Henry was back in the hospital again with trouble breathing, for two nights this time. Poor little guy… when he gets sick his little lungs just can’t keep up and he has to work so hard to get the oxygen he needs.
This time he woke up at 11pm crying and I could tell right away something was wrong. As before, he showed beginning signs of a cold during the day – runny nose, mild cough – but he seemed ok going to bed. And he wasn’t throwing up, which he often does when sick. He often still wakes up at night, so I didn’t think too much of it as I stumbled sleepily into his room. But you could hear the wheezing immediately. And once I turned on the light, I could see the tracheal tug, his shoulders going up and down and his ribs expanding more than normal.
What is lovely about having a chatty 3 year old now is… he can tell me what is going on! “Hard to breath mama…” “Yes, need to go to the hospital… need to see the doctors and get some medicine…” “Hard to breath…”
What was unusual though, was the amount of energy he still had. Usually when it’s hard for him to breath, he is also quite lethargic. But this time he helped pack the bag and get dressed. He chatted the whole time and seems happy to be going for a late night road trip. I have to admit, even though he said he was having a hard time, I still second guessed my decision to go to the hospital… he just looked too darn energetic!
But in the end I’m glad we went. When will I learn to just trust my little guy’s instincts – he knows his body best. The intake nurse said that his lungs were clear (great!), but that he was definitely having increased work of breathing. So we waited a few minutes for a room, and began the usual asthma protocol right away.
We were optimistic we would get home sometime the next day – but it didn’t turn out that way. In the ER, they couldn’t extend his Ventolin past 2 hours (4 hours between treatments is needed to go home), so plans were made to get admitted. We moved up to the ward and lucky for us, Dr. Hadad, our regular pediatrician was doing rounds so we had a familiar face to check in on us.
Again, it looked like we might get home soon, as Henry fell asleep once admitted and seemed to be sleeping peacefully. We even got our discharge instructions! But as soon as he woke up he started struggling again :(. So stuck around another night and by the next morning he was good to go.
They added a third medication into his protocol this time – an inhaled corticosteroid called fluticasone (brand name Flovent). I’ll talk more about this medication in my next post.
In the end… we’re back home and back to normal. Henry’s still coughing something crazy, which will likely continue for a few weeks as he tries to clear his lungs. But we’re home… the sun is shining… and things are good.
ps… I’ve been a bit neglectful lately as I’ve been in school as well, and just didn’t have enough time in my day for it all. But my homework is done so hopefully I’ll be posting more often again. 🙂