Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Patient Pending

Sergei’s right...we’re all of us sick. Which sucks big (insert animal genitalia reference here). It’s cold and flu season in Michigan apparently, and allergy season for me (a new thing I get to try, courtesy of my fucked-up immune system), and guess what?

Boy-child has asthma.

Yeah, that’s the latest in a long line of health-related issues we’ve had to deal with. Monday night Boy-child went to soccer practice as usual, and came home good and coughin’. Real lung-rattlers. Gave him meds before bed. Still coughed. More meds at 2 a.m. (thanks for handling that, honey). STILL kawfkawfkawf. Then at 4 a.m., I moved him downstairs to the rocker/recliner to see if that helped. I might as well have stood him on his head for all the good it did.

Tuesday morning Sergei took the Girl-child to school (she had sympathy symptoms, worried about her brudder, so she was better off not staying in Germ House Central). I called the dr. office and the nurse said, “Oh, it’s croup! Run a hot shower and sit with him in the steam.”


This is EXACTLY the same thing they said when Girl-child had a bad cough at age 2, and she ended up in the ER with tubes and needles stuck up in her, barely breathing, with asthma. Which disappeared as she grew older and her lungs matured.

That’s why I felt so stupid for not catching that Boy-child may have just had a later onset of it.

The hot shower didn’t help. Took him to see the doctor as soon as the office was officially open, she listened to his lungs and said, “We have to do an asthma treatment...NOW.” He was freaked out, but I was surprisingly calm. I had to be. 10 minutes later, after the misty mask and the meds and the shotcup of steroid juice and the feisty but kindly nurse having to hold the nebulizer plug in the wall of the new offices...the plug being UNDER the examination table, Boy-child looked at me with clear eyes and said, “I! Can! Breathe!”

His cough disappeared.

Which meant he'd been having an asthma attack since the previous night.

I felt like an idiot. Why didn’t I catch that? It sounded like bronchitis, or pneumonia, which was what the doctor said when she first saw us, all panicking and pale. I shoulda caught that. Still kicking myself for that one.

Now there are nebulizer treatments throughout the day, and monitoring his coughing, and worrying and waiting until Friday when we see the doctor again, to see if this attack was related to the cold that Boy-child was getting. Exacerbated by soccer practice on a cold day. Whatever the hell it was.

I’m bordering on bronchitis. And missing calls from the School Board President who wants to talk to me about joining an advisory committee. And missing work (“I wouldn’t exactly say I’m ‘missing’ it, Bob!”). And generally worrying, in that panic-mom way, do I send him to school, do I go at lunch and stick misty mask on his face so he can get through the afternoon, do I just keep him home, how much work can I miss without our creepy-crawly untrained HR manager threatening me, will Girl-child escape this infection, will Sergei feel better, for gods sake, is the cat gonna eat the nebulizer cord, that bitch?

Funny how you don’t realize how wonderful your health is until it’s threatened.

And now, after this sad and sappy post, a Belated Pirate Joke (I missed Pirate Day on Monday, argh, I’m a scurvy spider).

Q: Why couldn’t Boy-child go see the Pirate movie?
A: Because it was rated ARRRRRRRRRR.


At 1:48 AM, Blogger SVN, prn said...


Go with what your Mom gut tells you everytime. Don't knock yourself out over the missed asthma thing. I personally get allergies that I still think is a cold in the beginning stages (since I didn't develop allergies until I was over 30, I'm still in denial over the exsistance)

Also, be with your kids when they are sick. The stress that you get from being away from them is worse for you and will keep you from getting better too (stress is a HUGE hit on your immune system).

Remember the fluids, drink LOTS and lots and try and eat well too.

Best of luck!

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Orange said...

Aw, dammit. Asthma sucks. I've had it for a few years myself now. And it was only this summer that I realized that pesky bedtime cough of mine was probably asthma-related. I'm no swifter than you, and this involved my very own airways. D'oh.

For paragraph 1, I filled in the blank with "armadillo vagina."

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Anonymous blogger said...

My dad and brother both have asthma, and a mom at my church has two boys who need the nebulizer thing. I can imagine that it can get stressful and rough. My little girl has RSV when she was born and wheezed a lot and it scared the bejeezuz out of me every night.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

"Yeah, I'd say I pretty much do about 15 minutes of real work, all day."

How scary, re: asthma!! Don't waste any more time kicking yourself. I hope you all continue to get better, and fast!

At 6:54 PM, Blogger jo(e) said...

Hey, I've got four kids and you wouldn't believe how many times I say to myself, "I saw this in the other three kids -- shouldn't I have caught it this time around?" But no ... that isn't how it works.

Hope everyone is feeling better soon.

At 3:58 AM, Blogger Star said...

I know I don't comment much but I just had to say I hope you and your family feel better soon!

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

Feel better soon. It sounds like y'all have managable illnesses, and I'm sure you'll manage.

I agree with SVN PRN: if you can, stay home with the kids.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Charlie said...

I have asthma. I wouldn't sweat not figuring it out: they have a couple of options after the nebulizer that usually fix the problem -- an injection of epinephrine usually does the trick. Granted, nobody really wants to get to that point, and I'm not trying to trivialize it, but the scared nurse probably needed to chill out a little.

For the asthmatics in the crowd, might I suggest this t-shirt?

At 2:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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