January 25, 2007

Our Children's Hospital adventure

As mentioned in Tuesday's post, Cael developed a pretty bad cough as of late. When we picked him up form the sitter that day, he was coughing so bad he was wheezing and couldn't catch his breath. Apparently just before we arrived, he was crying and telling the sitter it hurt. Which made him anxious, thus making the wheezing/coughing even worse. We got him out of there and he had stopped coughing by about two minutes into the drive. Odd, no? I kept him home on Wednesday since he still had a bit of a wheeze and his regular doctor's appointment was that afternoon.

We walked into the doctor's office and she commented on his cold. Then she started the exam. And promptly took off her stethoscope and told us to take him to CHEO. Now. The rest of the check-up would be rescheduled for next week.

Of course I started to panic. And felt like the worst mom ever for not taking him in the night before like I wanted to. So we picked up Iain from the sitter, dropped him and Jon off at home and off we went. We left the house at around 4:30. I'll skip the boring medical stuff that came in the middle, but fast forward to eight hours later and we were on our way home. After three ventolin masks, a dose of oral steroid meds, a puffer tutorial and a whole lot of boredom. Its beyond me why it took so long for such an obvious problem. Its not like they had to run tests or anything...there just weren't enough doctors to deal with all of the ER patients who came through. (And there were a couple of lame ones...would you take your 10ish year-old to the ER if they were constipated, or would you just give her some All Bran and an apple? That's basically what the doctor told the parents to do, after three hours of waiting...) Luckily they had portable TV units sitting around, and I was able to snag one so he could at least watch a video when he was out of his mind with ennui. And their video choices were stellar. Lots of Barney (kill me now) and long Disney movies that would never hold his attention. But there were two Dora videos and a Baby Mozart, so that got us through.

He's such a good kid though, and did so well despite being obviously bored silly. I did have my wits about me enough to grab a few cars and books as we dropped daddy and little brother...I knew it would be a bit of a wait since I'd already done the CHEO thing when he had his swollen foreskin (how many hits will THAT bring from Google? Its not what you're looking for, pervs...) last summer, but I had no idea it would take eight hours. Considering he was exhausted from a bad sleep the night before and no naps that day, he was amazing. After the three ventolin masks, he was so HYPER I could not control him. He didn't do anything bad...he just wanted to talk to everyone. The nurses were smitten with this wee curly haired boy, and he was carried around for a bit by one of them during his really hyper time. They'd seen this before obviously, and knew a little tour of the nurses' station would hold his interest long enough for me to use the washroom before I burst.

I left with a prescription for steroid and airway clearing inhalers (Flovent and Ventolin, for those in the know), as well as a few days worth of the oral steroid meds since they work faster...I guess? And one of those AeroChamber things to make it easier to give him the puffers. I was told that he should have the Flovent (steroid) daily until the cold weather is over, and to fix what may have been damaged since this has been happening for three weeks (worst mom EVER), and the Ventolin every four hours as needed. I'm going to keep him on the Ventolin until they're back at Gail's, because I'm so sure that its something at the temp sitter's that caused this. And at least we'll have the puffers if it flares up again.

The doctors and nurses did assure me that just because he's being treated with asthma meds doesn't necessarily mean that he has asthma. They can't diagnose that properly until five or six. But he is being treated as being "sensitive" and "prone" to respiratory distress. I'm so hoping that's all it amounts to.

They did weigh him when we first arrived (I was happy...I was waiting for the weighing at his doctor's appointment and it didn't happen) and he weighs in at a whopping 26 pounds. Yikes. Dunno if that's after weight loss from his lack of appetite the past couple of weeks or what. It did cross my mind that Play-doh is non-toxic, but I just couldn't go through with it. And lets face it, he probably wouldn't have eaten it anyway.

I do have a regret. That I didn't have my camera. The image of him giving me a cheesy grin with an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose would have been a great basis for a scrapbook page. But I'm really not hoping for a next time...


Anonymous Andrea said...

Oooh. Nice new header. Very pretty.

Also: Cael's in good company. Both Rylan and Frances are on inhaled steroids. Frances really only has to use them when she's got a bad cold--we haven't had to deal with allergies yet. But yeah, it does sound like there's something at the new sitter's that he's allergic too.

25/1/07 15:24  
Blogger Amy said...

That sucks for you guys. We've dealt (and are still dealing) with the same thing, with all 3 kids actually. Terran "grew out" of his, Maddie and Connor still get so bad they vomit. We find the cold weather, viruses and sometimes running around a lot are the worst triggers. And dairy. Bad, bad, bad for the mucous production... The good news is that kids are resilient, and they will usually bounce back before you've had a chance to catch up on all your sleepless nights! (OK, it's supposed to be good news! LOL!)

25/1/07 21:50  
Blogger TLC Tugger said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

26/1/07 00:48  
Blogger ccw said...

So scary!

You are not a bad mom but I know the feeling. I felt like every staff member was looking at me like I was evil for not noticing that Nonami's cold was more than a cold.

Glad you are now prepared to help him through this.

26/1/07 12:28  
Anonymous Donna said...

I've been thru the "go to CHEO now" thing with DD when she was 5 days old and I felt guilty too, that "how could I not notice she is so sick" thing. Hopefully with the meds + going back to the regular sitter (soon?), he will get better quickly. As for people in the ER for things like constipation (!), it's that type of thing that is helping to create the 8 hr wait times. For me, it has to be a lot more serious than "my dd can't poop" to even consider going to the hospital to sit in a waiting room for 8 or more hours. Ugh!

26/1/07 12:49  
Blogger Tanya said...

tks guys...i know i'm not the only mom to feel teh guilt about their sick kid. but when they told me that his oxygen is good now but would go down when he was asleep i just about cried. basically he could have suffocated in his sleep. :(

and abt not knowing he was sick, i guess i was just hoping to get a referral for allergy testing at the dr on wednesday. wasn't expecting her to send us off like she did. i still might ask abt testing when we go back next week tho because i'm pretty sure that's what it is. won't change the course of treatment, i'm sure. which is fine.

donna, 5 days old?? i don't remember that at all...wow!

26/1/07 13:09  

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