Well, it’s been a wild week to say the least. After a wonderful long weekend in Gilmer for the Yamboree, things just never got back to normal, In fact, they turned down right scary.
Oscar and I came back from Gilmer on Sunday afternoon, while Chris and Walt stayed back to play some golf. So, Monday a.m. I went about my business getting O ready for school and myself ready for work. Nothing was unusual. He was a bit congested, but not uncommon after a road trip. He was also mildly wheezy, but this is a regular occurrence in our house. We self-manage this with two different types of breathing treatments. No. Big. Deal.
I got a call on Monday afternoon that Oscar had a slight fever. My first reaction, “Great. Here goes my normal work week.” I had no idea what was ahead. His fever was very mild (100.4, which is exactly what gets you sent home from school). He was definitely not feeling good, but nothing concerning. We just gave him Motrin, let him sleep, and gave him breathing treatments.
We had to keep him home on Tuesday because they have to be 24-hours fever free before returning. He was actually doing much better. No fever. Great mood. Still wheezy, but in our world, we usually deal with wheeziness for a week after a cold comes knocking on our door. By Tues. night I had my head wrapped around started that “normal week” I so wanted to have.
Wednesday morning we woke up. I got ready and went to go get Oscar. His wheezing had gotten worse (that’s not a good sign… stable or better is what we’re going for). He was still in a good mood, but his little tummy was working hard to keep up the breathing. I knew our pediatrician has a walk-in clinic from 8a-9a. In my feeble little head I thought, “I’ll just take him in. They’ll give him a steroid. And off to work and school we go.” This is what happened.
We got to the doctor and the receptionist was even worried about Oscar b/c he was breathing so loudly and clearly working hard to breathe. They got us back in a room around 9:00 a.m. and his pulse ox levels were not bad (95… you shoot for 100, so we’re within normal). They proceeded to give him three back-to-back breathing treatments with Albuterol. Poor little buddy just got worse and worse. His tummy was pumping faster and the area around his collar bone/neck was retracting deeply with each breath (so scary!). His pulse ox was also dropping. At this point it was 92. Now they start to get concerned. They can’t give us another treatment (even though he needs it) because all that Albuterol requires close monitoring of his pulse. So, off to Children’s hospital we go. Sadly, a place where we are not strangers.
|Super sleepy after so many breathing treatments and hating it.|
|He ran away from me and just stood there and sobbed.|
They got Oscar right in and immediately began another breathing treatment that lasted AN HOUR. Oscar is no longer jovial. He’s pissed, tired, and annoyed. Try dealing with that while keeping a mask on a 16-month old’s face. #awesome. He had some monitors hooked up, so I could see his pulse ox holding steady around 94-95 but his pulse was 190!!!! No wonder why he was pissed!! I lost track of how many breathing treatments he did in the ER, but it was at least three.
|So. Sleepy. Treatment #49592|
|A brief break between nebulizers. He didn’t want to be held, but happily laid right next to me.|
|When Daddy showed up at the ER, Oscar was very relieved.|
Finally, after getting him “stable” for about an hour they told us they needed to admit him for overnight monitoring. The good news is we could now move to treatments every three hours. So, we made ourselves comfortable in our room. Oscar napped for a bit, and then we did more treatments. All.night.long. He was such a little trooper for all of it. Really, he just wanted to sleep. He didn’t want me to hold him. He wanted to lie in peace in his crib.
Thursday we woke up with a very, very, very slight improvement. They continued to administer oral steroids (which totally makes him agro) and breathing treatments every four hours. We had to maintain stability on this every four hour cycle to be considered for discharge. The good news was we also go upgraded from breathing treatments to an inhaler! This went from a 20-minute treatment to a 3-minute puff fest.
|Pooped again. Only awake for 90 minutes.|
|This was our normal look every three hours.|
The doctor ultimately made it our decision whether to stay or go. He was improved enough that he could go home, but would require close monitoring (either by us at home or here in the hospital). Knowing he just wanted to sleep, I felt comfortable with us monitoring this at home.
|Still a goofball and finding time to smile.|
The whole time, I never felt like the situation was dire, but I wondered what it would take for him to finally turn a corner. The truth is, it took a long time. Even after we got home, we were sticking to medication schedules and he was sleeping better, but he sounded like a vacuum for a full week. We were told to see a pulmonology (we have one!) and stick to 2x daily steroid treatments for the duration of the winter. Hoping this keeps us out of the hospital FOREVER.
I also wanted to thank everyone who reached out to help or just check on us. We definitely felt the love and I think that’s why we never felt alone or desperate. It’s so nice to have a close and extended support system!