Warning: This is long... a bit winding... a bit of a long conversation to no one in particular. And I apologize for being windy and long today.
Few things are more scary than having a very sick child. There are worse feelings than the feeling that SOMETHING is wrong with your child, but you don't know what. There is that brief period of time, when you're watching your child, the time between a niggling sense of something and action, where you decide that something just isn't right... the fever is lasting too long, the cough is wrong, he's looking funny, something... just...something... then you make the decision and call or bring them in.
Now, he's fine. He's home and happy, and we're very happy he's home. But, you can understand, how scary it is, when your child is sick, and you have to make that decision to bring him/her in.
I didn't make the decision Monday night. He had a cold and a cough most of the weekend, starting on Friday, along with his brother. He played outside just fine Monday evening. On Monday night, he broke into a fever. He seemed a little uncomfortable, but he was sleeping, and sleeping is good. He was breathing a little fast, but nothing that registered as dangerous, though I noted it. He settled down with the Tylenol, sucking his fingers like he does.
I didn't make it Tuesday morning. He got up and came downstairs by himself, and got a sip of juice. He asked for breakfast, and decided not to eat it. I took his brother to gymnastics and kept Bear with me. He cried at Target. But he didn't have a fever.
I made it Tuesday afternoon. Bear had watched a show while Turbo ate lunch. He got up, brought over his blankie, and sat down on the floor by the stairs in front of me, indian style. He looked up at me with a slow, sweet smile. I remember it, the sitting down and the smile, because I wondered why he just sat down. Then I realized, it was because he was too tired to go upstairs. So I carried him upstairs, gave him some Tylenol and checked on him. Continuously. Something was just not right. I laid down next to him and listened to him breathe. He'd already had Tylenol, but he still was hot, still breathing fast. I counted his breaths. 61 a minute. I pinged a couple of my friends online about it at the same time I called the nurse. I left a message, but by the time I hung up the phone, I was getting ready to take him in. I wondered idly why I even bothered calling, but it was good I did, because she reinforced my concern, and said to bring him to Urgent Care. She also told me the urgent care in their building was linked to the pediatrics. So I knew to bring him there, instead of the one closer to my house. It's only a ten minute drive, so no real time was lost. She also told me they were seeing a 'lot of this' in peds.
I picked up Drama Girl at school on the way, it was dismissal time, and dropped her off at the entrance to our neighborhood. She walked to the neighbor's. I took Bear straight in, there was no traffic, and once there, we didn't even wait. After two breathing treatments I called Hubby McRed and told him where we were. After some chest x-rays, the urgent care doctor called the on-call pediatrician. He wanted to have us admitted and need the on-call peds to do it. The good news about the chest x-ray were they showed no pneumonia. The bad news was, the chest x-rays looked good, but that only made them meaningless. His oxygen levels were too low, and he was struggling. He was very sick, the dr. said, and he didn't treat clinics and labs, he treated patients and symptoms. Despite what the x-rays showed, Bear was struggling for breath.
I called Hubby McRed. Change of plans. We're going to the hosptial. Come straight here. The on-call peds called in orders. For us, the hospital is right across the street from urgent care. Very convenient. They gave us an oxygen tank. Bear was too tired to even walk. I'd been carrying him everywhere. He threw up on Hubby McRed. Not much, just a bit of liquid acid from his now-empty stomach.
But he was still sweet. And, still smiling at everyone. And when it got too much, he cried a little and I held him. Turbo had his stuffed bear. He explained to everyone how very sick his bear was, and demanded they take care of it.
We didn't have to wait long to be admitted, either. In fact, I was just beginning to fill out admittance paperwork when they called down that they wanted their patient upstairs now. Hubby McRed went upstairs with our little Bear while I filled out paperwork.
When I went upstairs, my little Bear was in a big bed, with oxygen tubes in his nose. They didn't look scary. He looked scary. Scary sad. Scary sick. A respiratory therapist was taking a good long listen at his lungs.
They told me they were treating it as though he had an asthma attack.
When the on-call pediatrician arrived, he reinforced that. He told me he had an asthma attack, a pretty bad one. He said when my normal doctor visited tomorrow, we should discuss preventative type treatments, especially with the seasons changing toward winter. He said they were going to watch the crud in his lungs to make sure it didn't become bacterial. It was just viral, and the viral infection is what triggered the attack.
That was all Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the doctor visited and said essentially the same thing. By now, Bear was sounding much better, and was talking. He still didn't have a lot of energy, but he sure was drinking a lot. This was the day I mostly forgot to eat. It was Hubby McRed's turn to spend the day and night with Bear, and he took Bear to the playroom, following him around with a little oxygen tank. He said that was nothing, compared to the guy following his daughter around with the IVs. I brought Drama Girl to visit after her dinner. I took Turbo to a neighbor's. Turbo was exhausted.
On Thursday morning, the doctor told Hubby McRed, not until Saturday. He did good most of Wednesday, but Wednesday night, his oxyen levels went down. But, on Thursday afternoon, he perked up. He got energy back. We spent most of Thursday in the play room, he just wanted... out... of... that... room. By Thursday night, he was running up and down the peds ward, breathless, but so much... better.
It was then the nurses told me it looked good for taking him home on Friday.
And on Friday, after a long week and an interminably long wait that lingered well into the noon hours, we finally got our papers...
Bear is home!
We have a nebulizer, and a follow-up appointment, but most of all, our little Bear.