Yesterday started off with Lucas coughing, again. He's been having these coughing fits, off and on for several months. Always accompanied by a runny nose. Usually the cough lasts 3-4 days, and then subsides for a week or two. But things were different yesterday. His cough was nonstop for two hours straight.
I took him in the morning to see a RN at the Minute Clinic, to see if there was anything I could do to help alleviate his cough, and let him get some rest. She said it most likely was an allergy related cough. Allergies causing his nose to run, and drip into his throat, which was causing the cough. She recommended starting him on a daily allergy regimen, and also prescribed an Albuterol inhaler to help open his airways. At the time his oxygen stats were normal, and she said she heard a small amount of wheezing, but nothing to be too concerned over.
So I start him on the allergy meds, and attempt to get him to use the inhaler. Problems come up because they did not give us a spacer for the inhaler, and he just is not getting how to use it properly. As the day goes on, he gets progressively worse and worse. The coughing subsides some, but his breathing is becoming faster and shorter. He finally falls asleep, but I really don't like the way he sounds. Around midnight, I go in to listen to his breathing, and he is taking 4-5 short rapid breaths for every 1 of mine, and I can hear the wheezing with each breath.
I did the worst thing I could have possibly done, and started looking on the internet. Needless to say, I totally freaked myself out. Nico was still awake, so we all headed off to the ER together. (Our first trip ever to the ER.) Since it involved difficulty breathing, we were seen immediately, and given a bed. The first thing Lucas said to me when I laid him down was, "I don't have any brain damage, Mommy." I said "I know you don't sweetie, we're here because of your breathing."
Then he anxiously looks up at the heart monitor and asks if they will be turning it on. I told him I wasn't sure, but they might. Then he asked the question no parent wants to answer, "Am I going to die?" (Let me tell you my heart broke right there that he would even think of that.) "I said no, honey we wont let that happen." He looked back up at the monitor and said "but if they turn that on, and the line goes straight, that means I'm dead." Can you tell he watches too much t.v.? I said, "Yes that's true, but there are lots of doctors and nurses here, who wont let that happen."
Soon after the respiratory nurse came in with a breathing treatment for him. When that was done we walked down the hall to do some chest x-rays. He really liked the x-rays, because they take pictures of your bones and stuff, and that's really cool. The rest of our visit was mostly just waiting. He was given a steroid, and the x-rays came back clear (no pneumonia), yay! On the way out the ER nurse pulled up Lucas's x-ray on her computer (upon his request) so he could see what they looked like.
He is now taking antibiotics (first time ever) for the next several days, along with a steroid and his allergy medication. We were given a spacer for his inhaler, so hopefully it will be more effective from now on. As far as trips to the ER go, this was actually a not bad experience. We didn't wait forever, and he received excellent care. Even so, I'm not eager to return anytime soon.