This post is coming to you from the hospital. It’s a little after midnight, but Eva and I are awake and watching Frozen because the doctors and nurses are still doing a lot of work on her and she’s just about to start another breathing treatment. She’s over it. I’m over it. I can’t believe we’re here again.
She started getting sick on Sunday. We had just moved all of that furniture the day before, so when her nose started to run and her eyes started to water I thought it was all the dust stirred up in the air. On Monday she seemed a little sneezy and she was a bit more subdued but I still wasn’t sure if she was just having a prolonged allergy session. So, when she woke up today and she claimed that she was feeling better, I believed her because I’m an idiot and I took her to the park for a playdate first thing in the morning.
So, two things happened at the park. One was that she was obviously too worn out to be there about ten minutes after we got there, but we hung out for a while because I was mom chatting. The second thing is that there were sunflower shells near where we were sitting and I didn’t see them for a while, so that shouldn’t have been a problem but it ended up being a hazy question in the air (“Did she touch them? Is this weird mellow anaphylaxis?”) when she started having problems later.
After we came home from the park, I popped a movie in for her and let her chill on the couch. She fell asleep during that movie, woke up, and asked for another movie. Then I thought she fell asleep again but apparently she just glazed over and watched the menu for 30 minutes. When I realized that, I also saw that she was belly breathing very hard (retracting) and I could see her little ribs and the bones in her neck popping out even under the blanket. Her nostrils were also flaring and when I moved her she said, “Time for school? Did you pack a snack? Where’s Daddy?”
Retracting. Sucking. Flaring. Disorientation. Classic asthma attack. On the severe side.
I got her inhaler and gave her a couple of puffs, but it didn’t seem to do much and she stayed very out of it. I called the pediatrician, but of course the nurse had just stepped away from the desk and when she called back 45 minutes later, Eva was doing so much better. The nurse listened to her symptoms and told me to take her to the ER since the clinic had no more appointments for the day, but I waffled and waited another hour. She really did seem fine and she was sitting up and eating and laughing with her brother, so I called Kyle and I called my Mom and I called my stepmom and everyone reinforced that I was fine just waiting and watching.
Then she went downhill.
It happened fast. Her tummy started to look like it was working harder and then I saw her nostrils flaring again and her skin turned a weird grey color while her lips got really dark, like she’d been eating a raspberry popsicle. I threw the kids in the car and we came up to the ER.
They took her right back. They got her started on treatment immediately. They noted that I must have waited too long to medicate her. And every hurried movement and rushed order was just one more bit of reinforcement that I was wrong earlier when I didn’t bring her in. I was wrong when I didn’t check on her more during her movie marathon. I was wrong when I took her out to the park and had her run around. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
We’re here for the night and they can’t give me a timeframe for when she’ll be released from the hospital. And she’s sort of fine, except they keep throwing scary numbers at me like “she’s an 8” when 10 is as bad as it gets and I have no idea if 8 is uncommon or what kind of awful is 9 and…my head just spins. I’m exhausted.
We’re so lucky to have great medical care and to not have to worry about how we’re going to pay for this or who’s going to watch Calvin or will they be able to treat her? I know how lucky we are.
Even so, Eva just asked for the three hundredth time if we can go home and I had to readjust her breathing mask and her IV and her pulse ox monitor with a big smile on my face and lie to her about how much fun we’re having in our “special hotel” watching the movies Daddy brought from home. She doesn’t say it, but she’s not having fun.