I Was In The ICU Alone

Two years ago I got suddenly sick. I think it was dehydration. A lot of it could have been stress since Gavin was very FPIES sick. All that month when I had a drink it felt as if my throat was swelling shut. I was scared I had MCAS, another autoimmune disease. I was eating a very limited diet to keep my son thriving, he had food allergies through breast milk. He started reacting to the orange juice I was drinking, I think it was the citric acid. Every time I would have a glass of juice, he puked. Maybe I just had an FPIES reaction myself.

What I do know is that I wasn’t feeling well that week, I was groggy. Thursday night I went to bed early with a migraine and I woke up Friday morning and vomited. I told Greg to bring me to the hospital. I felt as if I was going to pass out. We got my in laws to watch Ellie but I brought Gavin to the hospital with me since he was nursing. While I was checking in I through up lamb I ate 16 hours before. They gave me IV saline while I was in the waiting room.

The emergency Dr. was good. He hooked me up with some IV Zofran for the nausea. I had chills so bad so I was under half a dozen heated blankets. Around 1 am they did a gas test and told me I was in keto acidosis. They didn’t know why I was so sick but they were moving me to the ICU. I was told my potassium was lower than they had seen before and they didn’t understand how I was still awake. I was told I was dying and my milk was toxic. When I was being moved to the ICU, Greg was told to go to the waiting room with the baby. He was informed he had to put the baby on formula. Luckily his paediatrician was on call at that hospital and we got a hold of him at 2 am. He approved the formula. I didn’t get to say goodbye, but they eventually went home.

Greg came with the kids to visit me for a short time on the Saturday and Mother’s Day Sunday. My friend Ami and my mom also visited. It was hard with the kids there, Gavin and Ellie wanted to breast feed. I was told by the Dr. that I neglected my health to nurse and if we didn’t do formula she would call CAS. The whole thing was traumatizing. I spent Sunday morning asking to go home and fighting with that Dr. The rest of the day I spent crying. I wanted my family. I wanted to go home.

I ended up being discharged Monday morning with better potassium. I felt sick to my stomach and I was having chest pains. Dairy was upsetting my stomach after not eating it for so long. A week later I was back to breastfeeding Gavin since he ended up being allergic to the formula. He lost 1.5 lbs that week. He ended up being admitted to a children’s hospital for failure to thrive and dehydration while I got my milk supply back. The whole thing was insanely stressful. We decided to keep Ellie weaned which ended up being a good choice since I had to stay with Gavin at the hospital for 3 weeks. She stayed home with dad.

Being alone was hard but the days went quickly. My night nurse cried for me on Sunday evening. We bonded a lot and she felt awful I was trapped in the hospital. She was from Russia and didn’t expect this type of thing in Canada. I get that I needed to stay though. I get that I needed my potassium up. I also get that seeing me just made the baby cry for milk. It was just a tough situation. I could have called my family and asked them to come but I was so distraught I didn’t think to reach out to anyone. I’m just glad it is over and we are all healthy now.

I may not ever know for sure what caused me to get sick and vomit. Dehydration, flu, FPIES, MCAS? I needed the MCAS test then when I was so reactive but I didn’t think to ask for it. Honestly, when I was in the ICU I just remember the one big fight with the doctor. I got sick suddenly and went straight to the hospital so I’m not sure I could have done anything differently. Things were so hard with my son’s food allergies. It was a mess.

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