Monday, April 26, 2010

Oh, crud. Croup.

Chalk it up to bad decisions or -- and this is my preference -- a series of unfortunate events.

Either way, what should have been a weekend full of family fun was, instead, a weekend spent at the Children's Hospital.

Far from a running post, this one . . .

The long story is:

Conal had been a little "off" on Thursday and Friday but, honestly, I thought it was the tree pollen that had been causing runny noses all around town. I guess I brushed it off. Bad decision #1. He never seemed sick, just not completely himself. So, on Saturday morning when he woke up at 5am with a cough, but went back to sleep, and then woke up again and was full of pep, I thought he was fine. Fine enough to travel to see family. Bad decision #2.

At the start of the trip he was all OK. Two hours in, after waking up from a short nap, he couldn't talk -- had no voice at all. And neither energy nor appetite. I took his temperature at a rest stop and it was normal, so we continued on. Bad decision #3.

When we go to our niece's lacrosse game (what was to be our first stop of the weekend), Conal was flushed and lethargic. He still had no voice and he was drooling like crazy. He got worse as the game went on so we decided we'd drive straight home afterward. When we were waiting to say hi to our niece after the game, he ate some fruit, had something to drink, and seemed to perk up. I thought maybe we might be able to stay but then, after playing with one of his cousins, he came rushing over to me with a very scared look on his face, unable to catch his breath. He was wheezing and having a very hard time.

In the meantime, though, we had a horrible experience when my sister-in-law, who was at the game and has been dealing with a bad hip/back, passed out and we didn't know what was going on. As Owen was helping her and talking to the EMTs, I was stressing about Conal. My SIL was in rough shape; she ended up going to the hospital and is having surgery today. Unfortunate event #1.

Later than we would have liked, we left Columbia and started the 2.5 hour trip home. About half-way there, we stopped to get something to eat and I took Conal's temperature again. This time he had a fever. He wouldn't eat anything and he was saying he didn't feel well. The breathing was still bad (although better than it had been) so we called our pediatrician for advice. The doctor called back when we were on the road and, as I described Conal's symptoms, he started to have an attack. He was crying and unable to catch his breath and turning blue in the lips. So, there I was: On the phone with the doctor, trying console Conal and motioning to Owen to, "PULL OFF! PULL OFF!" The doctor, justifiably concerned, told us to go to the hospital.

So, we did. We got there around 7:30. By that time, the poor guy had a fever of over 103.4 and was just wheezing like crazy. After all kinds of exams, it turns out he has croup and his trachea was narrowed and his larynx was inflamed (or something like that). They gave him Motrin for the fever, but after an hour it hadn't gone down so they gave him Tylenol. Then they gave him steroids and an epinephrine treatment before sending him for x-rays.

Then there was all the observation and checking and more poking and prodding, but at 11:30pm we were told that the attending physician had talked to our pediatrician and they agreed that if Conal was stable we could leave at 2:30. Seemed like a long time to wait but we were willing because we wanted to get Conal home.

At 2, the nurse who had been treating Conal and a new doctor came in. Unfortunate event #2. We woke Conal up and the new doc examined him. No fever. Lungs still clear. Heart rate fine. But the breathing still wasn't great. So, she decided to admit us. I wanted to cry. It was so late and all I wanted was for Conal to sleep and, I hoped, get better. I had been expecting to go home because that's what the first doctor had said to but the new doctor disagreed.

At 2:30, when the admitting doctors came to examine Conal, I wanted to die. He was so tired and felt so crappy and here he was being poked and prodded and asked questions all over again. He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said, "I don't like this" and it broke my heart. He cried and cried and it was just . . . ugh.

We got to the hospital room at 3-ish and after being checked in we tried to sleep a little but how can you? At 7:15 someone came with breakfast and then someone to check Conal's vitals and the day started. Our pediatrician came by to examine him at 9:30 and said that we'd probably be able to go home after lunch, which we did.

It was stressful and I hated every minute of it. It was our first trip to the hospital and it made me truly appreciate how healthy Conal has been. I don't know how parents who have to take their kids to the hospital frequently -- or even more than once -- handle it. It sucks.

Since we've been home, Conal's been better. We all took a nap on Sunday and slept late this morning. His breathing is still labored and we have to keep him calm, which is hard for an almost 3-year-old. So, we're all about Sesame Street and Kipper today!

In the end, I'm glad we went to the hospital because Conal got the treatment he needed and he's on the road to recovery. But, I do wish I had made better decisions along the way. Owen keeps telling me that you just do the best with the information you have so I shouldn't blame myself. But, man, it is hard not to!

Wow, what a long post. Thanks for reading! I hope I never have to write about another hospital episode again -- and I hope everyone has a great week (Conal included!).

Do you think I need a run today? You're SO right!!!

~ Felice

29 comments:

Suzy said...

Oh Felice, you've had a long weekend. I hope Conal feels better really soon. I hope you get your run in. I hope both of you get some sleep soon! Take care.

Janis said...

Awful! So sorry you had to go through all of that! Owen is right!! Hugs to Conal and all of you! xo

Katie said...

Poor little guy! At least your all home now, and home makes EVERYthing better! Hope you have a good, long, therapeutic run today!

Manderz said...

(((HUGS))) Please dont feel like you made bad decisions. As parents we dont know everything. You handled the situation well based on his symptoms and how he felt. I hope he starts to feel better quickly!

Marlene said...

Oh no! Poor Conal... and Mom & Dad! Does not sound like a fun experience. I hope your ltttle dude is back to 100% health soon. I also hope SIL's surgery goes well!

Enjoy that run when you can get out!

Lauren said...

Wow that sounds incredibly stressful. I really hope everything gets better quick and stays that way. Hospitals suck.

Molly said...

so sorry about that! I have definitely been in your shoes! My daughter had the croup when she was 6 months old, I literally sat in front of her to keep watch while she tried to sleep in the baby swing all night long.

hope you get your run in, and some sleep!

ShutUpandRun said...

OMG, feeling your stress and worry every step of the way. It is so tough when kids get sick, especially to the point where you are that worried. I would have made every decision that you made. We just never know, and you did everything right. I always make choices based on how my child is acting, and up until it got really bad, Conal seemed to be doing okay. So glad he got the treatment he needed and will be on the mend soon. My daughter was in the ER with croup when she was a baby and then with pneumonia. The most AWFUL thing. I always think of parents who have chronically ill kids and how they get through it. I can barely take one night in the ER. Thanks for sharing. Hope your run cleared your head!

Denise said...

poor conal...and poor you! i can't imagine how upsetting that must have been for you. i hope he's feeling better. give him lots of candy!

Staci Dombroski said...

Oh my gosh!! I am so sorry to hear about Conal. I am so glad that he was able to get the treatment that he needed. It is so scary when you have to go through that! I totally understand. I hope that your SIL is doing better after her surgery. I hope you have a better week!

GoddessLibrarian said...

Don't beat yourself up. Conal is a healthy kid. He doesn't have any pre-existing conditions that would make you think a runny nose is more than a runny nose. 9/10 it IS just a runny nose with him. You just got unlucky this time. The important thing is you reacted quickly and got him to the hospital and did what you had to do. He'll bounce back quick!

And good vibes with your SIL. I hope she does okay!

Heather said...

I hope he gets to feeling better soon.

Diana said...

Hindsight is always better! And, looking and feeling off could have been a number of "normal" things. How frightening! So glad he's better!

Abby said...

Wow, what a weekend... The whole thing sounds awful, but how lucky that you were on the phone with the doctor when the attack happened. "Bad decisions" aside, it sounds like you guys did everything you could have, given the circumstances. I'm just glad that he's feeling better.

runningwithsass.com said...

oh my gosh how awful I am so sorry! Glad all is getting better now!

Michel said...

Oh I'm so sorry he had croup! Poor thing. I hope he feels better soon!

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Glad you are home and he is on the mend! Hospitals and little ones are not fun.

I know how easy it is to blame yourself but you are right, you shouldn't. You are an amazing mom!!

J said...

Felice, I am so sorry to hear about your weekend. It is hard to tell when a cold or cough gets to be too much. I am glad that Conal is doing ok now after all that.

ajh said...

My heart breaks for you. May everyone feel much better soon!

Heather said...

What a rough weekend! I hope Conal feels better soon.

MCM Mama said...

Poor little guy! Croup is awful, but the breathing part tends to come on rather suddenly, so it's hard to know when to do something about it. BTDT. You handled it the best you could as things happened. Hope he feels better quickly!

Shelley said...

Poor little guy, and poor mom and dad! My oldest son had asthma and we had several of those "do we take him to the hospital or wait?" events...never fun. Hope the entire family is recovering!

Karen said...

How awful! I'm glad he's feeling better!!

Becky said...

Your husband is right...you couldn't tell the future and you did the best you could. No serious damage. It will all be fine.

lindsay said...

oh man! i am glad everything turned out ok. hope conal is feeling better and enjoying his pampered days :)

i think it is better that you are not running to the doctor for every little thing... you know? of course you never know what will happen but that doesn't mean we should rush to the ER because we sneezed (slight exaggeration, i know). you are still an excellent mom!! you acted when the symptoms were more severe - that's all that matters.

Meg said...

Felice, I'm so sorry you all had to go through such a traumatic experience. The "I don't like this" line made me tear up. Poor little guy. I hope Conal continues to feel better!

Meg said...

Felice, I'm so sorry you all had to go through such a traumatic experience. The "I don't like this" line made me tear up. Poor little guy. I hope Conal continues to feel better!

Lisa said...

What a scary experience. I'm glad the little guy is on the mend. Hope he gets 100% better soon.

Diane said...

Croup is so scary. Our first experience with croup also resulted in a hospital stay. After that, every time I heard that seal-bark cough I cringed.

Hope you're guy gets better very soon!
Hang in there!!

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