Not what we'd planned..., by Beth

Well, we had hoped to spend today celebrating Julian's second birthday with family, playing frisbee golf and horseshoes.  Instead, it is SNOWING outside and we are just home from an overnight at the hospital.  Needless to say, the party is postponed!  
The story... Julian tested positive for strep throat about ten days ago.  He finished his antibiotics on Tuesday, but Wednesday saw the development of some nasty head and chest congestion, and a lot of snot.  A lot of snot.  On Saturday morning he slept until about 7:30 but as soon as he woke up we knew something was wrong.  He was working harder and harder to breathe, and his little ribs were poking out as he worked.  We ran out the door to the ER, barely changing clothes much less brushing hair or thinking about breakfast.  Thanks to Suzanne Julian at least had a cup of cheerios. :) 
The ER staff rushed us through, which in and of itself should have been an indicator that things were serious. I vaguely remember hearing the number 73, which to me now means his oxygen saturation was that low, when the target is 94-100%.  Despite feeling awful, Julian really showed his strength, particularly when it came time for the chest xray and (rectal) temperature taking.  Let's just say three adults couldn't keep him still.  He was m-a-d.  He was admitted to the hospital yesterday afternoon for restricted bronchials and low oxygen levels.  Even when he was sleeping and we had the oxygen right on his nose, he was wavering around 89%.  We had a better night and were sent home this afternoon with breathing treatments, short term steroids, and an antibiotic for an ear infection.  We never did sort out a cause, and we may never know.  But one of the nurses said to us, "once a wheezer, always a wheezer." We're not taking this as a sentence, but just a way to take seriously the way Julian's little airways might be predisposed.  Four of his cousins went through the same thing, and they are all now asthma-free.  
We're good but exhausted.  Julian just fell asleep during his breathing treatment, which is nice considering it usually hypes him up like toddler crack.  
All three of us will settle in for a nap now.  The puppies are with Uncle Davey and Aunt Dink, so the house is quiet under the snow.  
Two years today we went to the hospital to usher our little one into the world.  We're very happy today to be coming home.  We know we've been very fortunate.  This was our first hospital visit in two years.  We didn't discover anything catastrophic and we're coming home in good shape.  I don't know how to express the fullness of my gratitude, so I will just simply say I am thankful.  Life is good.  


  1. Oh geez! How terrifying! I'm glad to hear that things got under control quickly. And happy birthday, Julian!

    Evan is now off his nebulizer, after having been rushed to the pediatrician's emergency clinic on SuperBowl Sunday. He had been coughing off an on for almost six weeks, with the few days before that Sunday being worse. Never any fever, but always with a runny nose so we just figured it was a cold. That day, however, he was wheezing and started having retractions (sounds like what you describe with Julian's ribs and labored breathing), and suddenly had no energy -- now that will worry the mom of a toddler! No test was done, but they figured it was RSV for him on account of the prolonged coughing. For Ev, the oral steroids turned him into a madman, and since we had the nebulizer anyway for the albuterol, we switched to inhaled steroids and he finally started acting and sleeping normally again. His blood ox was 91% at the clinic, and his doctor wavered on sending him to the hospital, but he came up to 94% after an in-office breathing treatment so we got lucky.

    I am really glad you took action and went to the ER when you did. It's so dangerous for the little ones to have such trouble breathing.

    We got the same line about wheezing, and since Ev has food allergies, too, they said he's a prime asthma candidate. I'm encouraged by your other four kiddos who are asthmaless!

    Good luck with the treatments and his convalescence (such a weird word to use for a two-year-old!)! We're wishing you well over here... :)

  2. Oh my goodness! I had no idea. I miss yall.

    In fact, I'm going to call you.