray that his lungs clear quickly. A cold and chest infection during B.C.'s hottest summer on record - we want this cold gone very quickly.
So Emmett is stable. Every once in a while he raises his arm with his index finger pointed upwards. We fill in the words for him - "To Infinity and Beyond" and then Emmett 'Buzz Lightyear' puts his arm back down. If you know Toy Story then you will know and realize that he is in character as Buzz! Get well quickly, Buzz, as we want to see you back home!