Thursday, October 10, 2013

Respiratory Arrest

This morning Reed had an appointment to have his wisdom teeth out at 11:20 at a dental office down the street.  Our regular dentist does not do wisdom teeth and he recommended an oral surgeon, but there was a longer wait, so I went with this place.  He was a bit nervous, but nothing unusual under the circumstances.  I was not worried because Parker had his wisdom teeth out at the same place two months ago and because Reed has been under general anesthesia before with no issues.

It seemed to me that the procedure was taking a long time, but not so out of the ordinary that it raised a red flag.  When I saw the hygienist, who told me that she would be watching his vitals, come out to get another patient, I figured he was done and sure enough it was about 5-10 minutes later that they asked me to move my car around to the back to pick him up.  Ed had left for a few minutes, but arrived back just as I was in the recovery room.  As soon as they rolled him in we both gasped.  He looked terrible and his face was already swollen.  He could not hold his own head up and after watching the assistant be somewhat awkward about it, I stood and had his head resting against me. The assistant told us that he had been a fighter and that they had to use some extra medication to calm him down.

The doctor came in and told us that things had gone well.  All the normal stuff.  The teeth were deep still so they had to work harder and he would probably be sore for a few days. Blah, blah, blah.

It seemed that the assistant was anxious to get Reed on his way even though we expressed concern that he didn't seem ready.  We were given a bag of "stuff" and the assistant wheeled him out to my car.  Reed could not stand or move on his own, so the assistant muscled him into the car.  Ed left just before me to drop off the prescription at Walgreen's and I headed for home.  I was trying to get him to talk to me but about halfway home he fell asleep.  I turned the corner into my neighborhood and soon saw my neighbor out for a walk with her kids.  I waved and then I looked over to Reed.  That is when I noticed he was very gray and his lips were blue.  I sped into our driveway, slammed the car into park, and ran around to the other side of the car.

I immediately felt for a heart beat and his pulse was strong.  I could not wake him up.  He was totally non-responsive and he wasn't breathing.  I moved his head around to try to open his airway and he gasped a bit but there was so much crap in his mouth that it sounded awful.  At about that time Ed drove in and immediately realized what was going on and called 911.  Just then the UPS man arrived to deliver some boxes.  Dispatch wanted us to get him out of the car and on the ground.  The UPS man and Ed got him out and I slightly rolled him to his side so that he wouldn't choke on the blood in his mouth.  My neighbor who I had waved to offered to call 911 when her son told her that Reed was on the ground, but Ed was already talking to them.

Just then the first two police officers arrived.  The first officer thought he might be chocking on the gauze so we were trying to get it out when the ambulance arrived within 30-45 seconds.  EMT Paxman took control of the scene.   Ed called the dentist office to see what meds they had given Reed.  He was put on hold and then told that the doctor was unavailable.  There was some strong language when he had to call back, but finally the EMTs got the information that they needed.  They administered NarCan and were expecting him to wake up rather violently and had warned us to not be alarmed.  That did not happen.  We were loaded into the ambulance and headed to American Fork Hospital.  That is when I realized how many emergency personnel and neighbors had gathered.  I was pretty shaky by then.   Before we got to the hospital he had 2 nasal doses and 4 shots of NarCan and he was finally coming to.  I have never been so happy to hear him cough just as we got to the hospital!

In our time at the hospital he went through several "phases" but continued to improve- except for his breathing.  We had to keep reminding him to breathe.  He was hooked up to monitors and when they started going off they would scare him awake and he would breathe.  Around 4:30 they decided to release him, but then he had several breathing episodes in a row, so we stayed.  The monitor continued to go off- but mostly when he was asleep.  Around 6:30 the doctor decided that he thought Reed might have some sleep apnea that was being worsened by the swelling but that he thought he would be fine.  He was released around 6:45.

And now he sleeps.  And I do not.  I'm sitting right next to him so that I can hear him breathe.

I am so grateful for the people in our life.  DiAnna Rice was at the hospital almost immediately.  Our Bishop came and helped Ed give Reed a blessing.  A Lehi PD detective who has been a long-time friend came to make sure that everything was OK,  And the very first officer who arrived on scene went to the dentist office, got the list of meds, and brought two copies to the hospital.  Another police officer called Ed this evening to check on Reed and to make sure that we knew that calling 911 was the right thing to do.  His oxygen levels were below 50% when they arrived and he would not have woken up on his own.  How scary is that?

I know that Ed is really angry with the dentist's office.  I didn't deal with them, so I'm not. . .yet.  He felt like time was crawling when he was on the phone with dispatch and I felt like it was flying by because I was totally focused on making Reed breathe.  I think we were both pretty calm in the face of an emergency.  I did not get shaken until the EMTs started working on him.  Ed was a rock, like usual.

You always hear that you shouldn't take anything for granted.  I try really hard to live by that advice.  It will be a little easier tomorrow with today's reminder of just how fragile life is.  How very glad I am that we are sealed as a family for eternity!
Reed just wanted to get home and snuggle with Clark.  And Clark was happy to oblige.


Megan said...

where did you guys go to get his wisdom teeth out at?

Joan said...

Oh, Kaye, I cant even imagine what I would have done in a similar situation but I am sure it would not have been as calm as what you went through. Boy, life can be unpredictable and you really have to be your own and your family's advocate at all times when medical things occur. I have learned from you. SO glad Reed is better.

dougandjulie said...

Thanks goodness that Reed is doing well and recovering. What a scare!! Life is so fragile.