Friday, September 2, 2011

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Part 3

So, after our day in doctors offices on Wednesday, we thought the drama was behind us. Yes, Aubrey had a fractured collar bone, and that would be painful for a while, but it should heal quickly. We went to bed Wednesday night expecting Aubrey to wake up a few times but hoping for a decent night of sleep. We noticed as she was going to bed that her nose had started to run, and she sounded congested. This was out of nowhere and had come on very suddenly, because she hadn't shown any signs of a cold earlier that evening. As David and I were going to bed, we were saying, "Great. We just got over colds. Here we go again."

Aubrey woke up around 11:30pm, and I went up to her room to check on her. She was coughing and crying, and I noticed that her cough was the dreaded croupy cough. Aubrey, unfortunately, gets croup fairly regularly. I'm not really sure why, but she does. We've just been told that some kids get croup more often than others (having reflux as a baby is one factor that can contribute to getting it more regularly, which Aubrey had). We have some medicine for "croup attacks", so I wasn't overly alarmed. I got Aubrey to calm down, which helped the coughing a ton, and I got her some medicine. She had completely quit coughing, and she was obviously really sleepy. I laid with her for a few minutes before going back to bed. I figured she would be fine. BIG mistake.

An hour later, she woke up again. I could tell through the monitor that she sounded pretty bad. David went to her room this time, and as he was leaving our room, I told him to bring her down to stand in front of the freezer if she sounded really bad. A few minutes later, I heard them in the kitchen, and Aubrey sounded bad alright. I ran into the kitchen, and I was shocked at the state in which I found her. She was the worst she has EVER been. She literally could. not. breathe. She was crying, coughing, and when she tried to breathe, she had that horrid barking seal/croup noise. If you've never heard it before, I hope you never do. I'm not one to get overly alarmed by wheezing or croup. As I said, we've dealt with both of these things on numerous occasions. But seeing her like that genuinely scared me. Aubrey has had croup enough for me to know that it can potentially be bad. Really bad. As soon as I saw how much trouble she was having breathing, I knew we needed to take her to the ER. We decided that David would take her (he is a bit more calm in these situations than I am, and our children's ER is not in the best area -- not somewhere I'd want to drive by myself at 1am.), and I got Aubrey to stop crying while David was getting dressed, but she was still gasping and having a LOT of trouble breathing. David grabbed Aubrey and ran out the door, and I was a nervous wreck.

I went back to bed, but of course I couldn't sleep. David finally let me know that they were there and checked in, and that Aubrey was a lot better already. On the way to the ER, she had started breathing better. Being upright helps a ton, and she possibly would have been fine if we had just held her upright in front of the freezer for longer, but when it comes to my child not being able to breathe, I'm not taking any chances! They ended up giving Aubrey more medicine (a steroid) and a breathing treatment in the ER and making David and Aubrey stay for an hour so they could recheck her breathing before sending them home. David and Aubrey arrived home at around 4am. Aubrey went right to bed, and she slept great for about 2 1/2 hours. At 6:30, she was up coughing again, and her breathing didn't sound great (although it wasn't nearly as bad as it had been at 12:30). We calmed her down and held her upright for a while, and she went back to sleep until 9. She was unhappy when she woke up. She just cried and cried and sounded terrible, so I decided to take her to the pediatrician just for a follow up. They told us to do steroids for 3 days (crazy, I know... but her breathing was bad) and they also put her on an antibiotic. I'm not usually a fan of giving her an antibiotic unless I KNOW she has an infection, but the doctor we saw (not our regular) said she looked like she had a sinus infection, and he highly recommended the antibiotic because a sinus infection would prolong the croup. Our experience the night before was just scary enough for me to agree to the antibiotic!

The doctor told me that the only thing we did wrong the night before was not keeping Aubrey upright when she first woke up with croup. I assumed since she had quit coughing and I gave her the medicine, she would be fine to lay back down. But the doctor said it takes the medicine 6 hours to really do anything. So, if we had kept her somewhat elevated for 6 hours after the first dose of medicine, all of that possibly could have been avoided. My first reaction was, "Wow, that would have been a long night!" But then I had to laugh at myself, because a night of sitting up with Aubrey would have been a heck of a lot better than the night we ended up having! I hate that we could have possibly avoided all of that, but we'll know for next time. Aubrey actually slept through the night last night, and she's been MUCH better today. The croupy sound is completely gone, and all that's left is a slight runny nose. Unfortunately, Jude now has a cold, so he didn't sleep through the night :-/ There's always someone waking up in the night when you have kids! ;) The doctor warned me that the steroid could make Aubrey irritable, and she has been a bit hard to get along with today... I'm just so thankful that she's feeling better, though!

So, prayerfully, that's the end of our "series of unfortunate events." We're hoping for a BORING weekend! While it has been a stressful week, we're trying to put it in perspective and realize just how blessed we are. David said when he was in the pediatric ER, he walked by several rooms and saw kids laying in hospital beds who looked really sick. Thinking about those kids and their families makes you realize that, at the end of the day, a broken bone and a case of croup really isn't THAT bad.


Amy said...

that is SO scary! libbi has had croup fairly often, too. we've made two ER visits, because it does sound so bad. I know now that sometimes it sounds a lot worse than it really is, but you're right - when it comes to your child breathing, you just don't want to take any chances. the steriods make libbi cuh-ray-zee!!! i can't stand them. but they do the trick, so we just have to tolerate her for a few days :)
i am praying this was the final chapter in your series of unfortunate events!!!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

Oh my, this sounds scary. You have had a week. Surely, this coming week will be better for you all. I am interesting in the link between croup and reflux. Henry already is much more conjested than Evie ever has been. I have to use the bulb thingy on him every morning because he cannot breathe either. Glad everything seems to be calming down a bit- you deserve a lot of weeks of calm after this week.

Big Jen said...

you. poor. thing.

good gosh.