Connor started getting a cold on Monday - just a runny nose, very slight fever, nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary for our little germ magnets. Tuesday night, though, the whole picture changed. He started coughing and didn't stop all night despite everything we tried to calm it. Sometime early in the morning he got to the point of throwing up he was coughing so hard. The poor little guy was exhausted (and so were we) by the time his pediatrician's office opened. I took him in and as soon as the nurse saw him she knew he was really sick - he was sitting in my lap with his head on my shoulder and he didn't talk to her or even smile when she walked up which, as you probably know, is completely unlike him! And especially with her - she's been his nurse his whole life! She immediately took his temp (still just a low grade fever) and put on the pulse ox to measure his blood oxygen level - it was 87 percent. They like it to be at least 90. The doctor then examined him and noticed that his breathing was so labored that his skin was sinking in between his ribs. He'd complained that his tummy hurt but I had just assumed that it was his muscles hurting from coughing and throwing up and didn't think to investigate further!
So, the tone of the appointment changed immediately from "he just has a bad cold/cough" to "he's not breathing properly and we have to do something NOW." Scary. So we did one nebulizer treatment in the office and then went to get a chest x-ray. The x-ray came back ok - no pneumonia and just a few cloudy areas that the doctor expected given the wheezing she heard in his lungs. His oxygen level still wasn't rising so we did another nebulizer treatment. It was during that time when the word "hospital" first came up - if this treatment didn't bring his levels up then he would have to be admitted. Eek! The second treatment helped a bit but they were still really concerned so we were sent to the hospital.
Connor spent Wednesday and Thursday nights in the hospital receiving steroids, nebulizer treatments around the clock and constant oxygen up until about midnight last night. The steroids finally took effect and he was able to keep his O2 levels up on his own. Yippee! He's back to his old self and can't wait to ride his bike and play soccer again!
The boys on Monday
The boys in Connor's hospital bed on Thursday afternoon
Connor looking out his hospital room window
As you might expect, Connor was a pretty good patient and immediately made friends with anyone who walked close enough to get sucked into Connor-land :) He made all the nurses laugh and definitely made an impression on them! Like everything that comes his way in life he took it in stride and had a great attitude about it all. He really dislikes the breathing treatments but he's getting used to them now (and they have to continue at home for at least a few days).
There were quite a few memorable moments, here are just a few:
- When we told him he (obviously) couldn't go to school Wednesday morning he was really concerned that we call his teacher right away. After Jeremy called Connor asked "Did she say they would cancel class today?" Because, you know, pre-k without Connor just isn't worth having!
- He was so excited that there was a shower in his bathroom that he asked constantly if he could use it. When he finally got to he said "that was the best shower ever!"
- They should really NOT put a nurse call button or bed adjustment buttons within reach of a pediatric patient. :)
- Somehow Connor convinced every tech that he needed to listen to his own heartbeat with their stethoscopes and they all assumed that it was his first time hearing it so they spent extra time talking to him all about his heart and lungs. They were all wrapped around his little finger in no time!
- Papa brought Chutes and Ladders! It was Connor's first time playing this game and he loves it!
- When Grandma and Papa asked what they could bring to the hospital on Thursday Connor asked for a "Hannah Montana cupcake with sprinkles". I have no idea where his Hannah Montana obsession came from - he watched a part of one show one afternoon after he'd seen her on a backpack and he didn't even like the show! Papa wasn't able to find a Hannah Montana cupcake (do they even make such a thing? Probably...she's everywhere!) but chocolate cake was a good replacement.
- We hadn't been there for more than a few hours when we had an extremely fun visit from a music therapist. Connor got to play all sorts of instruments and so did we! Connor loves music and dominated the session of course - I'm sure the poor therapist was wondering if he was really sick :)
- In the first 24 hours when they were really worried about him staying hydrated he had lots of popsicles, juice and jello. One nurse joked with him that she wanted to keep his purple popsicle and eat it herself and he thought that was the craziest thing ever. He told her that "doctors can't eat popsicles, especially purple ones, and they can't have fun either. They have to work." :) Later she asked if he had any brothers or sisters he told her about Logan and when she asked again if he had any sisters he said "NO and I don't like girls."
- A closet with tons of kid movies in it on the pediatric floor? Yes, it was a good way to pass the many hours but I think that habit is going to be hard to break! :) As one would finish he would plan out the next TWO he wanted to watch and was more excited about stopping by the video closet than going to the playroom on his walks!
- He loved the room service, of course. What could be better than picking out pretty much any food you want, having it brought to your bed and you don't even have to get out of bed to eat it? He already misses that part. Wait, so do I! :)
- Connor really missed Logan. He would ask where Logan was as we went to sleep both nights. When Logan came to visit yesterday Connor had to show him everything in the room and tell him about everything he'd gone through. When we got home today Connor was so excited to see Logan and wanted to just keep hugging him! Logan was excited to see us too - he was really attached to me tonight!
Most of all we just felt so blessed by all the people who helped out over the last couple days - our great friends who let Logan sleep over both nights, grandparents visiting and helping out with Logan, and all the well wishers who came to the hospital or called to check in on him! His soccer coach came both yesterday and this morning and another soccer team friend brought a card the whole team had signed during practice yesterday! He got to talk to his teacher this afternoon and was very sad to hear that they'd made banana bread yesterday but that it was all gone. Maybe we'll make some at home tomorrow!
Oh yeah, and all this happened during one of the busiest weeks I could have had at work. There's never a good time for things like this to happen, of course, but my company had to deliver working software to a customer by today no matter and since I'm the primary tester on this program my involvement was critical. So, I was attached to my laptop and cell phone as much as I could be....fun fun.
Anyway, it was a long couple of days for us all but hopefully we'll be able to rest and recover a bit this weekend and get back on track next week. It's good to be home! And healthy!