Bekah Loves Making New Friends, Even if She Tells Them “Stop It!”

2012-08-31 10:13:10 by Sarah Plant, Patient Family, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

After battling a sore throat for days, the Bekster had finally had enough and just started refusing to eat…and choked on what we did get into her until she spit it up anyhow.  We went from mildly nervous to very worried when our wet diaper count started to plummet, and we decided that instead of spending the weekend terrified that Bekah was becoming dehydrated, we should just go to the hospital and find out for sure.

So, Saturday afternoon we grabbed up the things we thought we’d need and headed to the ER at the Mahoning Valley campus of Akron Children’s Hospital.

As soon as we entered the doors, there were people immediately asking all of the routine questions, but our answer to one stopped everyone. A nurse asked if Bekah had had any recent surgeries or injuries…our answer, yes, she had open heart surgery the beginning of March. Immediately the atmosphere changed.

As we described her symptoms, the doctor listened, said it was probably all just due to the very obviously sore throat Bekah had, and then asked if we were ok with taking a chest x-ray and doing blood work, just to be sure.

Within five minutes we were headed to x-ray. The x-ray ladies were incredibly friendly, and one said that Bekah looked familiar, but she wasn’t sure where she may have seen her before. We told her about the blog, and that Bekah was recently on some information slips about the upcoming Mahoning Valley radiothon.

The chest x-ray looked as we expected…heart good, lungs still somewhat crummy. (We peeked at it ourselves as they were checking to make sure everything showed up. The actual results didn’t use the word crummy. It said “lung volumes are low” and that there is “crowding of pulmonary markings.”) Essentially, there was no reason to suspect Bekah’s problems were related to anything other than a severely sore throat.

The x-ray part of our day was pretty much what we expected…the unexpected thing happened as nurse Ryan and tech Ben (Bekah’s new best friends) tried to find a vein to do lab work and run a precautionary IV with some fluids and some medicine to help settle her very angry tummy. Ryan and Ben did an excellent job finding a vein on a Bekah’s tiny arm, and at keeping her from leaping right off the table.

The interesting part came after she was all swaddled up (to keep her from pounding all of us with her tiny fists and karate kicking us with her meaty little feet). We were all holding her as Ryan started the line.  Now, keep in mind that Bekah is funny, and she has said some hilarious things (for example, one day she said “Hi Bekah!” just out of nowhere, and she says ma, and da, and all of the usual baby stuff, along with telling a fan to “go” one day), but usually Chris and I are the only people who hear her “words.”

Sometimes we think we’re actually hearing things because she doesn’t usually give repeat performances. But, this time, we had witnesses.

As she struggled to get free, she said, as plain as anything, “STOP IT!”  I was just going to let it slide by, but Chris, Ryan and Ben all heard it too. We did stop for a second as we tried to control our laughter and keep holding her.  Soon, the line was in, and she was resting calmly for the first time in days.

As she napped we watched the hospital computer screensaver — yes, there are TV’s in the rooms, but we have that at home.  The screensaver was much more interesting, especially after Chris spotted a picture of us! We saw a picture of ourselves with Dr. Smith the day of Bekah’s surgery consultation and realized that Bekah’s friend from x-ray probably saw her on there. It made us laugh, and as test after test came back fine, we started to relax.

After about 45 minutes Bekah awoke and looked at us with the funniest little face.  Then, she lifted her left arm in slow motion, and moved it back and forth like she just couldn’t figure out what was going on with it. It was too funny.

As soon as she was awake, the doctor came in and we gave her some Pedialyte (which of course she drank at the hospital after we had tried for hours to get her to drink it at home—traitor!).

The verdict—she never had made it to actually being dehydrated, but she definitely was doing much better after the medicine and meeting new friends. We returned home with calmed nerves to find that my mom (who we had called in for back-up) had lined all of Bekah’s toys up so that she could see them from the arms of whoever was holding her. It was hilarious!

Grammy’s plan was spoiled when Bekah started reaching for the toys and began turning the nice lines into a messy heap. But we were all glad to see her wanting to play again - even if it did take making some new friends to make us all feel better.

Read the rest of Sarah and Rebekah’s story through her blog, Following Your Heart.




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