Saturday of last week I am downstairs at the computer in the afternoon, Sullivan is sitting on the couch watching Tom and Jerry, Brian and Jackson are out at Target getting the usual suspects and Ben was upstairs napping.
I'm here, right here at the computer. Ben is upstairs napping in his little toddler bed.
Then I hear what sounds like an animal, and crying. After adjusting to the sound, and process of elimination I quickly realized that it sounded like Ben but with a dark raspy seal to it.
I find him in his room, sitting up on his knees in his bed, facing the wall, coughing for air, tears rolling down his eyes, and a deep bark to what should be his inhale, and his lips were blue.
I pulled him into my arms, turned his hands over and saw blue fingertips, as I took him downstairs I was massaging his upper chest. Having him sit up on my lap I pull back his shirt and the retraction dance that was going on in his upper abdomen and Adam's apple was like nothing I'd ever experienced with my children before. Yes Jackson was ill as a newborn with croup and pneumonia, but it didn't seem as bad as this was, or perhaps it was just due to the fact that it was in the past.
I mean picture that for a first experience. In between coughs he is making a strange crowing-like noise. With the light on you see this image, his little 2 year old body, sitting up in his bed, leaning forward, and coughing that strange cough. You also notice that as he breathes in, the part of his chest below his ribcage is sinking inward with each breath, opposite from the direction that it should ordinarily go. The area below his Adams apple is sinking in abnormally. Your little boy has a scared look in his eyes, and you are more than a little scared yourself.
Realizing something was terribly wrong, I hastily phoned Brian to determine how close he was to home, all the while holding Ben making sure he wasn't getting worse then he already was. When he said he was just around the corner, I hung up with him, and called my friend Dina to see if she could help, but as I was calling her, Ben's seal barking got worse, and I quickly told her that I was going to call an ambulance, that I couldn't wait for Brian to return home.
Brian pulls into the driveway just as I hang up with Dina, I have already in the meantime packed a quick diaper and wipes and blanket bag for Ben, put his coat and hat on, and dashed out to the car. Sitting in the back seat of our minivan I continued to rub his hands, check his airway, rub his chest, rub his cheeks, you name it I did it. His lips began to return to lite shades of pale pink, and the retractions in the chest became worse, it seemed as though his upper airway was restricted.
We get to the ER and I bounce out of the car holding Ben racing into the ER telling the first rep that I saw that my son seemed like he was in respiratory distress. They pulled me back right away and determined that Ben's O2 levels were low, and whisked us back to the pediatric part of the ER where they needed to make sure to rule out, foreign object. Listening to him without a stethoscope and looking at how his "steeple" (trachea area) is retracting they can tell that the air wasn't moving correctly around his upper and lower airways. His blood pressure was high, the crying making it worse with the stridor cough. Respiratory therapy called and many treatments followed after, along with waiting to see if the treatments would take.
They didn't take.
After loading him up with steroids, ephedrine breathing treatments, the chest Xray that showed hyper inflated lungs, they knew that he had a severe case of stridor, which can occur with children that have croup.
A diagnosis of Viral Croup with severe stridor that could have been so much worse, but because of where he was at with this condition, he was admitted to the hospital.
While we were in the ER, he stayed in my lap the entire time as I lay on the coldness of the black padded mobile bed. When they did the chest Xray I was standing right next to him speaking into his ears. He didn't leave my lap until Brian arrived after the Er Pediatric Doc informed me that Ben's condition was serious and he needed to be admitted. Scared and worried, I called Brian up to have him bring over some of Ben's favorite sleepy cuddlies and after a quick call to our neighbor to come watch Jack and Sully, Brian was on his way. That was the only time Ben left my lap, when Brian arrived.
Because I had to pee.
Maybe because I was scared, or scared for him, or because there was only so much I could do as far as help him, so if holding and singing and watching Ratatouille three times in a row worked, then I'd do it. Figures though that I had one cell life left on my cell battery, so communicating wasn't possible until later on when Brian brought my charger with Ben's things. Thankfully the hospital provided me with a phone to use for local calls, but not to abuse it, I only used it to contact Brian, after all, I'm sure we'd be charged for it anyways. Itemized bill listed as Telepathic therapy. :)
Three days before Ben's stay in the hospital, Jackson caught the stomach flu. One day after he had his first ever flu shot-go figure. Which meant we had to postpone his peer birthday party, it was a good thing Jack did get sick, because of what occurred so suddenly with Ben, but no matter, it was a very difficult week/weekend.
Today is Thanksgiving and I'm glad Ben's home, and safe and glad it wasn't worse, and sad that others have had to witness worse, and sad that I won't be seeing my family today as Ben is still feverish, but happy that it's going to be 4 guys and a gal at a last minute thanksgiving meal within our own home. No need to shower if I don't want to. No need to clean up. Just cook, open some corks, or snap some tabs, eat, and be thankful. I'm thankful to know people that have proven to be survivors over hardships, even when the hardships continue to roll down the lane for them, as I admire their endurance and strength. I'm thankful that I have family and friends. Food. Faith. Future. Love. Happiness. Life.
Thank You for You and for everything that makes you who you are.
There you have it.
To read about Stridor, scroll to post below this one and click on the word Stridor.