First of all, holy moly! My blog has had three times as many views as it ever has on a single day. If you’re new out there, welcome. I’d love to know how you found me!
I can’t believe what a trying two weeks it has been since our boy got sick, but I think we’re finally turning a corner. This hasn’t been without a multitude of scares. In fact, on Thursday, we nearly wound up in the hospital after BG spiked a fever early in the morning, even after two days of antibiotics. We took him to the doctor, and his blood oxygen level was lowish (topping out at just 94 if that means anything to you). The doctor sent us for chest x-rays, and we came back for another round blood saturation testing, at which point his levels were much better (97/98), and while his x-rays certainly showed pneumonia, it was a mild-ish variety that she didn’t think would pose any problems. She did have us lower his prednisone dosage so that we could get rid of the ‘roid-raging toddler with pneumonia (seriously–we needed to give him the stuff, but he was hitting us, kicking us, throwing everything in sight. Yikes.). That day, my parents came to see us, giving us some much-needed support (we left him the next day to sleep in Grandma’s arms while we had a grocery shopping date).
Yesterday morning, when returning a call to the office (they’ve been great about checking in), I spoke with a nurse practitioner who was grilling me about his treatment, and when I mentioned that he took his albuterol easily, she took a moment to clarify and then freaked out on me. If you’re not familiar with breathing treatments, there are a couple of ways these can be done. Albuterol can be administered in an inhaler, and for a child, a spacer is used–this tube on which a mask is attached. The tube holds the medicine in place so that the child has the time to breathe it in. The tube also has a little pipe that adults can use, and we had taken to using that, since BG reacted as though we were smothering him when we held the mask on his face while he took a couple of breaths. Well, it seems that by letting BG be a little more self-sufficient in an effort to avoid traumatizing him several times a day, we were giving him virtually none of the medication. When the nurse told me this, I nearly died. My heart dropped to my feet. I was horrified. She continued to rant about how someone should have educated us more (yes) and then finally offered to have us come in to the office to get him a nebulizer treatment.
Oddly, his doctor wasn’t convinced the nebulizer would be best for him because she didn’t think he would sit still for ten minutes. Another child a bit younger than him was in the room next to us, screaming inconsolably, while receiving such a treatment. When faced with the same treatment, BG eagerly examined how the machine worked (and because it was similar to a humidifier–a machine he LOVES–it was totally fascinating to him), and then he sat quietly, mask held up to his face, and listened to a book his Mama was reading. Until now, he had been so pale, but after a ten-minute treatment, his cheeks were rosy again. His lips were rosy. He was coughing productively. When the doctor saw how favorably he responded, she sent us home with a nebulizer. He has used it several times, and he sits very quietly, holding his mask up to his face, very aware of his special new machine.
The likelihood is, we’re going to need this thing for a long time. Chances are, he’s going to be dealing with wheeziness and even asthmatic tendencies for at least his young childhood if not longer. Knowing that we’ve got something to help him through this a bit more effectively eases my worries some, but I can’t help but be concerned that this is going to color his childhood in some significant ways. As with so many childhood ailments, he may well outgrow this in the next year or so. This is obviously what we’re hoping for.
But I don’t mean to go to dark places here, especially because we’re finally having an upswing. Yesterday’s office visit also revealed a rash that may have been caused by BG’s antibiotic, so we have a new antibiotic, a new nebulizer, and this morning, we had a boy who was ready to get up and eat, a boy who wanted to be up playing much of the day. He’s still quite sick, still fighting ear infections and clearing those sick little lungs out, but he’s improving, and for the first time in a couple of weeks, we heard his laugh many times, saw his smile, even saw him testing boundaries again–a good indicator that he’s coming back to his vibrant little two-year-old self. Oh how I’ve missed him.