Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Maternal turn-about

My mother is not the type of person to wish her own misfortunes on someone else. If anything, a bad experience is enough to make her wish that her having experienced it would be enough to prevent others from having to experience it as well. But I can't help but wonder if, deep down, some tiny part of her will be smirking as she reads the following post. You see, she spent *many* nights doing the same thing that I have been doing tonight.

I have just spend the last 2 hours listening to my child coughing virtually non-stop. As I'm sure you know by now, he has been sick for a good week. Up until tonight, he would have a small coughing spell every 20-30 minutes or so, which made it difficult to sleep, but at least I could cat nap between spells or even sleep through the occasional minor coughing fit. But tonight, starting around 12:45 AM, he was coughing literally every 2-3 breaths (not minutes! breaths). Breathe, breathe, cough cough cough cough cough; breathe, breathe, breathe, cough cough cough cough cough; repeat for over an hour and a half. Trust me, we tried pretty much everything (except alcohol, and that's only because we don't have any!), but he just kept coughing. I have never felt so helpless.

I think the only reason he finally stopped coughing enough to go to sleep (yes, *he* can sleep through his own coughing, even if the rest of us can't) was because he literally wore himself out. He's been down to one coughing fit per 10 minutes or so for nearly half an hour now (my clock says 3 AM). I finally just took the monitor out of the bedroom so that DH, who now seems to have acquired Luke's cold from hell, could get some sleep since he has to work tomorrow (after taking two days off last week due to he and Luke being sick). I am now sitting with it downstairs, trying to rest up for what is going to be a not very fun day tomorrow with sick boy. Guess it's good that I went to bed at 7:30 tonight (seriously), so I got nearly 5 hours of sleep before all of this started. Maybe I can sneak in a few more here in the recliner before Luke wakes up in the morning.

We did go back to the doctor today. After four days of fevers in the 100-101 range, then another three days of fevers in the 102 range, plus obvious signs of an ear infection (i.e. gunk coming out of his ears!), I had just had enough. I'm all for letting things run their course (what they told me to do on Thursday), but this is getting rather ridiculous. Plus, the cough was still getting worse (obviously), including (TMI warning) graduating to coughing until he thew up. It wasn't happening every time, but it was happening at least once a day starting Saturday (and including tonight). Of course, it doesn't matter if you cough that much if you aren't eating, which was another reason I took him in today. He was eating a fair amount through Friday, but all weekend, he barely ate. I'm talking "one pop tart, maybe two chicken nuggets, and a couple of glasses of orange juice for the sum total of his caloric intake" type not eating Saturday and Sunday, which decreased yet further to "half a glass of juice for lunch, 1/3 of a pop tart for snack, and one nugget for dinner, including refusing McDonald's french fries" today. He can't get any better without calories! And I know he is getting dehydrated (darker urine (not frighteningly so, yet), cracked lips, etc), but how do you *make* a toddler drink? He also slept for over three hours at nap, which is the most telling sign. We're usually lucky to get an hour out of him.

Our doctor's appointment wasn't until 4:15 this afternoon, so he has only had one dose of antibiotics. He will be home again tomorrow (note to self: call speech therapy and let them know), but I'm hoping he might be better enough come Wednesday to go back to daycare. At this point, I am most worried about the cough. It is NOT down in his lungs. I now that sounds like something I should be happy about, and I am on one level, but if it were, then the antibiotics should take care of it, like bronchitis or even (heaven forbid) pneumonia. But it's not! It is mostly a dry cough, and they are so constant and forceful that they are just wracking his frame. I know he has to be sore! Trust me, I know!

See, I've had bronchitis virtually every year since I was a baby. I know what it is like to cough until you thing you are going to faint or turn inside-out. And then there was the year that I had whooping cough. Honestly, I don't have much of a memory of that time, but I do have clear memories of my mom telling stories about it. Like the one about her sitting in my bedroom just listening to me cough, knowing there was nothing she could do even as she watched my lips turn blue. Luke isn't quite to the turning blue stage (yet), but I am certainly to the "sitting and rocking and not sleeping because my baby is coughing and there is nothing I can do" stage. So Mom? I get it now. And God? I get it now. I now sincerely appreciate how hard that was for her. Now may my son stop coughing? Please?
Currently feeling: tired of the coughing


  1. {{{Erin}}}

    I have no home remedies to offer! I hope everyone there gets better soon!!!

  2. {{Erin and Luke}} I hope he feels better. I have 2 sick kids at home too. I know how helpless it can make a mom feel. Hang in there.

  3. Sending huge hugs to you all.

    Been there, done that, especially on the coughing until vomiting part (night before last, actually) and I know how totally awful it is.

    I hope Luke gets better really quickly and you can all get some peace and some sleep.

  4. Poor kid!!! Hope he's on the mend very soon...

  5. Poor Luke!! Hope he gets better soon..

  6. {{hugs}}

    Did you not get a prescription for cough medicine? DS #2 has a lot of problems with things going to his lungs and my doctor always gives us this wonderful cough sryup with codine in it. One tiny 1/2 teaspoon for DS and a big gulp for me(just kidding on that part...mostly) and we all sleep wonderuflly. We've never had to use very much of it because the antibiotic usually kicks whatever infection he has but this does help the sleeping for a couple of nights for him to be on the mend.

    I hope he is feeling better by now!!

  7. Yuk. I've been there too. So horrible. Are you sure he doesn't have croup? DS had that once and it was absolutely heartrending to listen to.


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