Monday, October 05, 2009

The scariest day

It has been some time since I posted anything here - not sure why, except I am rather addicted to Facebook at the moment. ;)

Anywho, I think I have had, by far, the scariest day of my life last week - and one I would not want to repeat if I can help it.

People say, as you are TTC and/or are expecting, that you will never understand how strongly you will feel when your child is ill or injured. How your mind will just turn everything off except to focus on what is happening to your child and what it will take to make sure he/she is well.

Gabriel was hospitalized last week for a few days for a severe asthma attack.

Hubby and I were up all night with him Monday night because he was flippy while trying to sleep - barely sleeping, really, the entire night. We had given him a nebulizer treatment earlier in the evening because we knew he was having issues with his breathing - this has happened several times before already (last week was the fourth and most severe episode to date) and we knew what to do when he was starting to have issues. But, even with that treatment, he was still having some issues.

Tuesday morning came and his breathing was still rough - not too bad, but not what we had hoped to hear from the night before. Not knowing what I should do, I gave my MIL all of the meds he would need so she could do a nebulizer treatment that morning and told her to call me if he was getting worse or not getting better at all - I would call his pediatrician. She called me several times and each time, he seemed to be getting worse - even with the treatments. So, I called his pediatrician and got an appointment for right before lunch.

At 10:45 am, I flew out my office so I could pick him up and get him to the doctor's office. I am not sure how fast I was driving - but, making it from my office to my MIL's house to the pediatrician's office should NOT have taken me an hour. I shaved about a half hour off that time.

As we approached his office, I started to feel like I should have gone straight to the ER with Gabriel - but, not having ever really dealt with a child with asthma before, I also didn't want to be labeled the "overreactive parent." We parked the car and got Gabriel in to the building - and the office staff had us come right in, past all of the others waiting in the office. Once there, the doctor took a listen to him and immediately asked for meds to put in the nebulizer for him. He noted to me that, with a reaction this bad, we should have gone directly to the ER.

So, remind me to NEVER second guess that instinct.

After the treatment in his office, Gabriel seemed a little better - wheezing still, but not having very visible issues of struggling. He had us go home and immediately do another treatment - and, if by 3 pm, the wheezing was not gone or greatly lessened, he wanted us to go straight to the ER.

We got him, did the nebulizer, and waited. Called Hubby to come home. Waited.

3 pm came - and the wheezing was not any better - and you could see he was breathing fast and he was trying to breathe in so hard, you could see his skin tugging and pulling around his collar bone and ribs. I called the doctor and off we went to the ER.

With the Hubby in the car next to Gabriel, I was not as aggressive driving to the ER - it also helped to know that the doctor was calling ahead to the ER so they knew what was coming.

Once we got to the ER, nurses and residents and doctors were checking him and rechecking him, got the nebulizer going, had chest x-rays ordered, and IV started. After a few hours, we were told he would be admitted, and finally we were up in a room in Pediatrics around 9:30 pm.

Gabriel stayed in Peds for 2 days (meaning I didn't shower for 2 days either...ewwww!) - nebulizer treatments every 2 hours for the first 24 hours and finally that time began to stretch as h the wheezing became less and the tugging for breathe slowed. He was finally cleared to go home on Thursday afternoon when there was more risk of him picking up another virus at the hospital.

He is officially diagnosed with asthma now - and we have our Asthma Action Plan, so we know what to try before we have to head to the ER again. The Asthma Action Plan accompanies his Allergy Action Plan since we found out in late August he has food allergies too: Egg (which was causing his constant eczema), Tree Nuts, and Peanuts (a Level 4 food allergy requiring an EpiPen), as well as some of other environmental allergies.

We are hoping we can get our house sold before the winter really hits so we can find somewhere newer and easier to clean for him - our house is so old that no matter how much we clean, it is never going to be good enough for him.

Anyone who has experience with asthma in children and food allergies, comments and advice are welcome! We don't want Gabriel - or us - to go through this again.

....Especially on the topic of how do you get your MIL to NOT smoke in her own house so Gabriel can be there? We were told he should be in no environment where there has been smoke - and he is over at my MIL's house 2-3 times a week, at least! How do you tell someone they can't smoke in their own home???


DD said...

Asthma is really scary, especially in kids. Unfortunately, many people don't see it as a serious illness. Never hesitate to go to an ER.

As for the MIL, you cannot ask her to not smoke in her own home. You can let her know that Gabriel can't be in an atmosphere where there has been or will be smoking. It's up to her whether or not she'll quit and clean up the house...but I seriously doubt she'll do that since that'll mean removing all carpets and draperies. You can only set the rules in your house. If and when she visits, no smoking. No ifs, ands, or buts.

If she tells you she won't smoke when Gabriel's there, it's still a no go. As one who suffers from asmthma triggered by allergies, like Gabriel, it's not something that can be avoided by just putting out a cigarette or throwing the cat in the basement. It's in the wallpaper, clothing, chairs, bedding, towels...if it's pourous, it will hold the triggers. It's not worth the risk, which it sounds in this case, very high.

Jessica said...

So scary! I came here because I missed it on FB and saw mention of it and hoped you had wrote more here. I am glad you did. Will keep him in my prayers.
I can't say I have much advice but wanted to let you know I was reading and all. I think you need to tell your MIL how it will affect Gabriel in the kindest way possible. All you can do is say it with love and concern for your son and the rest is up to her.

Holli Wright said...

Hello, I'm Holli (avid random blog reader/writer) and I just stumbled across your blog tonight. I have two kiddos with asthma (my daughter also has nut, all types, milk, and egg allergies). Our oldest was having really bad attacks like your son did 5-6 times a year. Last year we started him on low dose steroids all year long (instead of hitting him up with heavy duty steroids every time he had a big attack). That has been the difference between night and day. It really is a big experiment to get the kids adjusted to the right type and amount of meds in the beginning. As far as the smoking goes (we have family members that smoke), we have just sat them down and told them it was by far nothing personal but we can't go to their house if the kids are with us, but they are always welcome at our house. We just explain that environments where people smoke triggers an attack that sends the kids to the hospital. So far everyone (my parents included) have been extremely understand. It is what it is, I guess. I just figure that my first priority is my kids' health and people's feelings are second to that, even though it can make for an uncomfortable conversation.

Good luck (and thanks for letting me butt into your blog!)


Holli Wright said...

*that should say they are understanding, not understand :)

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