Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Croup 2: The Revenge

We figured that since I wrote the first croup story way back around Christmas it was my right and duty to pen the sequal.  This is a sequal that lived up to, and unfortunately surpassed expectations....but's long.

It begins like any other good horror movie:

Average American middle class family spends a wonderful weekend hiking in the mountains of Tennesee.  Little did they know that they wouldn't come back home alone.  The first hint of trouble comes as the family is passing through Lexington, Kentucky on the drive back single throaty cough from the back of the car.  The parents look at each other, shrug, and carry on like nothing ever happened.  No other hints of trouble for the rest of the trip, so just a passing chance cough right?  WRONG!!!!!!  The only part of this beginning that is not like a horror movie is that the little passing cough happened during the 10th listening of the cast of Sesame Street singing the Rubber Duck song. kept him quiet.

We finish the trip home, unpack, rest, and let the little crazy man run around like a maniac (please note this is normal behavior).  We are about to get back in the car to do some grocery shopping when I make the note "Hey, I think he feels a little warm.  I'll go and you can stay here with him just in case."  When I get back, sure enough he has a small 101.5 fever.  Still, no big deal for a kid who gets more small fevers than full diapers (exageration).  A little tylenol, some dinner, a sippy cup and off to bed.

While sitting around for the evening we hear some throaty coughs coming through the monitor, but nothing that wakes him up.  His breathing begins to sound worse and sure enough we get him up around midnight and his fever is coming back strong...103.5.  Breathing continues to get worse so we try to see if he will sleep in between us on the bed so we can keep a close eye on his breathing.  In typical fashion Grayson decides the most comfortable spot in the bed is in the middle of my pillow.  My miniscule wife has to make do with 3/4 of a king size bed while I try get comfortable sharing the final 6" of the bed with my son who now thinks he might be more comfortable if his butt is placed squarely in front of my face.  It was ok (not really) because this didn't last long.  He continued to get worse and more restless.

To make the rest of the evening story short we spent a lot of time cradling a hot hot hot child that sounded like darth vader with lot's of drool and snot coming out everywhere.  He was stuggling to take breathes all evening, I mean really struggling. We made one call to the pediatrician in the middle of the night, and 3 or 4 false starts to the ER as we were always able to get his breathing under control after a few minutes of him being riled up.  Come 8 AM we have placed ourselves squarely in the parking lot of our pediatrician and demand that they see Grayson NOW or we are going straight to the ER and finding a new pediatrician tomorrow.  Actually our pediatricians are freaking awesome and I would never leave them but they didn't call my bluff and brought him in right away.

Again, nothing much to say here.  They gave him a nebulizer/breathing treatment ( I know Grayson is tiny, but the only comparision I can think of is like trying to knock out a full grown pissed off bull with a small napkin of can he fight back) and a quick shot of steroids.  He didn't respond to the meds the way they wanted and informed us that even though it was only 9 AM we should plan on spending the night, not just the afternoon, at the Children's Hospital.  By this time Grayson has thrown up down his front and proceeded to immediately latch on to me in a kung fu death grip, thus sandwhiching vomit between the fronts of our shirts.  Since he is not letting go Nicole makes a NOT SO quick trip home to pack some stuff for an overnight stay. 
Seriously, I have no idea what she did but it took forever.  How hard is it to grab some T-shirts, underwear and a toothbrush...pretty hard it turns out.

They book us a stay as guests of honor at the Childrens Hospital.  They took great care to lay out the red carpet for us as we proceeded into a decent size room where the main focal point is the "crib" which actually seems to resembel a raised cage for criminals sent to solitary confinement.  Needless to say Grayson was not a fan of the crib. 

It was a long day at the hospital where Grayson was poked and proded and in general really angry and upset.  Another nebulizer (aka bull fighting situation) and some more Tylenol, but mostly a lot of waiting with a cranky baby who continued to sound more Darth Vader like than even Darth Vader can.  He got a little better, but never enough to please the doctors into letting us go home.  He would continue to get riled up throughout the day which just kept causing him to get worse again. 

The one funny part was that they treated our room like something out of the movie "Outbreak".  No one entered without a full face mask and smock, which got us wondering why we didn't have any special clothes on.  Cleary our son was ground zero for a new disease, should we be worried?  I started to have my own laughs by letting him run around the room when the doctor's came in, so long as he was feeling up to it.  It was like watching magnets of opposite charge...they wouldn't touch him so they kept trying to scatter to the walls of the room when ever he came near.  This is very humorous when there are three or four people avoiding him in a smallish room with the "cage" right in the middle while he runs in circles with his arms out trying to touch everything within reach, including people, as only small children can.  Dont get me wrong...I understand they don't want to spread anything to the other kids, but still it was funny.

We resigned our selves to the staying the evening.  This is when I went to grab the clothes Nicole brought for me that she spent all that time packing.  Oh wait...she seems to have not brought anything for me...seriously...what did she do that whole time.  She has tons of things for herself and Grayson, but not so much as a toothpick for me.  This is when I realize that I still have on my shirt that Grayson had smeared vomit on earlier, I seamed to have forgotten during all of the fun of the day.  Boy did I smell good, I can't believe no one told me earlier.

Grayson did get some sleep during the night.  I practised chivalry and let Nicole sleep on the one small pull out chair-bed while I got cozy on the tile floor with a pillow and a sheet.  Nicole did offer to switch, but like I said....chivalry.  Grayson had some x-rays of his throat taken, another nebulizer (he was calm for this which was almost wose than the bull incidents) and a second steriod dose.  We had one incedent during the evening where Grayson got really out of hand.  I will not even try to describe it.  Even during the month of Halloween it is too frightening to think about, and I was within moments of calling for an exorcism.  Apparently steroids will do this to children, I hope no one else ever has to witness this.

We all got a resonable amount of sleep, Grayson continued to sound better and better, and come 10:30 AM we were allowed to leave and take our little trooper home.  He is currently sleeping quite peacefully upstairs.  We do not hope for this to become a trilogy.

There are parts of the experience that I wouldn't trade for anything, like having him cling to me for everything he is worth just to keep comforted.  Most of the experience I would gladly trade for just about anything else in the world, definately for a clean shirt.  It is exceedingly hard to watch your child go through that.  Breathing is not anything that anyone should take for granted becuase Grayson proved it is not always as easy as it seems.

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