**TRIGGER WARNING** This post contains details of child illness and emergency situations.
I think I’m finally starting to decompress from the crisis my family had this week. I’m writing it out here in an effort to ease the anxiety and stop the impending panic attack. I’m the Calm Centre of the Universe you see, everyone else around me gets to fall apart. I don’t. At least not at first. Takes a few days sometimes but it’s finally starting to slip out.
Yesterday my little family came home from the hospital. We had spent three days (two nights) there with my son.
It started off with coughing and sneezing on Wednesday, we were up all night with him crying almost non-stop. The crying all night bit has happened before when he was teething so I assumed it was his teeth again. By Thursday morning he was refusing to eat, refusing water and milk, all he wanted was to lay on my chest. He wasn’t wheezing, we’ve taken him in for wheezing before, he had been diagnosed with Bronchiolitis. He was definitely working very hard for breath though. When he wasn’t screaming (which was good in a way, at least he was getting that much air in) he was moaning with each breath. I called my hubby and he came home from work and off to emergency we went.
I walked into emergency, hubby had dropped me off and went to park the car. There was someone in front of me in triage and I had to resist screaming at them to hurry the fuck up. Fintan was crying and moaning and I was doing my best not to panic. Another nurse poked her head out and looked at me and quickly motioned me into one of the cubicles to get my info. She took the basics and then got up to take me directly into the back, which was terrifying, usually you sit for at least a good half hour before you get in. I figured we would be heading to the paediatric ward as usual but she took me directly to trauma and they whisked us into one of the beds. My hubby stood back, I stayed close since the little guy was at this point freaking out. Immediately there were three nurses examining him. Within five minutes there were three doctors as well. They worked quickly to get some medicine into him to open his airways and some tylenol for the high fever he was running. A few minutes after he was finished getting his first dose of Ventolin through this little mask, he looked like he was going to toss up the tylenol so I held him up. He gagged a few times and then went white…then ashen. They removed me from the bed right away. He was crashing. His oxygen saturation levels were at 84%, his heart rate was running between 200 and 210. To give some perspective on this, his normal heart rate is 120-130 and O2 saturation should be at 100%. If your saturation levels stay in the 80’s for too long you are looking at brain damage. He perked up almost immediately after they started poking at him and trying to rouse him and started screaming again which was very good. We thought he was going to die. I think that was the most terrifying moment of my life.
He was given two more doses of Ventolin as well as a liquid form of Flovent and we kept the oxygen mask on him. It took some time but eventually his saturation levels would stay at about 90-94% when you took the mask off and his heart rate dropped to about 190. They moved us up to the Paediatric Ward and put us into isolation and that’s where we spent the next two nights. I didn’t really sleep that first night. They were checking his vitals every hour and giving him Ventolin every four. He slept pretty much the whole night in fits and starts. My Mother and Mother in Law had come as soon as we told them what was going on. My Mother stayed with us until 8pm, my Dad showing up around 7pm. I think I would have lost my mind without her. By morning he was still breathing heavy but his heart rate had dropped to the 150-170 range. They had put him on oxygen the day before just to give him a helping hand. Mom came the next day to help out too.
Everything kind of blurs together now. A respiratory specialist came to see him at one point when the nurse thought she heard something funky while checking his lungs. He told us that he had Bronchiolitis as a child and that it eventually progressed into Asthma but that boys seemed to have a better chance of outgrowing it. Bronchiolitis is essentially baby Asthma. He took Fintan off the oxygen which was scary but fantastic all at the same time. The little man got progressively better, playing, eating more but still tiring really fast. He slept almost straight through that second night. Saturday morning the doctor came and told us that we could go home. We have Ventolin on hand to use as needed and he will be on Flovent for three weeks. These are both administered by puffers using a chamber. It’s funny that at the hospital he screamed and fought it. Here at home he actually bends his face towards the chamber for me and sits still, breathing the medicine in calmly.
We were all extremely happy to be home, the little man seemed especially pleased. He immediately began playing with his toys. Didn’t take him long to fall asleep and he slept soundly for three hours in his crib. He started eating solids again in the afternoon. The doctors can’t say for sure if it is asthma but it looks that way. The way he explained it was that at this age it’s really tough to diagnose asthma so his diagnosis is Bronchiolitis with a strong suspicion of Asthma. My Dad and I have hay fever and seasonal allergies and I have eczema. These two conditions are connected to asthma apparently so that makes it even more likely.
I’m going to a concert tonight, Fleetwood Mac. My best friend and I have been waiting for months. Now that the day is here I find my anxiety is awful and it’s only 9am. I guess it’s going to be an Ativan type of day.
Happily back at home