Yet, in the fashion that these things always go, Ella came to get me at 10:30 last night because her sister was barking. What happened next was a two hour downward spiral of respiratory function. Maya was running a 102.5 fever and was coughing so non-stop that her airway was very compromised and it was hard for her to be calm. I took her outside for the hopeful instant relief of the cold night air (the thing that the physician said cured her last time when I took her to the ER emergently). We did nebs. We tried to calm her down and read to her and soothe her because she was coughing and crying and panicking.
I took her back outside. She began to shiver which made everything worse. Apparently shivering uses up way too much of the body's oxygen and she began making noises that scared me- deep, staccato moaning. The coughing just wouldn't subside and then she began vomiting. We then embarked on a cycle of shaking, coughing, retching and gasping. I have never seen her so sick. She was much sicker than last year when I had to take to the ER alone, although she was more acutely compromised then and I was worried she would just stop breathing. This time she was more like in a general state of distress that progressively got worse. But it didn't stop me from asking Sandi repeatedly, "Do we take her to the ER now?" She was having trouble talking and, although we got her calmed at one point and she drifted off to sleep, her breathing was so labored and Sandi knew that she needed stronger medication than what we had at home.
Here would be a good time to mention how intensely grateful I was to HAVE Sandi at home. Everyone who has a child with a chronic, frightening medical condition should have their own nurse.
By some miracle Sandi's mom was in town and came right over to stay with Ella. We headed to the ER, me driving (an elevated speed but no where like last year) and Sandi in the back holding a coughing, vomiting Maya. I don't know how one adult could have gotten here there safely. I also don't know how I would have been able to be without her while she was so sick. Another overwhelming feeling of gratitude.
We were in the ER by 12:15 (and don't even get me started on the process of getting into the ER) and Maya had some epi nebs flowing shortly after. Her incessant coughing and retching ceased within 3 minutes. A second dose of adrenaline and she was able to talk to us. She was still rosy cheeked with fever but was able to enjoy a little ice cream.
We were in the ER until almost 4 A.M. just to make sure she wouldn't rebound and have her airway be so severely compromised again. She was completely and entirely amped up on the double dose of adrenaline and was manic. She was talking to us with pressured speech and making up games with the Froot Loops I got her in the cafeteria (a major treat for our cereal lover). She was laughing, giggling and itching all over from the drugs. We were so relieved that she was herself (on steroids) but we were both craving sleep. I had never gone to sleep and had been up since 4:45 that morning.
I looked at the date on Maya's wrist bracelet and thought, huh, it's 12/12/12. Good day to have your child rescued from the brink of airway disaster.
We came home from the hospital and Maya was breathing but still barking. She said to me, "Well, they didn't fix my cough at the hospital," and shrugged her shoulders.
I was so very proud of our brave girl. It was a terrifying night.
Maya and I slept from 4:15 until 7:45 when the coughing started up again. I kept drifting off to sleep in between coughs and then thought, I should do something about that. What is it I'm supposed to do again? Because if she keeps coughing she will irritate her airway and we will start all over again. I should get up and do something.
Yes, I'm that kind of tired.
We are all home today together with both girls home from school and Sandi calling in sick herself since she didn't go to bed until the time her alarm goes off. I'm supposed to be enjoying a several hour, planned months in advance because we have kids, date with my friend Ange for shopping and lunch to celebrate our birthdays (which are in August and September) but instead I'm going to go back to bed shortly. I'm trying not to think too much about it.
And, while she is barking this morning still, the nebs helped and we have control of it. The girls are happily putting on a music show and playing mailman and, somehow, don't see too worse for the wear. Today will be a day of movies and snuggles and lots of gratitude. And coffee. Lots of coffee.