Starting on Christmas, Dorothy, and then Ana, started showing signs of a cold. Stuffy head, coughing, sneezing, and the like. The other girls had something, so we figured they must have passed it on. We took the older three into the doctor. They all had some virus and two of them had secondary infections from that. In asking about the twins, basically, unless they had a fever or wheezing, there wasn’t anything to really check out.
Fast-forward a week, the twins are still under the weather and starting to get worse. The cough changed. There was a little wheezing on occasion. They weren’t eating the same way as before. Even though we have an appointment on the books already for Tuesday, we squeezed them into the doctor’s office today.
The doctor wasn’t happy hearing them, and then was doubleplusunpleased seeing their sats. Oxygen saturation in your blood should be pretty high, 97%-100%, that ballpark. Both girls were in the 80% range. Along with a positive RSV test result, not only did this mean a return to the hospital for both girls, protocol dictated that they needed to be medically transported to be monitored in case levels dropped further.
An ambulance came to the clinic, slid both girls in a transport incubator, and headed off with V riding in the jump seat while I failed to maintain a 500-foot distance following in our van.
Instead of returning to their hospital of birth, we’re at Dell Children’s Hospital now—the same one Olivia stayed at during her major asthma attack and where Catalina had her tonsils removed. It’s literally in our neighborhood.
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is one of those standard viruses that most people wouldn’t care about. For healthy folks, basically, it causes a cold that lasts a week. For vulnerable groups—such as infants in generals and premies moreso—it can be gnarly. Per the CDC, it is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in kids under 1 years old in the U.S. Just yesterday, one of Austin’s TV stations reported on a spike in infant hospitalizations due to RSV.
We were initially taken to the ER to be “stabilized”. Protocol, again, dictated that we make a pitstop in the ER for everything to be checked out in an environment where if they made a sudden turn for the worse, everyone would be ready. Fate would have it that the resident physician that the girls had while in the NICU was working in the ER tonight and assigned to us, so we were able to catch up a bit.
Of course, this is the one day we dressed them alike. Their matching Christmas onesies are the warmest clothes they own which are also perfect to confuse the medical staffs treating both girls at the same time!
We’re in the unit now—regular hospital rooms, not the NICU—with each of the girls in their own room and settled. The plan is to monitor, wean them off of needing oxygen, and get them past the worst of it before back to home care.