It started yesterday morning. One bark of a cough. A few hours later...another one. Then around 4 or 5 pm it got bad. The single barks turned into coughing fits, and his breathing sounded like a bad snore coming from his throat. Eventually every breath sounded like it belonged to a circus seal. Thank goodness our doctor's office has an after hours phone number. I left a message and frantically wondered if the nurse would ever call me back with each second that passed. I packed his bag while weighing the pros and cons of taking him to the ER. I just couldn't decide what to do, and even though I was minutes away from having a professional tell me the answer, I went back and forth and back and forth in my mind.
Finally the call came. We were directed to bring him in to the doctor's office the next morning rather than going to the ER. And so it began...a scared mama waiting and watching for that moment to come when her baby couldn't catch his breath. I tried laying him upright in his swing, but then he'd cry, which would send him into another coughing fit. So I ended up moving the cool mist humidifier and holding him on the couch so he'd sleep while I made sure he was able to breathe. I felt his chest and listened so closely that I did not sleep for one second. The worst moments were when he'd not breathe for just a second, then I'd be relived to hear him cough again, and believe me, there was nothing comforting about that cough.
So our 10 am doctor's visit today was extra exciting with roads full of snow, slush, and bad drivers. Thankfully Wes didn't have school and was able to do the driving. At that point we had no idea exactly how "exciting" our day would be.
The doctor said Levi had croup and gave an albuterol breathing treatment and some oral steroids. When she came back to check on him, she decided a second breathing treatment with another medication was needed. Later he was still really pulling for air. His ribcage would chug up and down working hard for each breath. She decided to admit him to the hospital for overnight observation...and that he needed to take the ambulance to get there! Schwoo! What a surprise that was!
Being Escorted Out of the Doctor's Office
Wes drove the car, and I rode in the ambulance with Levi. I wasn't really all that worried. I knew we were just taking extra precautions because of his tiny little airways, but something surged through my body when I realized "those sirens coming from this thing are for your baby!!" Still I felt a sense of peace. By the time we arrived at the ER, the paramedics were smitten with Levi. These big men in uniform were shaking his toys to make him smile and telling him how cute he was. They had his car seat strapped to a gurney and wheeled him in. I followed behind, and that angel on one shoulder karate chopped the devil on the other. I suddenly stood tall and thought, "I can do this."
In the Ambulance
After all the ER doctors checked him out and the respiratory therapist suctioned his nose out, Levi fell soundly asleep for about 2 hours. He was breathing quietly and was sleeping peacefully. They decided we could come home not long after, and he has been pretty happy since we've been home. He's having a hard time falling asleep but has been quiet for a few minutes. Let's home that is a good sign. *Sigh*