So, February was crazy. I knew April would be, too, with counting down to baby C and celebrating my brothers' wedding (that we are ALL in). Thank goodness we had March in between to just sit around and rest. HA. Famous last words. On March 1st we started the month off in chaos, thanks to Cbug's big adventure.
I can only call it an "adventure" in hind sight. At the time, it was just surreal. I do want to document the events of those few days, though, because I'm just so thankful for the happy ending.
On Thursday, Cbug had what appeared to be normal seasonal allergy related breathing issues. Usually this is fairly easily resolved for him with use of his inhaler. But the asthmatic symptoms did not get better all day. Around lunch time, I called the pediatricians office to make him an appointment. This still seemed just preventative. We have a new pediatrician and I wanted her to see what a typical flare-up looked like for him.
But by the time we picked up the other two kiddos from school and got to the doctor's office, I could tell that he was really not feeling well. The nurse took some vital signs and immediately came back in with the doctor, a breathing treatment, and a steroid shot. Yeah, he was a sick little boy. But to be honest, I still was not concerned. Even at his worst, a steroid shot and a breathing treatment have always done the trick.
But not this time. Three breathing treatments later, his blood/oxygen levels were still dropping. With the third treatment, he laid his head back against me and got super relaxed...and not the kind of relaxed you want to see from your super active 4-year-old. I tried to stay calm, asked KJ to go out into the hall to get the doctor and started making phone calls to get help for my other two kids.
The doctor called 911, an ambulance was on the way, and I finally got in touch with Hatch. RRL was at a conference downtown and couldn't get to us in time so he waited at the children's hospital for us. Hatch was at a track meet, sent someone he works with to the doctor's office to pick up KJ and Lou. I had to leave with the ambulance before she got there, though, so I gave KJ and the nurse instructions and a security word to know when it was safe to let them go with the person picking them up. I was so proud of KJ for staying calm and taking care of his sister. He was AWESOME.
Cbug and I loaded up in the ambulance. He totally freaked out when I had to ride up front...until the EMT let him watch Phineas and Ferb (I tried not to have my feelings hurt that I was so easily replaced). We were on our way to the ER.
Another breathing treatment in the ambulance, and several more in the ER (including 2 that were an hour long each) did not yield great results. I'll have to say, through all of this, we were not ever very worried. Not as worried as I can see that we should have been in retrospect. The strange thing was he didn't ever really get a lot worse, he just wasn't getting better. We all just kept thinking, this next treatment will be the one to knock it out. And we were so blessed to have great support via texts, emails, facebook, phone calls. And our good friend Tara came and stayed awhile- what a gift. Cbug loves her, we all love her, and she brings JOY (and sonic drinks).
Cbug's spirits were great for a while, with movies, toys, an ipad and an amazing child life specialist, but after a few hours in the ER he was D-O-N-E. He's an ultra-sensitive kid and hearing other kids crying and screaming was more than he could bare. Finally, the doctor came in and asked "how are you feeling, buddy?" Pale, sick Cbug used all of his energy, sat up, smiled, pulled the mask away and said "I'm good". After the doc left Cbug informed us "I told the doctor I'm good, so we can leave now." Oh, bud, you sure are a smart cookie and we all wished it could worked that way.
The last breathing treatment in the ER brought just enough improvement that we avoided ICU by the skin of his little teeth and finally got moved to a regular room. Cbug relaxed immensely once we got out of the noisy ER and that helped him physically, too. He was FINALLY able to get comfortable despite the oxygen tubes taped to his face and the constriction of the uncomfortable monitoring wires and went to sleep. Which is why it sent me nearly THROUGH THE ROOF when the admissions nurse came in and made us get him out of bed to be WEIGHED at 1am. SERIOUSLY. I know she was just doing her job, but this pregnant momma was M-A-D. It took forever to get him settled down again.
The next day was just lots of monitoring and oxygen. Finally, late afternoon on Friday he was able to try some breathing on his own and seemed to be on the upswing. He also seemed to be flying a little high on all of the medicine and sugar (he got to choose what he wanted for breakfast) and by dinner time was running circles (literally) around the playroom. Unfortunately, we had to stay one more night to make sure he would do ok without breathing support, but we were finally able to go home on Saturday morning. Whew. What a ride.
A few of my favorite Cbug stories from his little adventure:
1) When he was at the height of his stir-crazed and medicated self, he was literally standing on his head in the hospital room chair SHOUTING rhyming words. FUN.BUN.GUN.RUN, etc. He was literally CRAZY and his outlet was making up rhymes. Hope that is a skill he can make good on later.
2) In another moment of medicated craze, a nurse came in and Cbug looked at her and said "Hey, could I kiss you on the lips?" Oh, that boy. And no, you cannot. You may not kiss ANYONE on the lips until you are MARRIED (at 30), little sir.
3) He loved playing trains in the playroom, and mostly had the place to himself while we were there. He also LOVED finding places to hide. All over the room. In the playroom. Wherever.
4) He had several visitors and got lots of treats and gifts in this little process. Which lead him to two conclusions: First- anyone who comes should bring him something (we had to have a little talk about this when he started asking for things) and secondly, if he has to get sick this was not a bad way to go. Between the playroom, the attention, the movies and entertainment, and the presents, he would gladly go back to the hospital. But his Momma and Daddy have assured him that there are many OTHER ways to have fun. Let's avoid this one in the future, buddy, ok?
We are just so thankful that he recovered quickly. And we are thankful for the amazing visitors, prayers, and encouragement as well as so many helpful hours put in on the home front by Grammy, Nonna and Papa J. We are also mindful of so many other families that spend so many of their hours taking care of their sick children. Our prayers for them abound, indeed.