Zachary has the croup. You see, Bill and I had this crazy idea that we would attend a wedding TOGETHER, without KIDS, and asked my mom to babysit. In rebellion, as usual, Zachary decided to be ill. So Bill and he stayed home. End of story? I wish.
So he was coughing in a very croup way, that awful, dry, barking cough, come Saturday evening. Sunday morning I went to church with the oldest 3. Bill arrived in time for Elder's Quorum with Zachary because he was conducting the meeting. Bill, not Zachary. Anyway, he came to my meeting with me, then Daddy's with his for the last part, I shipped them all home with Daddy after church for a Board Meeting, and when I got home he was asleep. In a miserable, fussy, squirmy kind of way.
He had a temp of 103.5 (don't cringe, that's not uncommon for him or Michael) at bedtime, I checked in with the doctor, conveyed to Bill her stress that we TAKE HIM OUTSIDE even if he DOESN'T WANT TO GO 'cuz the cold air soothes the swelling. Two home remedies for croup (which is viral, no quick fix anti-biotic) steam them, and chill their throat.
Mommy got smart. I sent "brothers" outside with flashlights (in their pajamas and winter coats, they LOVED it) so that Z would want to go out too. Ha ha, take that!
But very little relief for the long term. He did sleep ok, straight til 6 am once he finally laid down around 11. Bill went to work, I took the kids out for donuts and chill zone slushy things to ice Z's throat for the morning, got the kids to school, and called the doc.
For those just joining my life, Z has asthma. So I worry when he has any difficulty breathing, and the kid can't just catch a cold and move on, they always end up requiring medical treatment. And it's not me, or my doc, she regularly tells me that most kids would just have to wait it out, but whenever she decides he should "wait it out" he gets worse fast.
So he takes a steroid inhaler, which we had upped the dosage to try to alleviate the swelling that way. And thought we would wait it out. His lungs sounded great, no ear or throat type infections, just a nasty virus.
Skip ahead to nap time that afternoon. I laid him down, and having been physically/emotionally drained by all the squirmy fussy toddler time over the weekend I went to take a nap. He made a couple of weird noises, and I realized I hadn't turned his humidifier on him, so I went in.
I haven't been so scared since Dustin was three and I was hanging out laundry and looked over to find him standing just at the edge of our road. Fortunately then we lived on a road you could regularly walk down the middle of with no fear of traffic, but with the hay on both sides and the house blocking my view I panicked, and RAN!
His noise was now occurring as he tried to breathe IN, not OUT. His nostrils were flaring each breath, and his abdomen was moving extensively as he breathed, all watch signs for an asthma attack. All of his asthma attacks in the past have taken an hour or more to really reach a point that I was concerned and sought treatment, he isn't really a sudden attack kind of kid. But I think I read somewhere that at any point those sudden attacks can onset, and of course THAT'S what went through my head.
So I grabbed him, and his rescue inhaler. The routine inhaler is preventative steroid, to be absorbed in his system. The rescue inhaler is to go straight to his windpipe and soothe the already swollen tissue. Two puffs, and I grabbed the phone and called the doc. She said to give him a nebulizer and she would call in ten minutes.
I haven't used the neb in almost a year to the day, the inhalers were to replace it largely. So while I was digging it out I laid him on the couch and called my mom. Who do you call when you panic? Bill was in Rangeley, an hour away, and I already tried his cell phone with an update from our appointment, and he was out of the coverage area in the sticks. Mom was five, ok three minutes away. She arrived when the neb was in progress, and tried to help comfort him as he screamed. I have an old picture, arguably the very last one I'd given him prior to yesterday, that brings the experience home.
No, I was not torturing him, I was going to open house night at school alone, and he needed a treatment, and the only time I had was in the car, and he fights so hard it helped to have him strapped down, so I clicked the pic thinking someday I will explain to him how he has tortured his mother!!
Anyway, he screamed through the whole thing, an awful, croupy crying, and so when the doc called back I had no real way to think his breathing had improved. Her office is right near the ER, so Mom and I brought him there, and had her assess how he was doing.
His lungs were still totally clear. It had nothing to do with his asthma. I stopped to breathe, finally.
He apparently had some congestion get caught in his already swollen throat, and so the noise had worsened. The coughing increased to move it. And we both decided it would be good to not wait it out, but give him the oral steroid that is typical treatment for croup that can't be waited out, and left.
Oh, if only I could stop there. If only the story ended.
I love my Doctor. I have followed her from an office to an IMP, Independent Medical Physician program where she works alone, no staff. I have recommended her to dozens of people and sing her praises whenever I can. I. LOVE. My doctor. Understand?
She sent the prescription to Wal-Mart. Just up the road. I waited in the truck with Zachary, trying to contain the germs from the rest of society. After fifteen minutes, Mom came back out and said they finally saw her, and were going to fill it, it would be another 20 minutes, were we ok? I said yes. Famous last words.
In my panic, I never grabbed a car seat. No nasty emails, please, your child have trouble breathing and we can talk. So I tried to contain him and read the three new books we bought at Wal-Mart the FIRST time we were there that day. And the Rolos he picked out but had been too tired to eat. But just three.
After another ten minutes or so, he started to cough. And then I heard it, and tried to move him to the door AND open it. And then he puked. On me, on him, on the truck, and worst of all, on blanky.
I don't handle vomit well. Some people must, CNA's for example, at least some of them. But I sat there, praying Mom would come out of the Wal-Mart. And he begged to go in. And I said, "Ok, if Jamma doesn't come out before we get in, we will go in." We got out, went around for the keys, and found Jamma waiting inside still. I said, "F*** the prescription, find us a 2T outfit and meet me in the Ladies Dressing room please."
I passed an older employee lady as he coughed, and she said, "Best thing for croup is steam you know." She's still alive, thanks to the grace of God, I was too grossed out to stop and beat her. I grabbed clothes I knew I would wear, a long sleeve Tee like I was already wearing and a pair of pants I THOUGHT were like I was wearing but black (turns out, no pockets, BUMMER). Then I went to the dressing room, and the lady there offered to get me a bag. Hallelujah. When she arrived back, I had changed and stripped Zachary, and she said, "You know, **** says the best thing for croup is steam." I said, "I steamed him, I took him out in the frozen air, I took him to a doctor, I am waiting for a prescription, but thank you." Yay for me, she didn't even hear a swear word, I did so good.
If only it ended here. If only...
Mom finally came with a paid for outfit, apologizing that she had waited by the ladies' room, not the ladies' fitting room. I dressed him, and the changing room lady escorted me to an open register to pay, while she went back to get the prescription. It must be done, right?
I check my pocket for a debit card to pay. Right, new pants. I dig in the bag, gingerly, and check the pockets. No card. I cuss (very unlike me), and look down the way to hopefully see Mom walking away from the pharmacy. No Mom. I ask to make a phone call, even prisoners get a phone call. And there's the whole shoplifting thing in my Wal-Mart history now. RECENT history.
So I go to the service desk and phone my cell phone, because it is sitting in my mother's truck and I am hoping she is sitting beside it and in all her non-cell phone experience she will figure out to open it and TALK to me. But no, there was no answer. So I leave the puke clothes, and my mom's truck key it turns out, at the register, and walk to the pharmacy. My mother is STILL waiting for the prescription, and I ask her to go pay for the clothes for me. She comes back with my clothes and a King Size Peanut Butter Cup (which I don't eat, cuz Zachary has puked and I don't want to have share and risk him puking again)(I wonder where that went, hmmm). She checks on the prescription again. We wait. And wait. And watch people look sad for my boy. And other people move away when he coughs. And wait. Finally I ask again, because while the pharmacy is unusually busy it has been over an HOUR. It's ready. We go home. Our appointment was at 2:30, and we left Wal-Mart at 4:00. Ugh. And the truck, of course, stunk. Thank goodness my mom planned her truck for work and got one with an easy to clean interior, although she cleaned it, not me, and she might disagree!!
So we get back to my house, she goes to get my other boys from Nicki, who in all her wisdom has had them do their homework (God bless best friends), and they arrive back in time for Mom to get to work to take the afternoon mail. And I tell my children I have had a very bad day, and do not want them to tempt me to yell at them, so they are to sit quietly and watch the TV or go play in their rooms and GET ALONG. And they do.
All's well that ends well?
I wouldn't know, I haven't slept since Monday morning.