I've never ridden in an ambulance before. There were no sirens or lights since Evan's vitals were stable. He was in a recovery state of consciousness after the seizure, still pretty dazed and not responding very well for about 10 minutes. The EMTs gave him an anteater stuffed animal and he eventually said a few words. I was questioned about his entire health history during the drive. On the way I also texted Isaiah to let him know where we were so he could meet us after work in an hour or two. We went to the South Sacramento Kaiser ER. It was a pretty calm admittance. The EMTs transferred Evan over to the Kaiser nurses along with the information they had collected, and then they said goodbye (and told us to come visit them once he's all better).
At Kaiser I retold the story of what happened several times.
Evan's was set up with monitors for his vitals and an IV for blood work and fluids.
Evan's health history was recounted as I answered the same questions repeatedly.
He had a head and abdomen x-ray as well as a CT scan to check the positioning/functioning of the shunt.
Evan had another seizure.
The Kaiser doctor called Evan's UCSF doctors for consultation. (To be frank, she didn't know much about shunts and shunt failure.)
It was pretty obvious that we needed to be transferred to a different hospital that could give Evan better care for his condition, so medical transport was arranged for us to go to UCSF. Isaiah drove home with a list of items to collect for an unknown length of stay in San Francisco. Evan and I took off on our second ambulance ride of the day. This time I got front seat! I got all the inside scoop on ambulance driving during the hour and a half ride.
We are now at the new UCSF Children's Hospital in Mission Bay. (Same doctors as when I was at UCSF, but new location and lots of new equipment and it's HUGE) Everything smells new....except for the soap which has a VERY nostalgic smell for me. We were initially placed on the oncology floor because there wasn't room for him on the surgery floor. After a couple hours it became pretty obvious that he needed to be moved to the Pediatric ICU. He was not doing so hot. His ICU room was a little more intense. More monitors and equipment. Lower nurse-patient ratio. Only one parent allowed to sleep at the bedside. It was past midnight but the doctors were working hard to verify his condition. Kaiser was unable to send the x-ray and CT images, so the UCSF doctors didn't have much to go on. They quickly did an x-ray at his bedside and took him for the CT scan during the night. The plan was surgery in the morning, between 7 and 10 am. I went into a family lounge and tried to sleep on the couch.
Around 6:30 Isaiah texted, "Come fast." I came into a room full of craziness. Evan had another seizure. Following the seizure he became apneic (stopped breathing well). He was basically unconscious and completely unresponsive. There was a lot of stuff going on to get Evan stable but really he couldn't get stable until his shunt was fixed. Both the x-ray and ct scan showed that the catheter that goes into the valve at the top of his head was out of place, clearly explaining his issues. The neurosurgeon (who, by the way, was the same doctor who closed Evan's back in utero) was scheduled to come in at 7, and at that time would decide when Evan's surgery would be fit into his schedule. Immediately when he arrived he said that Evan needed to be done first. Hallelujah! He wasn't going to make it a few more hours in the condition he was in. He was prepped for surgery and wheeled off. I think Isaiah and I felt much more relief than fear towards the surgery. It was more scary to see Evan in such a terrible state, and we knew the surgery would fix that, probably immediately.