Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Not So Familiar Sound

When 75% of your children have asthma, you become very accustomed to the sounds of wheezing and "seal barking"-especially during cold and flu season. The symptoms of my children's respiratory distress usually present in the same way. First comes the runny nose. This sends up a signal that a cold is on the horizon. Next comes the cough. Usually this cough sounds "wet" and while wheezing may exist, there's not much cause for concern because we usually have a day or two of warning to start the inhaled steroids. Last night, however, we were NOT prepared for what we heard. Cameron and I had spent so much time during the evening doing necessary things around the house, that we hadn't even settled in to watch "Lost" yet, and it was quarter to 11. I heard crying coming from one of the bedrooms, and since Soni has been desperately trying to get several new teeth, I assumed that she was the source of the noise, and went to pick her up. However, as I walked past the boy's room, I realized that the source was, on the contrary, in there. Crying is a familiar sound, and I can differentiate my children's cries from any other child's crying, even in a crowded room...usually. But this sound was completely unfamiliar. I couldn't tell whether it was Dylan or Peyton. It was Dylan, and he sounded HORRIBLE! He was obviously struggling to breathe, and sounded like a seal barking (a clear indicator that he had croupe). He was crying, and the only complaint he vocalized was that he "couldn't sleep". I was taken completely off guard. This was not the way things were supposed to happen! Hadn't he received the memo? Where was the runny nose? Where was the fever? He is totally FIRED! Luckily, (and I never would have thought that having asthmatic kids was "lucky") we know how to handle respiratory issues, and have everything on hand that we need. Albuterol and Pulmicort are our best friends in the winter time. So, we put regular procedure into action. Gave the poor kid two back to back treatments of Albuterol to stop the wheezing, and called Pediatric after hours care to await further instructions. Around midnight we gave him a Pulmicort treatment, and he significantly improved. Just to be safe, he slept in our room last night and, much to our relief, sounds MUCH better this morning. He is a real trooper when it comes to taking his treatments, which makes my job a whole lot easier too. I'm just relieved we didn't have to make a middle of the night trip to the Emergency Room, have to pay $150 dollars for the doctors to give him treatments of all the stuff we already have at home. Thanks to the inventor of the portable nebulizer! I owe you BIG TIME!


beckyjune said...

Croup is the worst. We had to deal with that with Aimee not too long ago...poor girl, nothing was helping and we HAD to go to the ER for the treatments and it still took a while for her to get better. So scary. I wish we didn't live 6 hours away because even that feels like so far away. We really need to get together.