The past few days have been quite dramatic. My l'il chicken hawk (18 months) came down with croup on Monday morning. Since I assumed croup was a just a harmless little viral infection/cough, and he seemed healthy despite his hoarse voice, I sent him off to the babysitter, knowing he was in good hands.
When I picked him up, he was really struggling; his breathing was very labored and loud. He also developed a 101 fever. I kick myself now, because we should have taken him to Kids Doc that night. But I thought we could ride it out until the next day. I was weary and knew that I had the other two kids to take care of. His breathing got scarier throughout the night though and I couldn't get him into the doctor's office until the next morning.
At our appointment, I could see the surprise/shock in the nurses' faces and they hurried him in to check his vitals. He received a breathing treatment and a steroid shot. He still had significant stridor after the treatment, so then we were told to go to the ER at Mission Hospital, with the warning of a possible admission. I felt dread at that prospect and fear too. I don't like hospitals and quickly assessed if maybe my husband could take my place, but realized I was it.
Luckily I had a big bag of baby gear in my car, so I headed over with the likely possibility I would be 'institutionalized' for the rest of the day or longer. That was the case. Poor baby. They gave him another two breathing treatments while he was there and he improved slightly and got a hyperactive high from them. The doctor was not comfortable sending us home, so she recommended us staying over night so he could be monitored and treated.
Luckily, Daddy-O came to meet us and help us get checked in and write down all the items I needed to make it through the night. Electronics, chargers, food, etc. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask for deodorant but I survived. It was the big guy's birthday ironically and I hadn't had time to buy him a cake, write a card or wrap his present. He ended up buying his own Baskin and Robbins Oreo ice cream cake that we all shared that night in the hospital room.
The l'il chicken hawk was so happy to have all the room to move around and the toys that Child Life brought over to him. They also gifted him with a handmade, fleecy blanket with heart stitching on it and a stuffed crab toy he could take home with him. They were so, so sweet and child-oriented!
Not only that, the nurses and docs in the pediatric ward were all so kind and gentle to us. My little dude loved them all! He kept hugging all of them and hamming it up with them. The staff continually asked if there was anything they could get for me and took their time explaining the process and procedures for my son's condition.
The other sweetheart heros of our stay was the Ronald McDonald House of Orange County. This morning, a kind woman from the organization stopped by our room and dropped off a comfort, care package for me with some very sweet words for us, wishing our son to get well soon. It included an OK! magazine, fuzzy socks, hair bands, toothbrush/paste, floss, coconut butter lotion and more. It helped to take my mind off my fears and worries and feel cared for during this scary time.
I am so thankful for all of these caregivers during this frightening episode of croup and stridor. It comforts me to know that if something even more awful happened to our kids, that we would be in excellent hands. Even though it was a Four Star stay, I hope not to revisit there ever again! Also, I look forward to returning to work tomorrow!