Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's Crouptacular!

So we spent last night at the hospital. Not fun, my friends. Not fun.

I took Ethan to the pediatrician's office on Tuesday morning because Ethan's croup was worse on Monday night than it had been on Sunday. Husband and I went back and forth on whether or not to take him to the ER, but thought since the steamy bathroom had cleared him up a bit, we could forgo that party and just wait 'til the morning to see what the doctor had to say.

What the doctor had to say was a whole bunch of nothing, but he did go in and out of the exam room with a stealthy gait that was a bit on the mad-scientist scale of things. He took one listen to Ethan's cough and lungs and loped out of the room, to return moments later with some archaic looking machine that appeared to be an old elementary school tape player (one of the huge, almond colored ones). But it wasn't a tape player, it was a nebulizer. Apparently to nebulize my son, whatever that means.

Have you ever had to hold your child during a nebulizer treatment? Think of trying to keep a grasp on a fistful of jello. Only the jello has flailing arms, kicking legs and is screaming. A lot.
One of the nurses had to come in and help me restrain him while the medicated steam did it stuff on his airways. I went through my whole repertoire of songs to sing, and when none of that worked, I just joined Ethan in a good ol' cry.

After that, he fell asleep in my arms (the appointment coincided with nap time) and slept comfortably through the wheezing until such time as the nurse came back...with two steroid shots for his little legs. Not a good way to wake up, I'll tell you that in case you couldn't surmise it on your own. So I talked to him a bit until he woke up; fortunately the nurse was patient and didn't tap her foot or sigh heavily or anything. Obviously there was much screaming after the shots and then the mad scientist guy came back in and listened to Ethan's heart for an inordinately long time.

Apparently one of the medicines in the nebulizer set his heart racing and the doctor didn't like that. Nor did he like the rate at which Ethan's blood oxygen saturation levels increased during the treatment. They did go up, but they were so low to begin with that their post-treatment rate didn't impress the doctor as I had hoped.

So he said to me, "I think he's a keeper," which I thought, for a minute was his pithy way of telling me what a fabulous kid I have. Um. No (well, I do, but that's not what he meant). He meant "I'm keeping him; he can't go home. He's going to the hospital." This was a very bad moment.

Fortunately for us, it seems that the doctor (who also recommended that Ethan not leave the house between now and April lest he catch something like menengitis), was a bit of an over-reactor because by the time we got to the hospital, the treatments from the doctor's office seemed to kick in and we had nary a wheeze or croupy cough the entire time we were in the hospital.

The pulmonary specialist came to see us and hailed Ethan as the healthiest kid on the floor. We sort of felt like frauds, but we were happy to go with the better safe than sorry idea and ride it out for the night, through the chest x-rays and the next nebulizer treatment.

The nurses didn't bat an eye when we asked them to replace the metal crib in the room with a regular hospital bed so Ethan and I could co-sleep overnight. We did have to sign a "I won't blame you if I suffocate my kid in my sleep" waiver, but I expected that since the AAP can't endorse co-sleeping.

Last night was so surreal for me. After Husband left, it was just Ethan and I, curled up in the hospital bed, him snoozing peacefully, me listening obsessively to the sound of his breathing, waiting for the slightest sound of strider breathing (that gasping struggle to inhale). I drifted in and out of sleep as Ethan rolled over and kicked me in the tummy several times. I realized that the last time I lay in a hospital bed with him, he had done the same thing, but from the inside of my belly. Just like back then, when I was in the hospital waiting out a threatened pre-term labor at 26 weeks, I would have given anything not to have to be in that bed, under those circumstances. But both times I was blessed with the best companion I could possibly have had. And each time, we were okay in the end.

They sprung us this morning, kind of scratching their heads as to why we had been admitted in the first place. They even sent Elmo up to say "hi" to Ethan, which was, to him, probably exciting enough to make the whole ordeal worthwhile.

So here are some pictures from our Crouptacular extravaganza...

Monday's steam-fest in the bathroom. He is not amused.

Me and the little man settling in; apparently we're going to listen to some tunes on the boom-box that came with our private room. How very fancy-pants of us. And note to self: pack make up and a brush next time you go to the hospital, fool.

Sleepiness personified.

The end of the day; he'd been such a trooper, but everyone's got their limit. He was asleep soon after this, poor little monkey.

The next day, we felt well enough for:

some mild destruction of hospital property...

...trying on mommy's shoes...

...some light furniture re-arranging...

...and high-fiving some giant red and green monsters (who apparently brought their handler and stylist with them).

Who's sick??? We're not sick!


Visions of a VBAC said...

He is SO cute! Love the furniture rearranging picture. I'm glad he's better now--what an ordeal.

KMW said...

So glad he is better! I hope you can all get some rest!

Sarah said...

So glad he's okay-- he had to be the cutest patient there, too-- what a doll!

Lindsay & Kyle Margenau said...

Oh poor baby. I can't imagine how scary that must have been. Your comment about being ni a hospital bed with him again brought tears to my eyes - so true, isn't it? I'm glad he's doing ok!

Pam said...

agree with the others -- so glad to read that Ethan (and you) are okay.. here's hoping the rest of winter doesn't bring any more scares like that one!

Andrea said...

I am so glad he is okay! Looks like he had quite the adventure at least.