Thursday, May 17, 2012

Another ER Trip (but not me this time)

Until I was 28-years-old, I had never been to the ER.  I was a very healthy kid, the kind who always had perfect attendance, the kind who pretty much never went to the doc for anything but check ups or physicals when sports came along.  I'm pretty sure Josh was the same, just a healthy kid and one who didn't have to see a doc hardly ever.

Fortunately our kids are pretty much like us.  I don't think any of them have puked in about a year and a half, and none of them have been to a doctor for so long that I don't even remember (I think Caleb had an ear infection when he was 5 or something).

But poor Gabriel...he had his second ER trip last night.  My only child who has had to visit the ER.

His first trip you may recall...I wrote about it back in March 2010.  He fell HARD into the corner of a wall and split his forehead open badly.  That was traumatic for me and my 16-month-old!

Gabriel in March of 2010

Last night at about 10:30, he woke up coughing so hard and wheezing and gasping for air.  It sounded so horrible.  It scared me, but I wasn't sure what to do.  Give him Tylenol?  Find some cough medicine?  Prop him upright on the couch and hope it helped?  Josh and I did our best to calm him down (he was very upset, understandably so), and we did give him Tylenol (no cough medicine in our house for some reason).  We put him on the couch, and Josh stayed out with him and I went to our room to be with Leah (who is still in a pack-n-play in our room for now).

By about 2:00 am, Josh came into our room and told me that it wasn't getting better, he was still gasping for air at times and wheezing.  Maybe it's bad we waited, I just was hoping it would get better by propping him up on the couch.  At that time, Josh loaded him up in the car and left for the ER.  I really hate that I couldn't take him, but with me nursing Leah in the middle of the night (and that time was coming up soon) we just thought it would be best for me to stay and Josh to go.

He kept me updated via texts.

The second he arrived, Gabriel went straight back.

According to my texts, it took less than about 20 minutes for the doc to get breathing treatments set up and going for Gabriel from the time they walked into the door.

Josh said he did amazing, didn't fight it or anything.  He said he didn't cry or become upset when they had to draw blood.  They are seriously the best lab techs ever.

Start to finish was three hours.  It seems like everything from breathing treatments to labs to chest xray didn't take long at all, but they kept hearing the wheezing and wanted to keep him until the steroid kicked in to help.

The diagnosis was croup.  My best friend's boys have had this, but I didn't realize how bad it could get.  They sent him home with a nebulizer, and we'll be doing breathing treatments for a while.

I still find it difficult to go to the ER or take my kids, and I don't know why.  I must admit that working in the ER for a short time when I was employed last year did open my eyes to the petty stuff people come in for (I'm not being a jerk, seriously one time I put an arm band on a guy who said his thumb hurt).  I don't want to exhaust the resource, but I know it's there for things like 2:00 am wheezing children.

And when it comes to kids, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Here's hoping we won't be going to the ER again for a very, very long time.


Lajwah said...

Oh, poor guy! :( My goodness, you all have had a time lately.

Kassie said...

Aww.... poor kiddo! I spent many a night with sam sleeping in a recliner next to an open window during a croup fit.... its so scary and u did the right thing!! Glad he is doing better!! Putting a cool mist humidifier in his room will help too. :-)

Nel said...

Poor little guy.... I hate trying to decide in the middle of the night if we should go to the ER or not. I feel the same way you do about it.
Hope he gets better soon!

Carol said...

Did this numerous times with Janna and her Asthma until we became the OWNERS of a nebulizer and did treatments as needed with her at home. Her asthma was relatively severe. She did treatments year round every day from the age of 2 until she was around 10.

Shelley said...

Glad he is feeling better! Croup is a scary thing and I agree with you about people going to the ER for very petty stuff. My clinical hours there were quite the eye opener for that. Good to know they acknowledged that he was sick and got him back and treatments as quick as they did.

Mellissa Rose said...

Wow - I didn't realize croup could get that bad. I hope he feels better today.

Julie said...

Oh you betcha croup can get that bad. My kids have had croup about 157 times :) (not kidding) so we know the sound and treatment well! Oddly, my 7 and 2 year olds are prone to getting croup. It's a symptom of something else, even as simple as a cold. The virus attacks the throat and airway in the throat...and vocal chords (which is why you get the barky sound) We learned these tricks after a couple ER visits. Cold air works wonderfully! Wrap the child up in a warm blanket and take them outside. This happened to my 2 year old about 6 weeks ago. She sounded horrible...I was 9 months pregnant and REALLY did not want a trip to the ER so I took her outside and startled a group of deer in the process :) We sat together quietly talking in the dark while she cleared up. For my older child we also found that sleeping in the basement works well too...our basement is nice and cold!! They always sound the worst when they're in their warm bedroom, especially if they're upset. If he gets it again, (and it's quite possible that he will) try 20 minutes outside or even in front of the freezer door open. Def helps. Hope he gets to feeling better real soon!!

Donna said...

You have probably already heard this, but when my kids had croup, we would go to the bathroom, turn the shower on hot, and let the steam help them to breathe better. When I was a kid, I remember my Mom giving us something to make us throw up. I am thinking it might have been syrup of ipacec, but there was a name like Dr. ?. Hope he is feeling better.

thechattymommy said...

We went to the er for the same thing last year.
Little guy was gasping and begging for his older brother's nebulizer. He had never had a breathing treatment before.
We took him to the hospital and by the time we got there he was a lot better.
He hasn't gotten it this year so prayerfully the last time you have to bring Gabriel for croup!

Jessica said...

Glad Gabriel is doing okay now. I'm very thankful for some of the ER staff that was there for us last week. They acted quickly and got the proper people to me when I needed them there (Dr. Cunningham and OB nurses who could handle what was happening to me). I do agree with the fact that people abuse the system and it makes me really hesitant to go at any time either.

Carolyn Watson-Dubisch said...

I'm so glad he's ok. Last time we went to the ER I would have died if I'd waited any longer. It's always better to just go. The problem is, when you feel awful or it's 2 am, you REALLY don't want to go out.

Post a Comment