Sorry for the disappearance. R was, thankfully, released from the hospital on Tuesday evening, and sent home with oxygen. The problem was, I then developed my own case of RSV and felt pretty lousy for a couple days. Thank the Lord we rarely stay sick long, though, as I am finally on the mend and feeling much better. I still get winded pretty easily, but otherwise, I am feeling pretty good. RSV is a respiratory illness afterall, and we do live at 7550 feet altitude! Needless to say, when you’re struggling to breathe to begin with, the lack of oxygen up here is easily felt!
That being said, there are still some concerns we have for R. Right after she was born, and for the first couple months when she had well-baby checks, we began to notice a regular pattern of her having low pulse-ox levels (oxygen levels in the blood) when they would check. At first the nurses blamed faulty equipment, as her numbers would read in the low 80’s (it should be 95-100). Over time, though, different equipment and even different offices always got the same readings. Finally, her pediatrician ran some chest x-rays and blood work on R to rule out anything too concerning, which it did. Since R had no indications of a lack of oxygen (like blue fingers or lips), the doc theorized that R’s fast growth was a factor, and it might be a minor issue she would grow out of.
Then, this came up, and of course, her levels were in the low 80’s. Thinking it was the RSV, they immediately put her on oxygen. Then, the pediatrician at the hospital where she was admitted said they were looking for her pulse-ox levels to stabilize in the high 90’s before they would release us. I explained that she had never been that high, told her R’s medical history, and she laughed, irritated the R’s normal pediatrician had stopped investigating. She explained a potential pulmonary issue that, although not life-threatening, could cause problems later in life if not treated early. While it isn’t very common, it is exaserbated at this low-oxygen altitude. She immediately ordered an echocardiagram be done. That evening, we got a really good look at R’s heart, her blood flow, and all the valves. Very impressive technology, actually! The results came back the next morning that there was something detected, but we have no way to know if it was the RSV causing it, or if it is the pulmonary condition. The good news is, even if it is an underlying condition, the treatment is a short spell on oxygen. So, they agreed to let us go home, but they put R on a sea-level rate of oxygen flow 24/7 (or as best as we can keep that pesky tube under her nose!) When the RSV clears up, we will return to see the cardiologist for another echocardiogram, then go from there. If you would keep the issue in your prayers, we would be grateful!