As a parent, I have done things, touched things, experienced things, I would NEVER have done before. Warning before you go on, if you have never dealt with disgusting child things, go no further. If you too have done something you never imagined, continue and you can empathize. :)
I will start off with our Linus adventure. About a week ago, the kids and I went to visit Nana and Papa so I could help my dad out a little. My mom mentioned that he was wheezing and asked if he did that all of the time. He does a little bit, but not like that.
The rest of the week, he coughed at night, and had his regular runny nose that has been there for a year. Our pediatrician never seemed too concerned when I'd bring it up, so I wasn't too concerned with it either. Tuesday though, the runny nose started. By Wednesday, the runny nose was so bad, I'd wipe it, throw the tissue away, come back and it would be gushing down his face again. It was so gross. He was really wheezing by then and it was bad enough, I felt I needed to take him to the doctor in the morning. I didn't want to be the mom who runs to the ER just because it gets worse at night. Everything always gets worse at night, but that doesn't mean it needs an emergency room visit. He was wheezing enough that I didn't feel comfortable letting him sleep by himself, so I set up the twin bed next to his bed and slept by him. I actually would like to say "sleep". What really happened, is he was coughing so much, he wouldn't stay asleep. He didn't sleep much the night before, so by Wednesday night, he was SO exhausted and SO uncomfortable that he just laid in bed and whined. I was mostly there to comfort him and keep an ear on him. He finally cuddled up next to me and fell asleep. I wandered upstairs to check on Bea and fell asleep around 2am.
Linus woke me up crying around 4am. I had the baby monitor on so I could be sure to hear him. When I went down to him, I was alarmed by his breathing. He was struggling so hard. He had to lean forward and he was struggling so hard he would hitch on the exhalation. Just listening to him gave me a slight panic attack remembering a night when I had an asthma attack so bad I thought I was going to die. Luckily my friend was sleeping over and was able to find my inhaler and get it to me. It was terrifying. I can only imagine how he must've felt!
I woke up Matt to tell him I was taking Linus to the ER just so he wasn't worried when he woke up and we were gone. He helped me with Linus while I got dressed.
I want to interject right here and give a big shout out to a program I have started. I was pointed in the direction of flylady. It is a program to teach people who not only are stay at home moms, but working moms, and busy women everywhere how to clean your house. It seems that some women have it down naturally. I swear my mominlaw has it down. Her house is guest ready all of the time. The flylady teaches you about babysteps and routines and practical hints and tips to keep your house up and running and tidy as easily as possible. The first tip is to keep your sink shiny. The second tip is to get up and get ready every day like you are going to work. That is what made this emergency situation less of a nightmare. I had gotten up and gotten ready that day, so my hair wasn't a disaster, my face was fresh, I didn't stink, my teeth had been brushed not too long ago, I was able to get clothes on quick. I felt good going to the ER. I was able to interact with the medical staff there better because I did feel good. If I was stinky with greasy hair out the there and in my ratty jammies I'd been wearing for 3 days, I'd have turned into a turtle and wouldn't have wanted to talk to them. Does that make sense?
Anyway, I was just going out the door when Linus started coughing so hard, he threwup. I quickly got him a new shirt to wear in case we were there for a long time. I can't imagine it is comfortable to wear your own throwup on your clothes. I got him down to the ER at LDS hospital and the triage man checking us in could see how bad Linus was doing that he got us signed in and a nurse called to us in 2 minutes. The nurse took us back and we got him going on an Albuterol breathing treatment. The poor baby!! He was so so tired, all of these people, all of these weird things, breathing masks, tubes, and he just wasn't doing ok. He seems to have a touch of social anxiety anyway, so this didn't help and he freaked out most of the time we were there. I don't blame him. The poor nurse who tried to put a nasal cannula on him learned that 19 month old toddlers grow 8 arms that are very much like octopus arms when you try to put it on his face. I've never seen anything like it. He took his prednisone steroid syringe orally like a champ though. He is awesome at taking his medicine. We took him in to get an xray to check for pneumonia and they suctioned some nose mucous to check for RSV or any other viral bugs. The Doctor on call let me know that he needed to be admitted, but because they don't have any facilities for small children and Primary Children's was close by, we were going to go there via ambulance.
We got to Primary's and the whole hospital was full! There was one room in the ER that they put us until an actual patient room came available. They were so full due to RSV and pneumonia that they were double bunking rooms. They couldn't do that with us until they knew for sure if Linus had either. He had another dose of albuterol and finally was able to sleep a little. I was DYING for a coke or a coffee, but I couldn't leave. Linus was in a very tall bed and I was afraid he'd wake up and get scared and fall out of bed. Just what we needed was a broken arm or head to go along with the breathing issues. The nurse was awesome and was able to find me a coke. Then I had to pee so bad I finally left him for a second to go to the bathroom. I left and he was zonked. I came back and he was screaming. Figures he's wake up.
They moved us to another room in the ER but I didn't have any phone service. So I've got Matt getting irritated with me because he's at McDonald's waiting for my text of what I want. Then he can't get ahold of me to get directions to where we are. Meh. All I could think was... just get whatever the heck you want for me, I'll freaking eat it and you have a flipping iphone. Use it to get directions!! GRRR! But that was because I was at my limit for lack of sleep. He found us and we hung out for a bit. Luckily I didn't need to be there when they suctioned him again. For the 4th time. It was AWFUL!!!! A long skinny tube stuck all the way up his nose down his throat. The poor little guy would just scream and scream and cry and I don't blame him. But it did help him breathe and they'd give him his albuterol treatment afterwards.
We finally were moved to our own room with a real hospital bed and a bathroom and began our long 2 day/one night stint in the hospital. He stopped progressing with the Albuterol every 2 hours, so he had to be suctioned and get a breathing treatment every hour or so for I don't know how long then we were able to get back to two hours and then to 4 hours.
I never thought I'd stay up all night, even in my exhausted state to listen to my child's breathing. I never thought I'd lay on my child so that medical professionals could "torture" him with a tube in his nose. I never thought I'd be calm and ok while my baby was in the hospital.
I finally went home to sleep since I'd been up all day and all night and all day the day before. I was past the point of exhaustion. My mom had come and taken over Bea sitting for Jeri. (Have I mentioned I have the best moms ever?) And my mom mentioned that Bea seemed constipated. I stopped off at Smith's to get some glycerin suppositories to aid her. When I got home I gave her the glycerin and then the final fun for the evening happened.
I never thought I'd be inserting things into my baby's bum. I NEVER thought I'd EVER EVER EVER touch poop with my bare hands on purpose. She was so constipated it was kind of like giving birth. She really had to work getting it out and it was way too big and way too hard for her poor little bum. For some reason, in a CNA class I took, the instructor taught us about impacted poop and how to take care of it. I didn't realize I had stored that little bit of knowledge away until this moment. So, I helped her take care of her poop issue. AND I DIDN'T HAVE GLOVES YUUUUUUUUUUUCK! Only for the love I have for this baby would I actually do that with no gloves on. And thank heavens she is now free and clear.
I'm sorry Matt, but I can't say I love you enough to do that for you. I'd hold you down for a tube in your nose, but I won't touch your feces.
We did finally get Linus home Friday night. He was off O2 since Thursday midmorning, they were only doing suctions every 8 hours and the treatments every 4-6 hours. They didn't want to let us go home, it's amazing how much the hospital is kind of like prison. We insisted that he needed sleep and wouldn't get it at the hospital and we were only 1 mile or so away, so we really needed to go home. And they let us go.
I do want to thank the family for helping us with Bea. It is hard having more than one kid when there is a medical emergency. You don't ever want to bring a healthy baby into the hospital. Especially when there is such a huge outbreak of RSV. I don't need another visit to Primary's. Thanks Darren and Rowan for coming and visiting and bringing Linus some more toys and thinking of Bea. Thanks for giving Linus a blessing. Thanks for all of our friends who were thoughtful enough to offer help. And thanks for an old friend I've known since elementary school for letting me visit with you at Primary's and reminding me that we really had it very good. I know your little Lizzie will get better and you will all be home soon!!
Update on Linus. He is doing great. We have him on singulair, flovent, and albuterol. Everyday. Once he's been off flovent for a month, we can take him to an allergist to find out what he's allergic to and hopefully prevent another attack of this magnitude. He will most likely be on the singulair and albuterol for a long time. On a positive note, his persistent runny nose he's had since 9 months of age IS FINALLY GONE!!! No more cough, no more runny nose, he's finally sleeping through the night with hardly any wakings due to congestion, and he is finally hungry and wanting to eat all the time. This attack may have been the best thing to happen to us. :)
I do have pictures that once I figure how to send them to my blog via phone I'll post them. I don't want to do the email, to computer, to blog. I'm lazy like that.