Wednesday, September 24, 2014
When they get sick
Elliott was diagnosed with asthma when he was around two years old. He however, minus a few seasonal coughs, never really had any severe problems and it's safe to say has outgrown any symptoms of asthma that he may have ever had when he was much younger.
Wyatt contracted RSV, we believe from a shopping cart at Wal-Mart in St. George, Utah in the early spring of 2010, when he was about 9 months old. This illness was pretty horrible and was the spring board for his asthma diagnosis. Since that time, the last four years, have been a roller coaster of breathing issues with this #2 child of ours. Every change of season, we are in the doctor's office for steroids and lunch checks. We have an asthma action plan. He always has a cough and last fall, we broke down and just bought a nebulizer because the inhaler just couldn't do it's job. It's hard to get a little kid to suck the medicine out of an inhaler the right way.
Luckily for us though, or luckily for Wyatt, we are good enough with his symptoms that, when the cough changes, he is on the machine and we've been able to ward off any bouts with bronchitis or any other respiratory problems for the majority of the year (knock on wood). We aren't as good with his daily Flovent and singular treatments as we should be, but he really does alright. If only he could learn how to clear the phlegm balls that build up in his lungs without throwing up all over the kitchen floor. That would be a miracle.
Now, Quinn? This kid? I really thought that we had escaped the asthma menace with this one. The primary reason I decided to feed him myself, and not feed him formula, was the "evidence" that nursing a baby was one of the sure-fire ways to prevent childhood asthma. I was sold. However, I was wrong.
On Monday last week, Ross took Wyatt and Quinn to the doctor because both seemed under the weather and with Wyatt, especially, we just cannot every be too sure that his cough isn't something more than just a cough. Both boys checked out fine, minor colds, no problems.
On Tuesday morning of last week, when I got Quinn out of bed in the morning, he was not good. His breathing was fast and a little erratic. Speedy like a hummingbird bats it's wings with long pauses, like he was trying to catch his breath from breathing. And, knowing the signs of wheezing, regardless of being able to hear his wheeze from a different room, I could see the problem. The skin on his neck above his collarbone, as well as the skin on his belly above his ribs was completely concave every time he breathed. With every breath, he looked like a skeleton. It was bad and it terrified me.
I called Ross. I called the doctors office and got him an early appointment with the nurse practitioner he had seen the day before. When she met us in the small room, she could hear him wheeze, and said, "He did not sound like this yesterday". "I know I said, this started in the middle of the night". In spite of his best efforts to maim both of us with his deadly shoes and sharp finger nails, she completely her exam and I pinned him down for an albuterol treatment. Wheezing. Mild respiratory infection. Albuterol with a nebulizer for 3-4 days until the cough stops. If he gets any worse, or if the fever got worse, bring him back in.
We headed home, both exhausted, me still with shoe prints on my arms and sweat dripping down my back from the wrestling match I wasn't prepared for and we camped out for the day. Quinn was so tired he slept through several transports in and out of the car (into the house, back to the car to get Wyatt from school, back into the house once we got Wyatt).
I thought in the next day and a half that things were on the mend, and that we were doing better. Then came Thursday afternoon. It was the appointment for his two year old check-up that we'd scheduled weeks ago with our regular pediatrician. He had a slightly elevated fever and I told her about our earlier appointments in the week. She took one look at him, got quiet, did some checks of his ears and throat and then stepped out of the office for a second. She came back with a laminated card depicting kids with various stages of sores all over their bodies and gave me the verdict: Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (sores all over the inside of his mouth), ear infection, respiratory infection, asthma.
I. was. not. prepared. for. that.
We got a prescription for the ear infection.
He ate all the dum-dum suckers in my purse to keep him from screaming.
I texted and then called Ross.
I was exhausted. I also knew I was getting it myself (and I've spent the last three days horribly awfully miserably sick, but that's not really worth a blog post) and that I had 7-10 more days of one sick baby on my hands.
Well, he's finally feeling better. Everyone is finally feeling better. (Except me, of course)
And, I've got another asthma baby on my hands.
I told my husband, the culprit of all this asthma crap (Ross was also a childhood asthmatic), half joking, that if I would have known what his genes would do to my children, that may have been a deal breaker.