Sundays with Gage – Ventilators, ICU, Medical Mystery, and a Miracle

Watching four doctors, three members of the ambulance team, and more nurses than I could keep track of  surrounding your 3 month old son trying to insert a breathing tube will change you.  Watching them fail three times will probably stay with me for the rest of my life.  The fourth attempt was successful and then came numerous failed attempts to put in a second IV before getting us in the ambulance to transfer us from the pediatric ER to the Cleveland Clinic downtown. 

As I sat in the front seat of the ambulance with Gage in the back racing toward the Cleveland Clinic where Jason and my Mom were waiting it was hard to have a coherent thought past the overwhelming fear that had taken over my body.  Just that morning Gage had been smiling and talking to me and Grandma, but he started vomiting  a few hours after I fed him.  We went to the doctor’s office and then straight to the ER .  He hadn’t stopped throwing up and he was so lethargic I was scared.  The doctor tried to reassure me, but the fact that she wanted to transfer us said enough.  Once we arrived downtown he was taken directly to ICU.  This was Monday. 

They did two CAT scans, an upper GI test (he already had an ultrasound and body x-ray from his last trip to the ER), EKG, 24/7 heart monitoring and blood tests done.  He had teams of doctors, neurology and GI consults and yet no one could tell us why he had stopped breathing.  On Tuesday they took Gage off the ventilator and it took him six hours to wake up.  On Thursday they moved him out of ICU as he started eating on his own.  By this time he had been on so many drugs and stuck with so many needles I was sure he would never be the same.  But babies are resilient.  On Friday Gage was acting like his old self, but there was still no answer as to what had happened. 

The hospital’s best people tried to take blood from Gage and only two were successful enough to get any blood and that is not enough to run all of the test they want.  We have a few tests pending, but the doctors think that they are long shots.  And if I want to have all of the tests run I’ll have to have them try to take more blood.  Watching them try to insert a breathing tube multiple times was the most difficult thing, but watching three doctors try to get blood from our boy on Friday with no success was a nightmare too.

So, they don’t know what happened or why and on Friday they want to send us home.  I am terrified of leaving without an answer.  If I don’t know what caused it how do I know how to avoid it?  What if it happens again?  When I realized that even another night in the hospital would not answer these questions I agreed to take him home on Friday night.  Gage, Jason, and I had not left the hospital since Monday, but as we drove home it seemed like a month.

I am so thankful for Gage’s recovery.  So many people were praying for him and I choose to believe that our prayers were answered and the reason that they can’t find anything wrong with him now is that it’s been fixed already by someone more powerful than a team of doctors.  But those are only in my most positive moments.  The rest of the time I am in a state of worry and panic.  My mom will be staying with us this week and that is a huge help.  It is nice to be home with our son who seems to be more recovered than I might ever be. 

Yesterday Gage was home for his four month birthday and he enjoyed spending time with his grandparents.

This has been the hardest week of my life and although Gage is doing better I cannot say the same for myself yet.  I am hoping one of the tests may tell us something, but there is the very real possibility that they won’t and  that is going to be difficult, but that fact that Gage is home and doing well is enough for me.

31 thoughts on “Sundays with Gage – Ventilators, ICU, Medical Mystery, and a Miracle

  1. Natalie says:

    Oh my goodness! When I was reading this I am in tears. I can’t imagine going thru what you did. I pray that someone will find the answers and you’ll be able to prevent the episode from every happening again.
    It reminds me of the time my son had pneumonia at 3yrs old. The absolute fear, helplessness, anxiety, it was horrifying, I still have nightmares about it. I don’t think you ever forget it.
    Prayers and good vibes to you , Gage and your husband and I hope you’ll never have to go thru that again.


  2. VioletCrush says:

    Oh my god, that must have been so scary. Gage is going to be just fine, he’s one tough little boy. Don’t worry, I hope the results tell you something. My prayers and thoughts are always with you and your family.

  3. Heather says:

    Sending out hugs to you both and little Gage. I hope you find answers. I’m so sorry and am so glad he is doing better. Hugs and love to your whole family. You are all in my thoughts.

  4. Literary Feline says:

    Oh my gosh, Stacy! What a nightmare! I am so glad Gage seems to be okay at this point. I’d be dying to know what caused it too and hope you will get some answers. My thoughts are prayers are with you all.

  5. Susan says:

    Nothing is scarier than watching your infant in distress without being able to do anything to ease his suffering, and when the doctors can’t come up with the answer, well that just puts it into the realm of the unthinkable.

    I feel so badly after the response I gave you at last week’s post, and your experience has changed my thinking. I will be praying that Gage is over this nightmare and will continue his days in good health. Bless your sweet heart, dear.

  6. caspette says:

    Oh wow so scary.

    We have been so lucky our little man has had no real complications other then croup and that was terrifying. I can only imagine what you guys went through.

    I hope and pray they find answer. Will be thinking of you and let us know the outcome.

  7. gautami tripathy says:

    When I read the title of this post on my reader, it was like OMG!

    Glad he is doing well and is at home. Please do let us the test results. I am always sending good vibes for you and your family.

    Love and Hugs….

  8. Kay says:

    Oh, Stacy, I’m so sorry your little one has had to experience so much. It must have been so scary for all of you. I can’t even imagine. You guys take care and I’m keeping all of you in my prayers for a healthy Gage and a Mom and Dad who can relax and just love him without so much worrying. Hugs and I hope all goes well.

  9. Nise' says:

    I am so glad Gage is feeling better and I hope you get an answer. Those unanswered reasons are scary, when our littles ones can’t tell us what is wrong. Glad your mom is there with you.

  10. Carol M says:

    How awful for Gage and you and your family! I’m so glad he is doing better now. Not knowing what was wrong is hard, too, but as long as he is ok, that’s all that matters. I’m glad your mom is staying with you. Big hugs to you all!

  11. Word Lily says:

    I honestly missed your posts and dropped by your site at some point last week to see if you’d said anything. I did send up a prayer, figuring that something was going on, but I’m sad to hear I was right on that point. Glad you’re all OK, at least!

  12. rhapsodyinbooks says:

    I’m so glad you have your family there with you! But you know if something had to go wrong, the Cleveland Clinic is one of the best places in the world. They won’t let anything happen to Gage!!!

  13. Mary says:

    Oh Stacy, I’m keeping Gage and you all in my prayers. I hope that’s the last of the hospital you see for a long, long time and that you can get some answers.

  14. jennygirl says:

    Oh Stacy! I am so sorry to read about this horrific experience. I can’t even begin to imagine what you and Jason went through during this ordeal, not to mention sweet little Gage. My prayers are with you all and hopefully this is a one time freak occurence. An answer would be fab but just so long as it doesn’t happen again. {{{hugs}}} and prayers

  15. Staci says:

    Oh Stacy…my heart stopped as I was reading your post. I wish so much that I was near you so that I could reach out to comfort you during this time of stress and the unknown. I do believe in the power of prayer and God. He’s there taking care of Gage…have faith in that. I will ask that Gage be lifted up during my women’s Bible study Wednesday. Let’s pray that an answer does come to help relieve your anxiety so that you can begin to relax and enjoy Gage. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your husband, Gage and family members.

  16. Jenners says:

    Oh My God Stacy … what a nightmare! I can’t even imagine the stress and horror that you have been through. I’m terrified on your behalf. I pray that they find an answer for you so you aren’t living with this fear over your head. Sending you all the best thoughts in the world to you and your little boy. Be well. Hugs.

  17. Mariska says:

    *i’m in tears when i read this*..
    I can feel you Stacy. AS I’m watching Baby Al now. I hope Gage is doing better and better. And please keep us updated. (hugs)

  18. StephanieD says:

    I am almost speechless with apprehension for Gage. I am glad that he is home with you but what a frightening experience. I very much hope that there will be no more repeats of what happened.

  19. Amy says:

    Oh Stacy, you poor thing, you and your husband must be beside yourselves with worry. I apologize for my late comment but I’m keeping ypou both and Gage in my thoughts and prayers, hoping he continues to be fine and to thrive. Gage looks great in the photo here. But his ordeal sounds terrifiying. How awful to watch the nurses and doctors hover around and work on your little angel. Children recover quickly from things and are quite resilient especially when surrounded by loving parents and grandparents.

    Hang in there, Stacy :o)

  20. Wrighty says:

    I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through! I haven’t been on line for awhile so I had no idea about Gage’s illness. I’ve had two of my boys take rides to the ER in an ambulance and I swear my heart stopped for the entire trip. It’s an awful feeling when your child is in any kind of trouble but this is the ultimate fear. I’m so glad that Gage is better. I’m sure you are still having restless nights and will feel much better when you have some answers. As scary as this is for you, he will never remember any of it and hopefully it will just be a story to tell him someday. My thoughts and prayers are with you all!

  21. Thoughts of Joy says:

    I see that this happened last month, but I’m sure the experience has left its mark. I’m so sorry you all went through that. Scary! I hope you have some answers now, so you can put your mind to rest or use precautionary measures to prevent it from happening again.

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