Friday, January 7, 2011

Our Medical Drama

I will preface this by saying that hopefully last night's events prove to be the most dramatic and traumatic medical issues we have in this family. Because looking back on the events of last night, things could have been 1,000x worse. Looking objectively at this week, things could have been 1,000x worse; but when you're in the thick of it it's hard to be objective.

So. The story.

The kids have been sick since the 1st. Fevers (never over 101), runny noses, sneezing, watery eyes, etc. Tuesday they seemed to be doing better, Wednesday they were just a little sniffly (although at that point my Dad was sick) and so I figured we had seen the worst of it. Thursday everyone got worse. Bryan, the kids, even I wasn't feeling all that great Thursday evening.

Griffin got the worst of it though. He was so congested he was having trouble breathing, his right eye was constantly 'weepy', he was sneezing and coughing... but no fever. So we gave him a bit of baby Benedryl in the hopes it would clear up some of the mucous so he could sleep and he and I camped out on the couch so he could sleep on me in an inclined position. I hoped this would help him sleep since he hadn't gotten anything resembling decent sleep.

Neither one of us got much sleep. I couldn't fall asleep because Griffin needed to be patted/bounced to stay asleep and then he started having these weird breathing spells. He'd stop breathing for a few seconds (2-3 seconds max) then open his mouth, take in one big breath (which sounded like a frog croak), cough (which sounded like a seal bark), and cry (which sounded so pathetic). He'd have to pause during the crying to breathe, which means that he'd stop breathing, gasp, cough, and cry some more.

Broke my heart. And it freaked me the f*** out.

Bryan comes out in the living room to join us and I call the Blue Cross Advise Nurse. I generally love the AN line. I trust my nurses. I prefer nurses. But I now realize that the AN line has a serious case of CYA (cover your ass).

The nurse I spoke to was pleasant. She had a reassuring voice, she was calm. During the first part of our conversation she had me convinced that nothing was wrong. Until we started discussing G's breathing. She asked a few questions and the moment I said yes to one of them her voice changed. She was worried. Very worried. And then she said to me.

"Ma'am. You need to call 911. Would you like me to call them for you?"

If I was freaked out before I don't know what I would call my emotional state after that.

So we call 911 and a few minutes later, 6 Firemen are standing in our living room listening to G's chest.

Turns out, he's ok. Well, he sick. Really sick, but not Emergency Room sick.

The rest of the night was pretty suck-tastic. G slept on me in our bed for awhile, then slept next to me - that was when I was finally able to get a tiny bit of restless sleep.

I only taught one class period today and then went home to take care of my sick baby. We saw a doctor today and what he has is viral - meaning we keep and eye on him to make sure its not getting worse and just wait it out. If he's not better on Wednesday then they want to see him again. Croup was mentioned as a possible culprit, but he doesn't have a fever. It's not a sinus infection or ear infection.

Benadryl to clear up mucous, eye drops for his "weepy" eye, and humidifiers in every room in the house.

Add to this short naps (he's still not breathing well enough to nap for periods longer than 30 minutes) and now Penelope is having sinus problems. She woke up from a too-short nap crying... she has so much mucous that she is swallowing it (gross) and her breathing is now labored and a little on the erratic side (at least when she sleeps). Oh! And my fever is back! Hoo-flipping-ray.

In general, this week has been awful. I would like a do-over.


  1. :o( I really hope he's feeling better. I, too, love the nurse advice lines. They're really excellent, and I'm glad the nurse had the first responders come assess. Always better to be safe than sorry.

    I'm sure you know about this, but wanted to share a trick for those who don't have a nebulizer or humidifier. If you sit in the bathroom with the door shut and run the shower on the hottest water possible, it'll steam up the room and thin some of the secretions, so it's easier to cough them up. A great thing to do is just sit in there for 30-40 min and do chest percussions (think of the amount of force you use to burp him - firm but not like you're whacking him). The steam will help loosen and thin the sticky secretions, and the chest PT will get them moving... making it easier for him to cough them up.


  2. Hi I just found your blog after posting on mine. I totally understand the sick child syndrome. I always feel totally useless when my children are sick. I hope your little one fels better soon


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