Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Perfect Storm, or Why We're Sort Of Ready For 2011 To Go The Way Of My Get Up And Go...

We've had a relatively healthy year, in spite of Hopper spending a week and a half in the hospital and 8 weeks in a wheelchair with her broken leg this summer. When I say we've been fairly healthy, I mean we've had fewer than our normal number of colds and stomach bugs. Some years, the girls have missed 3 out of the first 4 weeks of school, so overall, we really are doing well.

Friday seemed no different. The girls were doing well. Scooter had missed a couple of days of school last week due to female problems, so it didn't really surprise me when she decided to take a nap on the couch. She just seemed a little tired. We all need a nap from time to time. I honestly thought nothing of it.

Saturday morning found Scooter horribly congested. By Saturday night, we were giving her nebulizer treatments to open up her lungs to help her breathe better, and gave her some of the nighttime cold medicines that help a person sleep while they work on the congestion and stuffy or runny noses. We were a little surprised that we had to give it a second time, because usually one dose is plenty. When the second dose didn't work we pulled out the big guns. We went with the cough syrup with codeine, and she was finally able to get some rest.

She slept in Sunday morning, and I was just thankful she was getting some rest, so it wasn't a surprise when she didn't come out of the bedroom until 10:00 or so. She came out and curled up on the couch, and Scooter never curls up on the couch. She sprawls. So I knew she definitely wasn't feeling well. I gave her a nebulizer treatment hoping it would help, but she still seemed off. I noticed her coloring wasn't right, so I checked her with the pulse ox. Sure enough, her oxygen levels were low, and I knew we needed to take her in to be seen.

I went in the bedroom to call the pediatrician's office to see, if they had any openings, and to wake Hubster up. When he heard what was going on, he said he'd get showered really quickly and take her in, and I said I'd get her dressed. He headed to the shower, and I picked out some clothes for her to wear.

I decided to just help her get dressed where she was, rather than making her walk all the way back to her bedroom. She was already short on oxygen, or her lips wouldn't have been blue, so I figured it was the safest bet. I got her clean underwear on and told her to keep standing, so I could put her bra on. I didn't even get it up on her arms before she pitched forward. 

I realized she hadn't just lost her balance. 

She was out.

I tipped her back, so she'd fall toward the loveseat to cushion her fall. Once she landed, she started twitching, and her eyes started rolling back in her head, much like Hopper's did during the Vagal Response she had at the hospital. 

Crap! Here we go again!

You know those little toys that collapse when you push up the bottom? They're ones when I was a kid were wooden, but I've seen plastic ones in later years. The figure on the top of the base is rigid, held in place by taut string, and the moment you push the bottom of the base up, the string is no longer tight, and the character collapses. You know what I'm talking about, right? 

That's exactly how Scooter looked. 

It was terrifying.

I got her to the floor and laid her down as best I could. I started screaming for The Hubster, but he was in the downstairs bathroom, and he couldn't hear me. Hopper started yelling, "Daddy! Daddy!" in her best hysterical scream, and he still didn't hear her. I told her to go down and get him, so she stood at the top of the stairs and repeated her cry for help between sobs. I told her once again to go downstairs and get him, and somehow, she was able to hear me.

Hubster came running upstairs, and by the time he finally got up here, Scooter came to. She was disoriented, but she was awake and breathing. We realized that she needed to be seen in the emergency room immediately, but we also knew Hopper couldn't go. She was a bundle of yelling nerves. She needed to stay home, and it was going to take a few minutes for Bugster to make her way over to sit with her, so we could leave. And neither of us was comfortable with driving her without someone in the backseat monitoring her the entire way. 

We called 911. The paramedics were there within moments.

Poor Hopper was in hysterics, crying. As much as we tried assuring her that Scooter would be fine, she couldn't seem to fathom the possibility. Having 6 paramedics in the living room didn't help a bit. She was terrified. She knew I was scared, and I knew that didn't help, so I tried my best to stop the shaking in my voice. 

Once the paramedics realized Scooter was stabilized, they helped her out to the ambulance. Hubster rode to the hospital in the front of the ambulance, while I stayed home with Hopper and waited for Bugster to show. It wasn't even 11:00 yet.

I got ready as quickly as I could while trying to calm Hopper's fears. By the time Bugster got here, I was ready to go. I was shaking as I got in the car to drive to the hospital and had to thoroughly concentrate on driving, in order not to speed or get in an accident. That was the last thing I needed. 

Scooter and Hubster were waiting for me in Scooter's room. She'd already had her blood drawn and was hooked up to an IV. A short while later, someone came in and did an EKG, a strep test, (we have a tendency to not have any pain or fever with strep, and my brother suffered from Rheumatic Fever as a result of untreated strep due to a total lack of symptoms when he was little), an x-ray of her lungs, and got a urine sample. It felt like and eternity as we waited for test results. About 2:00, the doctor came back in and let us know that all the tests looked good. We were a bit surprised that the x-ray didn't show anything. We figured she had pneumonia as quickly as things hit her. Even the doctor was surprised.

He said she was definitely dehydrated, in spite of drinking a ton of water throughout the night, and that she had bronchitis. He started her on antibiotics, so it wouldn't turn into pneumonia and got her started on her second bag of fluids. He said he wanted to keep an eye on her heart rate, as it was running high (117 to 135bpm), but he figured it was from the dehydration and fever. He said we should be able to go home in an hour or so when the second bag of fluids was gone. Her heart rate had gone down some after the first bag of fluid and the acetaminophen, and he figured it would just continue to go down. 

He came in around 4:30 when the IV was almost empty and said he was a little concerned about her heart rate. He said the only other thing he could think of that could cause her heart rate to stay so high like that was blood clots. Was she on birth control pills, by chance. 

Yes. She was.

He sort of talked himself out of running a blood test that would show markers, if she was at risk for blood clots. He said that he figured it was just due to the dehydration, and that we should make an appointment to see her cardiologist just to have her checked. He said someone would be in to finish up paperwork, and we could go home.

Less than 2 minutes later, he came in apologizing. He said he felt like he couldn't take the risk and not run the test. That they could use the blood that had already been drawn, and the test would be finished in 30 minutes or so.

We were relieved. The doctor told us he just wouldn't have been able to sleep that night not knowing and wondering, if he sent her home prematurely. We agreed. We wouldn't have been able to sleep a wink either!

An hour or so later, he came back in to let us know that the test results were in. They showed that the markers were indeed elevated that would indicate potential blood clots. She would need a CT Scan to rule them out. The test would only take about 5 minutes, but it would take 20 to 30 minutes to have them read. 

An hour and a half later, we asked, if the results were in. Sure enough, they were, and the doctor would be in to talk to us. 

Emergency rooms are always busy. I just wish they'd be realistic about times. Go sit in this room for 3 hours, and if you're lucky, a doctor will be in to talk to you. Having tests run? You can count on at least a 6 hour emergency room stay on top of your wait in the waiting room. By ''30 minutes'', we really mean "2 hours".

But I digress. 

The doctor came in apologizing for keeping us so late. Thankfully, the CT showed she did not have any blood clots, and we were all (including the doctor) incredibly relieved. However, he said that the scan did show something the x-ray didn't pick up. 

She has pneumonia. 

He said to just keep up on the breathing treatments and cough syrup, to make sure she got her antibiotics daily and to follow up with her regular doctor. He said he figured that she'd had a mild febrile seizure that was brought on by the dehydration and a spike in fever and was complicated by her low oxygen. It was a perfect storm.

We left the hospital to come home around 8:00, grabbed something on the way home to fill our bellies and had Scooter in bed with all medicines on board in short order. She woke up this morning feeling much better. She still isn't feeling well, and her chest is still tight, but it's a far cry from yesterday. 


We are ready for 2011 to be done. 

We need a fresh start.


  1. and....I complain and whine about my life.
    You my friend, have REAL Troubles.
    Hope she is well soon.
    Hang in there! (((hugs)))

  2. How scary for you!! I'm sorry to hear Scooter got so sick. I hope she's getting better.

    Four more months, and you'll get your wish!! ((HUG))

  3. I'm SO sorry, this is horrible. I hope everyone feels better soon.


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