Last Wednesday night we took turns sleeping with Jack. We watched his chest rise and fall and waited. By 3:00 a.m. Thursday we knew he needed help. It was happening again. His stomach was moving a lot as he tried to push air in and out of his airway. We could see his ribs and the muscles in his neck, with every breath. He was also short of breath and making these puff sounds with his mouth.
I bundled him up and headed to Children's Hospital. It was a good morning to go. There was no one around and we had a room immediately. This was our second visit to Children's so I knew what to expect. They started the protocol immediately. A liquid steroid and an hour of intensive ventolin, five puffs every twenty minutes. Next, Jack had to show that he could go for four hours without ventolin and then we could go home. At the three hour mark, he was working really hard to breath. More venoilin was given and that meant we had to reset the clock. Three more hours, more ventolin needed and again the clock was re-started. Finally at 2:00 p.m. after almost twelve hours in the ER, the doctors said he had to be admitted because he was still unable to go for four hours without ventolin.
Jack was less then thrilled about the prospect of having a sleep over, even after I tried to pass the hospital off as a hotel.
Some things that are scary:
1. Watching your child struggle to breath and not being able to do anything about it.
2. What lack of sleep can do to your brain. The barista at Starbucks looked at me like I had grown two heads when I ordered a tall, grande latte.
3. The addictive powers of the ipad. After thrirty six hours at the hospital with a lot of screen time (what else can you do when you are hooked up to machines) full detox from the ipad was in order for Jack.
It was determined that it is in Jack's best interest to take Alvesco (corticosteroid) for the winter to avoid future hospital visits. While the hospital stay was stressful, we now have a pediatrician and a referral to the Asthma clinic in our area.
I can't say enough good things about Children's Hospital. The service we received was outstanding. All of the doctors and nurses were patient and kind and took excellent care of Jack. For that, I am so grateful.