Sunday, July 17, 2011

We Really Have to Find Something Else to Do on Saturday Nights

Last week was a busy week for us.  Early on in the week I went to the doctor for some ankle issues I’ve been having, and was diagnosed with an anterolateral ankle impingement.  For now I’m taking anti-inflammatories, wearing my orthotics (which only fit in my tennis shoes, so I’m rocking that style with my work clothes), and starting physical therapy in the morning.  On top of that, work was pretty hectic, so I was really looking forward to the weekend. 

We had a fun, but busy, weekend planned.  One of Gary’s work friends got married here in town this weekend, and one of Gary and my friends from law school got married in Chattanooga.  Luckily, it worked out so that we could go to both of the weddings, and left the reception of the first wedding to drive to the second.  We left the kids at home.  Auntie Ann took the first shift watching the kids, and Miss Sally took the second shift.  We went to both weddings and had a wonderful time. 

Except Gary didn’t let me take my camera in to either wedding or reception.  I kept trying to convince him that there were plenty of people at the weddings with dSLRs, but it turned out that every time I showed him someone else with a big camera, they were indeed the wedding photographers.  So, I guess he had a point.  Anyway, that’s part of the reason you don’t have any pictures in this post.

We had considered staying overnight in Chattanooga since it was just the two of us.  In the end, we decided to come on home last night mostly because we wanted to spend all of Sunday with the kids since we didn’t see them much on Saturday.  We knew it wouldn’t be an ideal drive home, but we knew that once we got home that we’d be glad we went ahead and made the drive.  I had no idea how right that would be. 

We got home around 10:30, checked on all the kids while they were sleeping (we love doing that every night before we go to bed) and we went to bed around 11:00.  About 11:30 Henry started coughing pretty badly.  Gary went upstairs and gave him a breathing treatment then came downstairs.  Henry was still coughing, and Gary said that he thought I should check him and see what I thought.  I went up to check on him.  As I was walking up the stairs I could hear him trying to breathe from the stairwell.  I knew this wasn’t good.  I got in his room and sat down on his bed and held him for a few seconds.  He sounded really bad.  Then I grabbed him up and ran downstairs and told Gary I thought we needed to go to the hospital.  Gary took one look at Henry and agreed.  Henry’s breathing had gotten much worse even since Gary was upstairs with him.  I didn’t even brush my teeth, and didn’t even get Henry dressed, (and later noticed that I was wearing some not so awesome clothes) and we got in the car to head to the Children’s ER.

I had considered calling an ambulance.  The only other time I’ve even considered dialing 911 was this past Thanksgiving.  But I remembered that our pediatrician said that typically for it’s better for us to just drive there than call the ambulance unless it’s a situation where we just know we need an ambulance.  I wasn’t sure, but I decided to just go and keep a close eye on Henry during the drive.   We left the house around 11:45. About halfway there Henry got worse and I put on my hazards and drove faster.  Thankfully, people were pretty good about moving out of my way and letting me get to where I needed to go.

We got to the Children’s ER and went in.  Henry was actually better by the time we walked in the ER (I later learned that was probably due to being out in the cooler night air), but we were still taken back immediately for treatment.  We were told pretty much immediately that Henry had croup.  Henry received 5 stickers from his nurse and an oral dose of steroids.  We were sent home with directions to come back if he sounded croup-y again at rest, and I made it home by 2:15, just two and a half hours after I’d left the house.  Gary was waiting on us (he stayed awake texting me for most of the visit to the ER), and Penelope started crying about the time we got Henry in bed.  I don’t know what was wrong her her (I suspect gas and a tummyache) but she was up crying until around 4:00, when we finally went to sleep for the night.

Even though it was a really long night, I’m really really really glad that we were home for it and didn’t spend the night in Chattanooga.  I’m also thankful that we had the weddings planned, because I didn’t go on the annual girls’ spa weekend trip.  I can’t imagine what Gary would have done had I not been at home – I guess he really would have had to call 911 then wait for someone to get to the house to watch the other kids so that he could meet Henry – or he would have had to take all 4 kids to the ER, and I would have taken off for home in the middle of the night.  Regardless, it would have been horrible for all of us.  If an ER trip has to happen, I much prefer it to happen with both Gary and I there with the kids. 

Today was a very laidback day.  Gary and I took shifts – I had the kids for the morning shift while Gary slept and then Gary had the kids for the afternoon shift while I slept.  I slept like a rock.  Henry has been almost perfect today.  We’ve heard only a few minor croup-y sounds coming from him.

For dinner tonight, I made some comfort food – a hot dog and baked beans dish in the crockpot.  Henry especially enjoyed his dinner.  One of the things they told me at the ER is that if the kids start sounding croup-y to give them something really cold to try to help with the inflammation.  So after dinner when Henry asked for ice cream, we quickly gave in.  Piper and Rosemary couldn’t finish their ice cream, so Henry was happy to finish theirs off for them.  Gary and I stood by watching and relieved that Henry was eating so well.

We went upstairs for bedtime and Henry and Rosemary started running from one end of the room to another.  They had so much fun.  Then Henry walked over to me and told me that he needed a bucket.  I replied that he didn’t need a bucket, at which point he promptly threw up all over me.  And it was not just a little bit of spit-up, I completely and totally got full-on thrown up on.  I hollered for Gary, and he came out to help while I continued to get thrown up on. 

At this point, Gary and I were laughing.  Really laughing.  Because, in the end, no matter how many crazy things happen this weekend, at that point in time our kids were really okay.  Sure we shouldn’t have let Henry eat so much ice cream at dinner, but we’re all mostly okay even after the scare not too many hours earlier.

We told Henry that he was okay and he only threw up because he had too much ice cream, and Gary gave Henry a quick bath while I changed clothes and took a quick shower.  We resumed the bedtime routine and everyone is now in bed, Henry with his bucket.

The thing that worries me most now is that we end up back at Children’s ER with a different child tonight.  The ER doctor told me that one virus is typically responsible for causing croup.  All four kids (and I) have that cold virus, and Henry was the first one who came down with it.  On top of that, the ER doctor told me that it is usually early night when it hits – just like it did for Henry last night.  Hopefully everyone will sleep soundly and breathe well all night.

So, that is our second Saturday night in a row at the Children’s ER.  We really need to work on finding something else to do on Saturday nights!!!


JoLynn said...

Oh my gosh, I was in tears wondering what could be wrong with Henry. How scary. I'm glad for your family that you were home, too. You make a great team together as a mom and dad! Praying it doesn't pass to anyone else.

Heather said...

JoLynn, thank you. We made it through last night without any signs of croup from anyone. If we make it another night I'll consider ourselves mostly safe. For now!

Ann said...

Auntie Ann is REALLY glad you guys were home, too! But you know I'm always here if you need me. :)