Yea. The answer is easy. I've had a baby with me the last two years. While I'm all for trekking out with a kid even after bedtime to make a memory, it just seems it hasn't been in the cards for us.
See, this year on the 4th, we woke up to a sick kid. In the summer? A sick kid is NO fun. In the winter? You kind of expect it, but it still sucks.
She seemed hot, feverish, her nose was a faucet, and the sneezing. Oh, the sneezing. Poor kid had definitely gotten something. So, although hesitantly, we decided to forego our favorite church picnic and stay at home with Emeline instead. I had my sister-in-law come pick up the goodies I made and she took them along for me.
Honestly? A few hours later she seemed a little better and we were going stir-crazy in the house. We stopped by the picnic for about an hour, just to get out for a bit. This is where I probably lacked some mom-judgement. It was probably too much for her. It was hot, and because she has such good temperment (even when sick mostly), she just wanted to run and play. We came home, ate dinner, got her ready for bed. She was ex-haus-ted. I had a feeling it was going to be a long night.
Before putting her into bed, we decided to give her a nebulizer treatment of albuterol. Whenever these viruses creep up, she deals with the inflammation issue, and now that I'm a proud (ha) owner of a nebulizer to use at our disposal, it comes in handy. She went to bed (at 6 freaking 30pm) without much of a problem. She woke up only an hour later, sad and obviously feeling like crap--so we brought her down and she snuggled up with her daddy and watched some baseball. A little later, she was right back to bed again.
An hour and a half later chills were sent up my spine when she woke up screaming. The scariest, shrill, gasping-for-breath scream I had ever heard. I ran up the stairs, scooped her out of her crib and could feel and hear a loud, seal-like wheezing going on. She was crying because the lack of being able to breathe easily naturally scared the crap out of her. But it was only perpetuating the gasping-for-breath thing. An evil cycle.
I was legitimately scared. We tried to calm her down, rub her back, give her water, and just get her to realize she needed to relax in order to take deeper breaths. It didn't seem to get better fast enough for me, and I just felt like an ER trip may be in order. I honestly couldn't even imagine putting her back in that crib, knowing that she was having trouble getting a good breath. We gave her another neb treatment.
I sent a text to my friend who has dealt with this with her kids, and also (as per my husbands suggestion) asked my twitter friends for advice. Within seconds lots of tweets from other moms who had experience with this same kind of thing came flying in. An overwhelming amount said, Just go. You can't be too safe when it comes to your kid. Some people who had no advice just told me they were praying and thinking of us. Honest to God, I love twitter. No one judges you when you have legitimate mom questions, and at the drop of a hat you can get first hand advice. Dr. Google doesn't even exist anymore in my world.
Within a few minutes, we were off to our local ER, which honestly? I was a little freaked at the thought. In my head, it felt like all I've ever heard were horror stories about this particular one, and that we'd be there hours upon hours, getting shuffled by and overlooked.
That wasn't the case. At all.
They took insanely good care of us. I'm sure that had to do with the fact we were dealing with an almost 14 month old-making us a little higher on the priority list. Thankfully, despite it being July 4th late evening (almost 11pm by this time), we weren't sitting amongst firework-burn-victims or anything. Shocking, I know.
The triage nurse was awesome. Enthralled in fact to be dealing with such a sweet little girl (seriously, despite feeling like crap & it being 11pm, she was in the happiest of moods). She talked in silly voices, distracted her when need-be, and treated us kindly. Emeline got admitted, and when we were told to wait for the doctor, I sighed and looked at my husband saying This could be a looong night. I even turned on the TV thinking that reruns of Cake Boss would help pass the time.
Literally, within seconds the doctor and a new nurse came in, all smiles, and happy to help. It was really nice to feel like we were being taken care of so fast and efficiently. They listened to me and my momma worries, acknowledged that bringing her in was the best thing, and commented on how she won the award for cutest-patient-all-day. I agree, she was pretty stinkin' adorable.
[She looks pretty sad in this picture, but honestly? She was mostly smiles by the time we were at the hospital. She just made herself look extra pathetic for the photo.]
[And yes I would like to document her first ER trip. So sue me.]
They came to the conclusion that basically we were dealing with a virus and upper respiratory inflammation, and they told me that doing the nebulizer from home was a good choice and we did everything right. They gave her a steroid though that would help even more so with the inflammation causing the wheezing/inability to breathe freely, and we left with a prescription for a few more days of this.
Most of all? We left with peace of mind.
We continued to have a rough night, but that was to be expected. And like I always say, at least there's coffee in the morning.
I learned a few things from this whole ordeal. 1) I don't care about looking like a fool or whatever, I'm not going to take chances when it comes to my kids health, especially if I'm feeling that internal nudging. 2) The ER isn't a bad place. That was completely in my head and I left feeling a sense of relief and a lot of respect for people who do their job and do it well.
So, we didn't get to see fireworks on the 4th of July, but we did get an unexpected hospital bracelet.