This latest round of sickness started almost two weeks ago with Keaton, to be honest, it usually starts with Keaton, this time it was a mystery fever. 101, 102, 103, it started on a Tuesday night and continued all Wednesday. He was lethargic, he ached, and he slept all day waking only once or twice to have a little to eat and drink Gatorade. By Thursday it was gone, but he was still weak (probably from not eating much) and so he spent one more day on the couch. We wondered what it would be, a cold? Sinuses? Oh, shit, please don't tell me it's the flu. But by the weekend there were still no clear signs, he was tired but that was it.
Last week they all started with runny noses and some sneezing and coughs I figured it was a cold from that original fever and we started our routine right away, humidifiers, vapor rub, elevated pillows. I was watching Nolan closely and giving him breathing treatments intermittently. The boys went to school on Wednesday and we decorated for Halloween in the afternoon. They were still coughing/sneezing but overall weren't too bad. I was still watching Nolan.
I took a vacation day on Thursday - and I am now convinced the best kind of vacation day is a day of normal, it was so hard to go back to work on Friday after spending two days at home with these guys - the little boys and I had a good morning while Keaton was at school, I was still keeping a close eye on Nolan but he seemed to be holding out pretty good. So, of course, I was thrown for a complete loop when Hutton was the one that came down with Croup. Hutton has only had it one other time, but it is unmistakable with him. He sounded just like a barking seal. They say Croup doesn't hurt but I completely disagree with that - I can see him wince, the scrunching of his eyes with each cough, the tears because he was scared. I started him on nebulizer treatments right away, kept an eye on his fever, and had him sleep in bed with us so we could monitor his nighttime breathing (Thursday night was very rough, Friday was a tad better). He stayed home from school on Friday and with treatments every four hours he was doing better by the weekend. He still has a cold, but the croup has improved. After a day of activity yesterday (it was Trick-or-Treat up here) we did decide to keep him home again today, hoping a little more rest will kick this for good.
With our focus on Hutton I feel guilty admitting we let our guard down with Nolan. We were still watching him and he was getting treatments once in a while, but I was not as on top of it as I should have been, and I should have known his fever early yesterday afternoon wasn't a good sign but, what do they say, hindsight 20/20? He fell asleep in Collin's arms while we were Trick-or-Treating and when we put him in the car to head home he sounded like he was choking the whole way. When I finally got him unbundled I realized how how hot was (102+), and how difficult it was for him to breath. I gave him albuterol immediately, and when that I didn't seem to work I gave him an inhaled steroid. He feel asleep around 6:30 or 7 pm. At 9 he woke up and seemed worse. Another round of albuterol didn't seem to help, he was gasping and wheezing, we could see his ribs with every breath, and when he picked his head off of our shoulder it was covered in drool. I called my sister-in-law, Kira, to get her opinion and she said yeah, take him in. We'd done all we could and nothing seemed to really be helping. With a 40 min drive to the ER we didn't want to wait for it to get any worse. Of course we went back and forth, would he get better? Maybe? Can we make it through the night? Maybe? But then as I was getting changed he had a coughing fit so bad he threw up all over me and I knew it was time.
His oxygen levels were better than I expected and he had perked up just a bit by the time we got there. But his fever was back and all he had to do was cough once for the doctors and nurses to hear what was going on. They gave him a dose of vaporized Epinephrine and a heavy steroid. He was not pleased about the shot and let everyone within ear shot know it. MAMA! MA-MA! he yelled at me and then he pointed to his leg and grunted, in case we didn't know where it hurt. But he sat still for the x-rays (to rule anything else out) and even laughed a little while Collin entertained him with Kleenex. It was nearly 1 am before we got home and sent Papa and Busha back home to bed. We're all dragging a bit this morning but are hoping we are through the worst of it.
After a busy summer and the work of fall I look forward to winter as we hunker down, stay close to home, and snuggle by the fire. But the round after round of sickness? This is the part of the upcoming season that I dread.