We've had some colds floating around these parts. Whenever Will gets a cold he gets wheezy and we pull out the trusty old nebulizer and give him albuterol treatments. Everything is then just fine until we hear wheezing again, and the process continues.
Molly's cold got pretty bad last week, and as previously documented, we took her to the doc and she had a generic upper respiratory infection. No RSV, yay!, but still not good news. Of course, Will caught the bug and we were doing more and more nebulizer treatments.
Which brings us to Monday night. He had been at a babysitter's and she noticed he was wheezing, so I gave him a treatment that night before bed. He seemed totally fine but woke up coughing and crying at around 11pm when Sterling and I were coming to bed. Another nebulizer treatment, and he was back in bed. Then at two he woke up coughing/crying and we did at all again. And again at 4am. But the nebulizer treatment didn't seem to help that much, and as we woke up a little bit more we got more concerned and noticed his nostrils were flaring and he was having retractions (on his chest where his muscles are working hard to breathe--they taught us all about that with RSV) so we got even more concerned. We went back and forth for a couple of minutes and then I told Sterling to go back to bed so he could manage school in a few hours and I took Will to the ER. We weren't going to try an insta care since they just sent us to the ER last time anyway.
Entered the ER, doctor noticed Will's nostrils and retractions and pretty soon I was sitting on a bed with Will in my lap and they were all scurrying around. All. Too. Familiar. and not in a good way. It seemed like instantaneously they had a nebulizer going, an iv in his arm with bronchodilators, in a couple of seconds when that didn't produce the results they wanted (they were monitoring his O2) they gave him a shot in the shoulder and then another iv in the other hand. Then they gave him antibiotics--my pediatrician was unsure why, she thought he must have looked pretty impressive coming into the ER to warrant that and I can't really remember why except that someone was saying they were worried about pneumonia? It's all a little fuzzy when six people are saying things and a nurse is still trying to ask you questions like what is your phone number.
THEN he had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic-cipro-and had to have benadryl. Then he had a chest X-ray. And another seven bouts of nebulizer stuff.
Through all of that the ped ER nurses were AMAZING! Seriously, they are SOO good at their job. They cajoled Will and made him SOOO happy--which was incredible since they also poked him for ivs and shots and did all the mean stuff to him. They asked him how old he was and he did his classic hold-up-two-fingers-and-say-'tree' move. They were enchanted. So then everything they did they acted as if Will was the man and could totally handle cause "He's tree, guys, don't ya know?" haha. And then they asked him who he was for Halloween "Lola!" after which they brought in a life-size Olaf cardboard guy. Will seriously LOVED it. They brought stickers for the first iv and when they had to do a second they brought him a ninja turtle ball to hold so that if he kept holding it, they wouldn't put a board on like they did on his other hand. They were just so quick and clever and kind and amazing. I loved them.
Then we had a shift change and a second nurse who I hated. I asked him three times if he could tell me what Will's official diagnosis was (I still hadn't heard anything about the X-ray or pneumonia) and if he could tell me the name of the antibiotic he had a reaction to (cause Sterling was asking) and he kept coming in and saying "well, I feel pretty sure it's asthma." Ummm...you FEEEL???!?!? Oh he was just so aggravating and annoying and unhelpful. Then Will had to go potty and I do understand that his orders were to keep him in bed, but after trying three times to no avail to get Will to go in a cup and even another nurse (who was much more helpful) came in a tried to bribe Will with a popsicle and he STILL wouldn't pee in a cup and he was seriously WIGGING out at this point, the nurse still wouldn't let me go. I found the other nurse and she let us. I have no idea how Will did it but immediately upon being on the toilet he went. But then he had mini anxiety attacks about going to the bathroom every. single. time. he had to go the rest of his hospital stay (which was a lot because he was on fluids) and he had three accidents since being home (this boy NEVER has accidents) so I'm just a little annoyed at this nurse. And he didn't even come in to see how hard I was trying with Will, he just avoided me. Sigh. Anyway. Rant over.
They sent us to the ICU and Will did just fine after that. Besides hating the bathroom. And hating being on all fluids. By then it was later in the afternoon and he slept and then ate and then really, slept some more.
I have to count our HUMONGOUS blessings (that is Ruth's new fav word right now--she kept using it when looking at newborn pictures of her newest cousin and she had big bows on) because we are so dang lucky in the friend department here in Miami. I texted my good friend Tricia first (she is usually up to work out) but didn't hear from her so then I texted our friend Kelly because I knew she'd be up taking her girls to early morning seminary. She totally was, so she came and picked up the girls at 7am so that Sterling could go to school. Then Tricia picked up the girls from her at around one (I met up with them to give them some car seats) because Kelly couldn't keep them all afternoon. Then Kyle, Tricia's hubby, picked Sterling up from campus and met everyone at the hospital so that we could trade carseats back and Sterling and I could trade places. They even came up to the ICU room so that Sterling could carry Molly and they carried the carseats. And THEN they left their car with us because Kyle was flying out for the week and they didn't need it. Which made maneuvering back and forth from the hospital SO MUCH LESS of a stress!!! It was all just so kind it makes my heart wring with happiness that we have so many people who would be willing to help us so much.
The next morning I dropped the girls off at Summer's at SIX AM (special kudos to her) so I could switch out at the hospital with Sterling and he could get to class on time. She kept the girls until we were discharged and then brought us dinner and everything. Bless her. When we got home our neighbors dropped us by a pizza and breadsticks which was HEAVEN SENT and was also perfect the next day as I succumbed to a massive cold and cough and we needed the leftovers.
Back to the hospital, Will was doing just fine the next morning and BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS. Making the bed go up and down, twisting around (how do you even do that with all the wires he had going in and out of him?!?!) and throwing the ball back and forth. They let him eat a few more things, like vanilla yogurt and hot cereal. I was starting to get really worried about how I was going to survive three days in the ICU with him acting this bouncy. Luckily, the doctor agreed and said the three meds he was on we could just as easily give him from home and if his condition worsened again, we could bring him back in. YAY! It was really funny when the doctor came in, Will took one look at him and in the meanest, most sinister voice I have ever heard him use he said "Go away. Me go my home!" Haha! I was so surprised and it was so hilarious!
My day from that point on, however, did not improve. I stopped at the pharmacy with all three kids on the way home (huge mistake as it was lunch time and nap time and Will was super ornery after they took out his ivs and it really hurt) and they wouldn't fill one prescription without an actual phone call from the physician. Which they said is pretty impossible through a hospital and we'd have better luck contacting our pediatrician and having her rewrite the prescription. She was an angel and even though she was off that afternoon, she worked it all out for us. I had a massive, eye-watering coughing fit while there to the point where I almost puked. That is when we made our exit. Sigh.
We came home and I thought life would settle down a bit. But Ruth decided to spill an entire glass of Sprite (which we got with the pizza) and there was sticky mess everywhere. Then Will had an accident in Ruth's bed so I had piles of sheets to clean as well as the one square of carpet/rug that is in their room. Then while I was mopping, he pooed in the tub, and I started breaking down at that point. I felt miserable, I was still hacking my life away, my head was spinning, my legs were shaking. I can't remember what else happened that afternoon, all I know is we survived. And I went to bed at 730pm and slept through til 630am when the kids woke up and felt MUCH better. I don't think getting a few hours of sleep in 48 hours time with a cold was cutting it for me. It was so miserable. I'm so happy it passed quick.
The next day Will was scheduled for a re-eval and come to find out Ruthie and Molly were due for check-ups so we made a family day of it. Ruth and Molly got shots and the doctor thought it was ok to not put Will on the meds they recommended him taking every day forever, yay! She said that was mostly given to kids who deal with asthma regularly. Will hasn't dealt with it since last year's cold season, and so she didn't feel like he warranted it. It would've been ok to have him on it, I just also felt like it was a bit overboard since he's usually just fine without any kind of treatment at all. But colds really do him in. (Oh yeah, they did a BUNCH of testing at the hospital and it really was just a little cold-rhinovirus.)
Today--we went to the library. Watched some iguanas. Let the kids take LONG afternoon naps and then they played on the back patio. Life is back to normal and I couldn't be happier. I am just so, so grateful to the wonderful friends who helped us out so much. I really could never thank them enough. I feel so much love from all of them and I am so happy that we have met such wonderful families here in Miami. Thanks so much!!