I’m Giving Thanks3
This weekend we celebrate Thanksgiving which is so timely as today I have so many things to be thankful for. Besides all of the usual suspects, I’m thankful for Josie finally kicking croup in the ass and for friends who send you gift baskets and wine. I have no problem coming up with a list of things that I would like to change, but instead I chose to be like Oprah and see gratitude in the face. I am thankful.
Last week while visiting my parents in Victoria little Josie got a bad case of croup. After one ER visit in Victoria we ended up having to hang out at the hospital in Vancouver for a bunch of days. So, we hung out in a tiny isolation room together while she got plied with multiplied doses of medication to help her breathing slowly return to normal. After spending so much time together, Josie’s vocab went crazy and the girl won’t stop talking! She is expressive and, oh my, so many words and emotions coming out of her mouth.
I had heard of croup even before her little seal bark started at 1 AM. It had been preceded by a runny nose and then a moist cough that sounded like Darth Vadar. At 2 AM we sat outside on the doorstep at my parents house and I knew exactly what was happening. Croup had found us, so I did what I thought and so I tried to let the cold air soothe her inflamed airway. She was tired and struggling to breathe and I wasn’t really sure what to do. Should I hang tight and see how things go, or should I react and head to the ER? Side note, it was a dark and rainy night and 3 AM in a city I don’t know that well.
You would think that being an experienced RN would mean I could make pretty quick decisions when it comes to emergencies with my kids, but it turns out I am overly relaxed and don’t jump the gun with them. I used to always roll my eyes at people who overused the emergency room for bad period cramps, a case of dandruff or because they don’t have a family doctor. I’m more apt to nod in acceptance at a severed finger over a paper cut when it comes to ER visits. So, while cradling a croupy Josie I did a quick iPhone google search about how to treat croup at home and what things to look out for. Pink baby=good! Blue baby=bad?!#$%!
After an hour of trying to make a decision I decided I had had enough of watching her work so hard to breathe, and so I texted my night owl brother in law to please come and fetch us at my parents house. I seriously did not want to drive alone in the car with a girl who was having breathing issues. Plus, it was 3:30 AM and I hate not knowing where I am going. This whole time Josie was nice and pink and in pretty decent spirits despite being tired and dealing with croup. We sped to the ER in Victoria and at 4 AM my girl got a nice dose of epinephrine and steroids and her breathing started to calm down.
Fast forward a day later and we returned from our weekend away and had a terrible night at home filled with visits to the steamy bathroom and cold air treatments. So, we called it a day and off we went to Vancouver’s BC Children’s Hospital. It was perfect timing too and Josie needed quite a lot of medications to control her fast breathing, and we ended up getting admitted from the ER to the ward. I can’t say enough good things about BC Children’s Hospital, or how fortunate we are that this is our kids local hospital. The access to resources was amazing. Need an ENT consult? Hold on, it will literally be 5 minutes. Need a chest x-ray to make sure there isn’t a random toy stuck down there? They’re here to pick you up! Vancouverites, is that your experience at BCCH too or were did we just have lucky timing on that one? I know how variable things like this can be when it comes to hospitals.
Josie is feeling much much better and is full of craziness and clinginess too. I’ve chosen to embrace both of those things and am thankful for the now.
This is what I’ve learned: Don’t mess around with breathing concerns, especially when it comes to young children as they have softer airways and things can change fast. Breathing issues take priority and things can go from being pretty okay to being very intense within a few minutes. No one is going to roll their eyes at you if you take your kid to the ER with breathing concerns. Right now Josie is pumped on a triple dose of steroids and she is extra hungry (‘Mama, I hungry!‘) and she’s also a wee bit moody (they did warn us). Yes, a toddler on steroids is quite entertaining. Weeee! Truly, so thankful for everything.