Sunday, December 31, 2006

Eventful and unsensored new years eve

The on call doctor became available for reinsertion of Quinn's feeding tube today. The typical staff for this procedure includes an anesthesiologist who was not available. So the uncomfortable process of snaking a tube up his nose and into his intestine was to be done while Quinn was fully alert. The skeleton staff of one doctor and one nurse began the procedure in a radiology room that was six floors down from the cardiac unit. Steph and I were permitted in the room to witness. Quinn was pinned down by a nurse under a radiology machine that the doctor would use to visually guide the tube. Once the tube reached his nose, Quinn found himself in terrible regret for removing his previous one.

The nurse and doctors commented on his energy for endless screaming and fighting over the entire duration.

Steph found it very interesting, but I just found it unnerving. Especially when I saw urine and stool rocketing out of the sides of his diaper. When the doctor had finished with the insertion, and the nurse released her grip on Quinn, he became oddly quiet and spacey.

Not one to be easily excited or overly concerned, I continued my routine of randomly snapping pictures, unaware of what lay ahead.

Quinn's nurse from the cardiac unit entered the room and began moving him around and patting his back to loosen up any residual mucus. We noticed his color was a bit paler than normal and his breathing sounded gargled.

The next few moments have become something I will never forget. Steph commented sternly that Quinn was not breathing. Remaining perfectly calm, I looked on casually expecting the back patting to clear Quinn's airway and see him cough. The nurse sat him up and continued patting his back. Fluid and foam appeared at his mouth and I thought he'd cough any second.

I even took a quick video in hopes I could capture him overcoming a tough moment.

No cough, and his color began turning blueish grey. Steph repeated that he is not breathing, and I began quietly focusing on everything that was happening, including how scared I was getting.
Suddenly the nurse stated firmly that this is a cardiac code. I was unfamiliar with the term, but an organized scramble of running staff members and loudspeaker announcements ensued. Security guards cleared the way for emergency staff members to come running from the cardiac unit 6 floors up, and within minutes, the room was full of a dozen or so people who crowded around Quinn, shouting commands at one another. Minutes had gone by and no sound from Quinn. His color turned a lighter color grey.
At this point I was blanking out the fears of Quinn having a problem with his heart. In hindsight, I don't know how I'd have reacted if I let myself acknowledge the possibility that his heart repairs could be in jeopardy and he was having a heart attack. I pulled Steph back away from Quinn as I noticed her locked in a shocked stare. I told her in the calmest voice I could. "The best thing we can do is be out of the way and watch quietly. I don't want to be removed from the room." No sooner had I finished my sentence did a nurse approach us and escort us out of the room. By that time Quinn had turned a pale white. His eyes were wide open and his body had gone limp.
I kept blocking out fear. I knew there was order to the seemingly frantic chaos we were witnessing. I knew these were trained professionals taking charge and doing there job. I wanted zero distraction for any of them. And I knew that what I truly feared was the absolute worse. A minister was standing by in a waiting room to meet us. I kept listening to the room Quinn was in, and eventually heared a few gargled baby cries.
Three times a staff member from his emergency team visited us. Each visit, they asked how Steph and I were doing, but had no status of Quinn. I felt an ugliness swelling inside of me and began thinking of Steph. Composure became my top goal over the next several minutes. We sat, knowing that our son was in a state of emergency, and trying not to think of the last images we saw of him.
The patriots game was on the TV, and I stared obliviously at the screen.
The fourth visit was from a doctor. Who informed us that Quinn was breathing after they spent a while suctioning out his airway. His heart rate was elevated from the experience, but it was beating on it's own and Quinn was stable. It's all the relief I needed.
I have to wonder how dramatic this all sounds. I am laying it out exactly as it happened so Quinn will know not only what happened, but how we felt. He is fine now, and the X-rays came back negative for any internal damage or aspiration of stomach bile in his lungs. The staff also took blood samples for further evaluation and testing. It appears Quinn just choked on his own fluids for several minutes. But it was the first emergency Steph and I had experienced with him. No doctors to explain anything in advance like all his surgeries. Another new experience for Steph and I as new parents. Fear like never before.
Quinn, could you try to not do that again? That sucked, and your mom seconds that.
Happy New Year!!!


Pop said...

Ok Quinn,
No more not breathing. Got it? You scared us all half to death!!

Dan and Steph,
The pictures tell it all. It even makes my heart almost stop to see Quinn like that. A primal fear that hopefully you never have to experience again. Keep the faith you two. You are constantly in our thouhgts and prayers.

Dear Lord,
Continue to give Quinn and his family strength, and protect them.

Lou and Steve Salley said...

What a stunning report that was; I was unable to move while reading it. It is a testament to the will of that little guy that he constantly reassures us he is strong and determined. It's also a wake-up call for the rest of us this New Year's Day to be strong and determined ourselves. Our prayers and heartfelt good wishes to you both and especially to that steely little boy. Onward and upward, Quinn!
Lou and Steve Salley

The Keenans said...

This is so hard to read sometimes -Little Quinn is a fighter, but a tube up the nose without any anesthetic? I hope 2007 proves to be easier on Quinn. He's an amazing little boy. Take care - we're all thinking of you.
Becky Keenan

Jess said...

Wow, I don't even know what to say...I think it goes without saying that none of us reading this can know what that experience must have been like, but Dan, I give you so much credit for capturing your feelings and impressions. I felt your fear, and relief, and cried to see the photo of him looking peaceful in the end. Now tell that little man to keep his hands to himself and not try to create his own New Years Eve fireworks. I hope you have a more peaceful beginning to the new year than you had end of the old. I miss you and hope to see you soon!
Love, jess

Tracey said...

Wow, that is not where I expected the story to go when it started out!! Quinn really doesn't like to do things the easy way!! I can only imagine the relief you felt after this was all over, even after reading every word of it and feeling relieved myself. Steph and Dan - for your sake, I hope Quinn saves his mischieviousness for when he is home and not attached to all these tubes and wires!!

Anonymous said...

MIGHTY QUINN, " LE PETIT PRINCE" our prayers will be doubled tonight as last night we though about you but did not pray in front of the créche and my daughter your little friend from france, who has followed your site and it is her who decided to make you part of our nightly prayers. during the christ mas season. we will double the prayers for you and for your wonderful family ; a 9 year old thank s pop for his prayers; love from france.

Pop said...

To the little 9 year old girl in France,
Pop here. Dan, the father, is my son, and THE MIGHTY QUINN is my first grandson. Thank YOU, for your prayers. I'm sure Quinn will be amazed to hear that he has a friend from France before he ever made it out of the hospital. Quinn is strong, and I have faith in God that he will make it through all this horrible "stuff" and will hopefully meet you some day.
To the 9 year old's parents,
Thank you for keeping Quinn in your prayers. Thanks you.


Great Grand Dad, Paul said...

Dan and Steph,

If I could only give my strength to both of you and The Mighty Quinn, I would gladly give all that I have. My prayers are not only for Quinn to "hold" on, but both of you to keep giving all of your strength to see hinm through this ordeal. No little one has ever had to suffer as much as he has, and, no parents have even had to go through what you two have gone through, but let me tell you this...hundreds of people have found new strength and more love because of you two beautiful persons.

I have a very strong feeling that Quinn is going to pull us all through this because of his determination to live we all have found new depths of our own lives.

I will hold this little guy someday, I will. And we will all jump off the Rock!

Great Grand
Dad, Paul

Anonymous said...