Carys was fine yesterday. She ate well. She played hard. She went to bed easily.
She had a fever earlier in the week and has been complaining of a headache off and on. No big deal though. She just completed her ear infection medication on Tuesday and I figured it was about time for a precursor sinus infection to start before the return of the ear infection. That’s the way it usually goes.
Chad and I had a hard time going to sleep last night. We just couldn’t! We watched television for a while. Turned it off. Turned it back on. I finally turned it off a little after midnight.
At first, I’m dreaming. There’s a horrid sound somewhere in my house. I can’t figure out what it is.
And then the sound of my dream and the real-life sound of my child gasping for breath mingle. And it’s not good.
I’m awake, suddenly at 2am, trying to put the pieces of my broken dream together and realizing that something is terribly, terribly wrong with my child.
Carys is hysterical. She can’t catch her breath.
Every time she inhales, her body expels a terribly loud and distinct bark.
I guide her into the kitchen, trying to calm her down.
She is crying, telling me she can’t breathe and her throat hurts.
She drinks a bit of water, no help.
I have no caffeine (soda) and I don’t know that I can wait for a cup of coffee to be made.
I grab a flashlight and peek inside her throat.
I can see the tissue swelling and forcing her airway closed.
I take her outside, hoping the cool night air will be enough to open up her airway.
It helps a bit, but my mind is made up.
Chad & I dress quickly and make our way to the emergency room.
My mom stays with Cailyn.
Before we pull out of our neighborhood, Carys’ breathing has noticeably improved. The rush of cool night air coupled with the change in humidity from our house – outside – van worked a little bit of respiratory magic.
Briefly, I think about heading home. No one wants to sit in the emergency room. I don’t want to traumatize my daughter. But I decide to keep going; she needs help breathing whether I can hear the labor in her breathing pattern or not. I was scared enough to think of calling the ambulance only minutes before; and I’d rather have her checked out NOW than wait for the pediatrician’s office to open on Monday.
We arrive in an adrenaline-filled haze; Carys tightly gripping her baby doll and light blue crocheted blanket.
And we’re the only patients in the waiting room.
I am relieved that we will be seen quickly – and that Carys seems at ease.
Her breathing can quickly spiral out of control when she gets upset.
The ER doctor is shocked to learn that Carys actually does have croup. He was convinced it was asthma – which I’ve suspected for some time now, but have not been able to “prove”.
She received a dose of oral steroids and a breathing treatment via a plastic face mask.
After her treatment, which lasted about 15 minutes tops, we’re moved to a more comfortable room with a television. We have to stay for a few hours so Carys can be monitored. The medications give her a variable heart rate, ranging from 100 to 170 beats per minute. This is completely normal, and the doctor just wants to keep an eye on her for a bit.
Just for the record, I did not carry my camera with me.
I had my cell phone. And Carys requested I take her picture – bed head & all.
Around 4:45, we’re discharged from the ER and are on our way home.
I am exhausted.
Carys is wired from the medicines and the snacks from the hospital.
I actually don’t remember much about the ride home. I vaguely recall pulling into our driveway a little after 5am, but the steps in between are a complete mystery.
We arrived home safely and drifted to sleep, relieved that Carys was well and breathing easily.
The morning met me early.
I was a second shooter at a wedding this morning and had to be ready to go by 8am.
Let’s just say that the coffee was aflowin’ this morning, and a nap was on my to-do list.
Carys is much better today.
I can still hear a bit of wheeziness in her breathing if she runs, and she has a nasty little cough that will be with her for a few days.
In the morning (Sunday), she will her attend her first Girl Scout adventure; a catch-and-release fishing day. She is so excited about going, and I hope we can both make it without needing a nap.
I hope the rest of our week is uneventful.
And I hope yours is, too!