Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sick and tired...

A favorite saying of mine at this time of the year. "I am sick and tired of being sick... and tired. "

Boy how this fits this year! My house has been a teeming pool of illness for the last 2 1/2 weeks. It's been quite the event. Luckily, it seems there may be an end in sight (knock on wood).

Between Matthew and Lacey I have had my hands full. The short version:

Lilia got the flu. Matthew got Rotavirus. They both gave their bugs to Lacey. At. The. Same. Time. Poor Lacey was so sick for so long. She was throwing up every morning around 2am, followed by her first trip to the bathroom. She would then spend most of the morning, and into the early afternoon making frequent trips to the bathroom. Her evenings would be mostly fine, she would be tired, and lethargic, but hungry. She would go to bed then start the cycle over again. This went on for about 10 days. Not fun. About a week into it, Lacey woke up around 11pm complaining of pain in the right lower quadrant of her abdomen. After talking to the on call doctor, I decided to play it safe and get her to the ER. We were afraid it was appendicitis. Luckily, it turned out to just be dehydration. After a very traumatic IV incident, they rehydrated her and sent her home. Thank goodness for my dear friend for coming with me and keeping me awake and sane at the hospital.

During Lacey's craptastic week (pun intended) Matthew was also suffering from Rotavirus. He eventually got over it with little trouble, and was feeling better. Just as Lacey got over her bugs Matthew woke up with croup. My experience with croup is pretty vast. Lacey has had it MANY times in her short life. In fact, for the first 2 years, every time she got a cold, it would turn into croup. It seems Matthew is taking after her. This case was different though.

Typically, croup is bad at night. The child will wheeze when breathing, sound like a barking seal when coughing, and will only be relieved by cold, moist air. Once morning comes, the croupiness goes away. Most parents who haven't dealt with it before would think it's over, but it comes back the second night- usually worse than the first night. It's usually over after that second night, and the third night is pretty well back to normal. But those first two nights can be very very scary. WELL- this time was different.

Matthew woke up at 6 am with a huge gasp and then instantly started wheezing. By 10 am I realized his croup wasn't gonna clear during the day like usual. I called the doctor to get him in for a decadron shot (a long term steroid) and a epinephrine breathing treatment (immediate relief). The appointment was set for 3pm. I kept taking trips outside with Matthew all bundled up to spend some time in the cold air to help him breathe. Around 1:30 he fell asleep on me, and I sat holding him watching TV. He woke up with a gasp half an hour later in a panic. He was really struggling to breathe, and his lips were turning blue. So I instantly got in the car and headed for his appointment early. They couldn't get him in at the clinic closest to me, so I drove to the next closest one (still closer than the ER) and they got his treatment underway. The epinephrine worked well, but after it wore off the croup came back. The decadron didn't seem to have any effect on him at all. That night, Joe and I took it in turns wrapping Matthew up and taking him outside. We sat on the porch swing watching the snow fall and listening to our poor little man struggle to breathe. The next morning, I set up another appointment with the after hours pediatric clinic (it was Saturday) and got him back in because his breathing and coughing was still awful. They gave him another breathing treatment, and put him on an oral steroid (Prednisone) to see if that would work. Luckily, this time, the steroid worked. He was kept under observation for an hour, and they told me they would feel comfortable admitting him into the hospital, but since Joe and I are croup pro's, they were fine with us taking Matthew home under strict instructions to get him to the hospital if at any point his stridor and blue lips come back into play.

We are now on the third night of croup, and I was an hour late getting him his prednisone and could hear the stridor coming back. He is currently asleep, and his breathing, though labored, is not too awful. Hopefully he will continue to improve and we won't need to take him to the hospital. We aren't out of the woods yet, but we do hope he continues to get better...

Now... if we can just get all of us better in time for our trip to Disneyland next week... :) I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas! For that matter, I hope we do too.


Ben and Heidi said...

yikes! I hope you guys will all be better soon especially for your trip

Sharee and Arthur said...

Oh my word, Pam! I'm so sorry! I hope you guys all get better and have an awesome time in Disneyland!!!

Laural Out Loud said...

We just dealt with 2+ weeks of The Croup (not a single person in the house escaped, including us parents)! My son's turned into pneumonia, but I have to say that was less scary to deal with than when he was coughing and having a hard time breathing. Babies are so so fragile. I hope things get better for you VERY soon.