Last Thursday I felt quite recovered from my Mommy Meltdown that I wrote about it while the Roc was at school. He had been home from school for a week and I was soooo very ready for him to go back and was relishing the quiet house, only the sloshing washer and cat growls could be heard as I sat at my desk writing about my Monday implosion. It was to be my last bit of peace for at least 24 hours.
Earlier that morning the Roc’s breathing was a little tight, which didn’t surprise me because he had been fighting a cough and had needed help over the weekend to get his breathing under control, so I gave him a breathing treatment and sent him on his way eager to be alone. I got a lot done that day, though I don’t remember what, (besides that blog post) and was slightly dismayed when the school nurse called me late in the afternoon. She was only calling to inform me that the Roc had been coughing a lot in class so he was sent to her for another breathing treatment. No big deal I thought. He arrived home not long after and my heart dropped a bit to hear him wheezing. I gave him another breathing treatment and when that did not alleviate his discomfort we headed over to Urgent Care.
Because we had been to Urgent Care the week before and the Roc had been put on steroids and breathing treatments the doctor took some x-rays of his chest (so not fun trying to get him to stand still for an x-ray!) which came back with clear lungs. They did another breathing treatment but his oxygen level was still in the low 90s and she said she wasn’t comfortable with just giving him more steroids and sending us on our way. She said we should head up to the Emergency Room at the Children’s Hospital. A knot formed in my stomach as I loaded the Roc in the car.
We met GC at home and drove up to the hospital with the Roc talking and coughing the whole way. He just LOVES to drive places in the dark and see all the lights and he wouldn’t stop talking! The ER was crowded with people wearing masks and parents jiggling their crying children as I rushed up to the desk. The one and only good thing about breathing issues is that no one messes around. We were brought back to triage immediately and from there we had to wait less than 10 minutes (which felt like a lifetime) for them to find a bed for the Roc. He was going downhill fast and was coughing and begging for help while we waited for them to find a place for him. I stood at the desk holding the Roc and practically bored holes in the intake nurses head while he cried and pleaded “I need help” and then he threw up all over me and cried even harder. Ack!
After we were ushered into a bay the Roc was put on oxygen and his eyes immediately rolled back in his head and he fell asleep. His oxygen level was 88% when they first hooked him up but quickly went up to 95% on the O2. We stayed there for a few hours while they gave him more oxygen and did back to back breathing treatments with another medicine. He wasn’t able to maintain a good oxygen level and his breathing was so labored that he was admitted and moved to the second floor to start continuous albuterol treatment through the night.
By now it was around midnight and he was amped up on all those medications. When the receiving team on the second floor got him into his bed he was just a wild thing. He wouldn’t stop laughing and trying to get out of the bed to run around. I had to climb in bed and hold him while they did their examination and hooked him up to the breathing apparatus. I tried to settle him and eventually succeeded only for the doctor to wake him up! GC left to get us some food and I got the Roc to fall back asleep. We ate and then GC drove home and I spent the rest of the night at the foot of the Roc’s little hospital bed putting his mask back on and re-hooking the monitor to his thumb every 3-14 minutes (you bet I timed it, I couldn’t believe that I would literally close my eyes and then immediately have to open them to fight with him about the mask or monitor!) Eventually around 5 am he slept for longer periods and I got about 45 minutes of sleep.
On Friday morning they were able to wean him off the continuous treatment and we worked toward getting him to go 4 hours without a treatment so we could take him home. He was able to participate in the hospital trick-or-treating that morning and they even brought a little batman costume for him to wear, which he didn’t! He was sleep deprived and easily overwhelmed so we only went to a few stations to gather Halloween trinkets before he said he was ready to go back to his room. He took a little nap in the afternoon (so you know he was sleep deprived) and eventually he was released to go home around 5 pm.
It was a totally exhausting 24 hours. For me and for the Roc (and GC too, but he wasn’t at the hospital overnight so our experiences there are a little different!) One good thing that came out of it was that we didn’t have any trouble getting the Roc to take his medicine at home. All we had to do was remind him that if he didn’t take it his breathing might get bad again and he would have to go back to the hospital. Enough said. He downed it like a champ each time.
Saturday was warm and rainy and we took it easy during the day, going out to buy some supplies for the puppy we will be bringing home in December. We drove around a bit trying to kill time before the night’s festivities. The Roc was bouncing off the walls excited to go trick-or-treating with his two friends down the street, it’s almost all he talked about that day. He could hardly get through dinner fast enough. When the first trick-or-treaters arrived while we were eating he was done and wanted to get out there. Our neighbors appeared with their kids just as we got the Roc into costume. Look at that grin!
We headed out the door and the Roc was jacked up like we’d already fed him a bunch of candy. He kept running down the sidewalk and repeating phrases his friend said over and over again like “I’m going to ring THAT doorbell!!” He wasn’t paying attention to where he was going and didn’t seem to grasp the whole point of trick-or-treating. I was starting to regret asking our neighbor if we could all go together because I knew that this could happen. The Roc and Luke tend to really get each other going and they get really silly. Luke has the ability to switch gears pretty quickly and calm down where the Roc does not. I had to slow him down and make him walk with me and eventually he got himself under control and did a very nice job trick-or-treating after that. At the end of the evening as we were nearing our house I nudged GC, pointed to the Roc, and said “Two years ago babe.” He just shook his head and said “I know.”
There are many times that I watch the Roc and marvel at how he is doing the very things I worried that he might not be able to do. Walking up the sidewalk toward a stranger, saying “trick-or-treat,” only taking one piece of candy, and saying “thank-you” before spinning around and coming back to us seemed an impossible feat two years ago. But here he is surprising us and doing it, and most importantly enjoying it. As soon as his friends were done, he was done and wanted to go inside. The sky was starting to spit rain and we wanted to get back in to hand out some candy of our own before all the trick-or-treaters went home. The Roc got to have his Halloween cupcake in exchange for his candy (wonder how long until he figures out that he’s not really getting a fair trade there?!) and he was happy.
Then he had one last surprise for us before the night was over. He wanted to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters!! That was a totally new request but we were happy to oblige him.
It didn’t last long – he was done after Harry Potter pictured above.
I am just hoping this week is quiet….it has been so far! (knocks on wood)