Friday, September 28, 2012

I can rest when I'm dead.

How many times have you heard that old adage or some variation of it?  For some people, it's a totally foreign concept- they make sure to take care of themselves and rest appropriately.  For others, it's their official motto.  And I am thoroughly convinced my children have made it their motto.

This is not just about sleep.  Lord knows, we have enough trouble with that topic around this house.  No, this innate drive to keep moving, possibly until you drop dead, was demonstrated this week by my sick little two year old. 

Croup is an inflammation of the airways, most noticeably featuring a barking cough and difficulty breathing.  It's just a minor virus, and could cause minor sniffles in one child and croup in another.  It usually affects infants and children, and mine get it with a vengeance!  Pete's had it a few times, once badly enough to hit the ER for a shot of steroids.  This time, Chester came down with the barking cough on Wednesday night after swimming lessons.  I already know how to treat croup, keeping him comfortable with Tylenol and Motrin, alternating steamy showers with cold night air (or the freezer if it's not cold enough outside) but I worry about crossing the line between treating at home and needing steroids and oxygen at the hospital. 

If you ever need to get a toddler's head in the freezer, put an Ipad in there!
Luckily, Wednesday night nurse friend H came over to listen to Chester's lungs and we decided he wasn't quite in need of treatment at the ER that night.  We survived the night propped up with pillows so that Chester could breathe comfortably and I could feed Marek.  I was actually pretty proud of the multitasking...

Thursday we headed out for Pete's ear appointment at Boston Children's and as we waited, Chester quickly headed down hill.  His breathing was rapid and labored, sucking in at his ribs with each breath.  I made arrangements to take him to his own pediatrician, but wasn't too concerned because he kept playing.  He was still running around like a madman!  He was climbing on tables and on chairs.  When we arrived at the pediatrician, I strapped Marek in the Ergo on my back and carried Chester while Pete walked and held the door.  Chester still tried to play in the waiting room, following Pete around the benches and pointing out the butterflies painted on the wall.  All while the color slowly drained from his face and the wheezing continued.  When the nurse took us back, I placed Chester on the exam table and he tried to get down and play puzzles, but the nurse was adamant that he remain seated and called the Doctor in right away.  They started him on a nebulizer, gave him oral steroids and called the hospital across the street to send us over for an epi nebulizer.  His oxygen levels were too low, and he was in pretty bad shape, but he was literally going to play until he dropped! 
Anyone know how to rotate this picture?
After the steroids and several hours of oxygen and observation, he perked back up to a 97% oxygen level and they sent us on our way. 

I should mention that while we spent 8:30am-3:30pm at Pete's appointment and then Chester's hospital stint, the boys were all unbelievably good and patient.  Marek slept in the Ergo, Pete and Chester played with the toys at the Dr. office and then patiently watched PBS in the hospital. There's a running joke among military wives of a deployment curse that it seems like the disasters only happen when husbands are away.  But you know, even with Ryan away only four days this week, the deployment curse had to rear its ugly head.  Luckily I have friends here to help out, and I love every one of you girls!  (And your husbands for their help too!)  Add an extra special thank you to Ryan for cutting his trip short and coming home on Thursday night.  He's a pretty good husband.  :)

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