Monday, March 14, 2011

Unexpected Crisis

Saturday night got exciting at about 11pm.  There’s nothing like a “Should we go to the emergency room or not?” situation to fully wake you up.

Ava came down with a cold Thursday morning.  (Somehow that never fails to happen the day –after- you visit the pediatrician for a check up.)  It was just a normal little kid cold: tons of snot, fatigue, crankiness, and a fairly impressive wet cough, but nothing particularly scary.  In fact, I commented Saturday afternoon that things seemed to be getting a bit better because now I was only having to wipe her nose once every half hour instead of once every 5 minutes.  

Just as I was drifting off to sleep at around 11pm Saturday night I hear Ava start to cough and cry and cough and cry.  It went on and on.  We very rarely go into our childrens’ bedrooms at night, but something just seemed off here.  My husband volunteered to go check on her.  Moments later he was back in our bedroom with Ava.  She was wheezing.  The cough was croup and she was having trouble breathing.  That was causing her to panic which just made things worse.  

It was Ava’s first time, but not our first time.  Michael’s colds often end up with croup/wheezing in the middle of the night.   Once it was bad enough that we did end up in the emergency room with him.  We knew what to try first.  We turned on the shower as hot as possible to get the bathroom steamy.  I sat in there with Ava cuddled close to my chest rocking and singing to her.  She was extremely hot.  So hot I didn’t even bother with a thermometer.  We just got a dose of ibuprofen into her as quickly as possible.  She completely freaked out about taking the medicine which made the wheezing worse, which made her panic…  Then I just continued to sit there with her rocking and singing in the warm steamy bathroom while my husband prepped her room. 

He got two humidifiers going and removed her smoke alarm.  Humidifiers trigger our smoke alarms, so if we need the humidifiers we have to pull the smoke alarm down.  This took him a good 20 minutes and in the meantime, the ibuprofen kicked in and the wheezing calmed down and she had almost drifted off.  However, when I stood up to take her back to her room, the wheezing instantly came back.  By the time I was in the armchair in her room I was practically starting over.  Twenty minutes after that I laid her down in her toddler bed which flared things up again so I crawled in with her.  My presence kept her calm, but it also kept her awake so I slipped out of her bed and sat right next to her waiting to see if the wheezing would stop.   We knew that if she continued to have trouble breathing even while resting, we’d need to go to the ER.  About an hour later it finally faded and I slipped out of her room. 

I finally went to sleep around 3am and was back up with the kids at 7am.  I do not function well on four hours of sleep, so Sunday was a bit of a blur.  I do remember that Ava’s temperature at one point was 102.7.  And she wasn’t nearly as hot as she had been in the middle of the night.  Getting the infant drops into her was predictably difficult again.  The highlight of the day was discovering that they make chewable bubble gum flavored acetaminophen that Ava can now take because she’s two.  I told her it was candy.  She loved it.  Is that wrong?  Technically, I lied, but if I had told her it was medicine she would have refused to try it.  I know her.  She definitely would have refused to try it.  Anyway, hopefully we won’t have any repeats of croup in the middle of the night.  And hopefully this cold will pass soon. 

Of course, I have the cold now.  And my voice is on its way out.   Parenting two little ones is enough of a challenge with a voice.  Without a voice it’s crazy.  And therapy will pretty much be out until my voice is back.  Life is always interesting.

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