Since it was a family tour, Finnan and Jude were able to join us. They seemed to like seeing the hospital, but were disappointed that the tour was limited to the Women's Center. They wanted to see the "main hospital." As we drove by the "main hospital," I explained that hopefully we will never have to see it. The next day, as the boys and I were in the car, standing still on I-285 north in the pouring rain on our way to Children's Hospital, Scottish Rite, I had to laugh, especially since not even two hours earlier I had debated whether or not to even call the nurse's help line.
While we were on the family tour Wednesday night, Jude's ever-present on/off cough escalated. It seemed as if he coughed through the entire hour long tour. I felt terrible as I would not have brought a sick toddler on the tour. His dry cough continued through the night, keeping him up for much of it. In the morning, he would not eat or drink. He was breathing heavy. But, within an hour of waking up he feel asleep on the sofa. When he woke up he was still worn out and wanted to be carried, but his breathing had improved so we headed off on some errands so I could pick up some vicks vapor plug-ins and ingredients to make him chicken noodle soup. He feel asleep again at his normal nap time and woke up two hours later without a cough and in extremely good spirits. But, he was breathing extremely fast. After some internal debate, I called the nurse line and they gave me the last appointment of the day at the doctor's office. I had to wake up Finnan and the three of us ran out the door to make the appointment.
When we got there, he was still so happy. I didn't think he could possibly be sick, but as soon as the nurse saw him, she said, "Oh yeah, he is having trouble breathing" and then she measured his pulse-ox at 93. The doctor came quickly and within minutes they had him started on a nebulizer treatment. After the treatment, he was still not better, so they sent me upstairs to get him a chest x-ray. Since I am pregnant, poor Jude had to go back all by himself. However, Jude, being Jude, just said "Okay!" and walked right back with the tech and returned thrilled with the x-ray sticker he received. When we got back to the doctor from the x-ray they gave him a dose of prednisone and the doctor lingered around him continually checking his breathing for quite a while, questioning whether this was truly asthma or if he had aspirated something earlier in the day. After giving me a slew of instructions regarding how to monitor him tonight, she said, "No, can you take him to the ER right now?" Any mother's answer to that question is obvious. So, that is how I found myself sitting in traffic in the pouring rain. To make matters even more laughable at that moment, my fully charged cell phone was completely inoperable for about 30 minutes. I couldn't tell Atticus where we were and additionally, I was suppose to pick up a friend in Decatur for girl's night. I finally got a text through to Atticus (yes, I know I am not suppose to text and drive, but really, I was not driving) and within seconds he was able to get through to me. He made it to the hospital before we even saw the triage nurse. At about 8:30, I decided to take Finnan home and Atticus stayed with Jude the rest of the night. The doctor at Children's decided to put Jude on an hour long nebulizer treatment and then sent him home with albuterol and prednisone to take over the next couple of days. According to Atticus, Jude was charming and cooperative at the hospital. They got home at 11 and Jude still seemed to be in good spirits. Today, we have been trying to take it easy. His breathing is not 100%, but we have a few more days for the medicine to kick in. He hates the albuterol (he happily agrees to medicine until he sees the mask that goes over his face then he starts screaming, "No, not that medicine!!!"), but otherwise, he is acting fine and is running around.
To be honest, I assumed this would happen to one of my children. I grew up with (and still have) asthma. But, it was not what I was expecting. I assumed I would be able to detect an asthma attack right away. Of course, I haven't received an official diagnosis of asthma yet, but Jude's pediatrician called me last night to check on him and based on Children's course of action she spoke of the incident as an asthma attack. Ironically, my asthma diagnosis also came at two and a half, right before my brother was born.
Throughout the evening, I was incredibly calm and really was not worried. But, I had trouble sleeping last night. As often happens, the later it became and the more I thought about it, the more sad and worried I became. Even though asthma is a disease I understand and that I am not afraid of, I know what this could mean for Jude. My incredibly active and physical boy, who already has his eyes set on the baseball and soccer fields, may not be able to do those sports past a certain level. He may have a harder time keeping up with his brothers in certain weather conditions. Staying in older buildings, such as the River Farm, or visiting friends with cats or even potentially dogs could trigger symptoms. It worried me that even though I can monitor my own asthma, it is clearly different in young children and may be harder to prevent attacks with early detection. This is all too early to worry about and I am extremely thankful for my healthy and happy little boy. And, who knows, maybe he was already destined to turn his energy into swimming and water polo, like his mama :)
|Jude showing off a large leaf he found on a hike in Dearborn Park last week.|