July 8, 2007

Milestone: First ER Visit

Well, we had a new milestone Saturday night - our first trip to the ER with Sam. And it only took 14 months. Saturday evening, Sam started coughing a little bit, but seemed normal and fine before bed. While he was in bed we could hear him more than normal through the baby monitor, breathing and waking up every once in a while and coughing. Well, around 1:00, he woke up crying, which is normal, he only sleeps through the night maybe 60% of the time. So Justin went in to get him, then he called me in there, which is definitely not normal. Sam was coughing this awful sounding cough (later we came across the description of a cough that sounds like a seal barking, and that really is what it sounded like!) and when he was breathing in it sounded rattley and like there was some junk in his throat. He had a coughing fit and coughed up a big blob of clear mucous, and we brought him in our room. I was just holding him in my lap and he was dozing, the funny thing is that it wasn't upsetting him at all, which actually might have been the freakiest part. You could feel that his breathing was a little rattley if you put his hands on his back. So Justin did some looking on the internet and we came up with Croup. The website advised to call the doctor if they're having breathing problems while resting, so we called our clinic - they always have a doctor on call, which is great. It turned out that the doctor on call last night was actually Sam's doctor. Since he hadn't had a fever or cold symptoms during the day, she told us to take him to the ER because it started so suddenly in the middle of the night.

So, at 1:30 last night we piled into the car - Kira came with us because she was spending the night and wanted to go - and drove down to the Evergreen ER in Kirkland. That's the hospital where Sam was delivered, and it is a great place. They have a brand new ER, which is currently the best ER in the country because it's so new and updated. You can tell too - it's huge and really nice looking. So, they diagnosed him with Croup, which is what Justin thought, and got him some medicine. The first medicine was Epinephrine that he had to breathe in a mist of through a mask. That was the worst part. It takes 10 minutes for all of the medicine to vaporize, which involved Justin holding him and the nurse holding the mask on his nose and mouth and Sam screaming and crying for 10 minutes. When we started, the nurse said "It only lasts 10 minutes" and we were all thinking, ONLY? It seemed like an hour! That medicine was to get deep down in his lungs and help open things up and loosen anything that was in there. Even right after we finished with it, the cough sounded much better. A few minutes later the other nurse came back with a syringe of medicine for Sam to drink to reduce the swelling in his voicebox/throat. He cried & didn't like it, but it was really quick. After another 20 or 30 minutes of waiting, he was doing well and they came back and gave us instructions on what to do if he has another attack and when we would want to think about bringing him back in. Finally, at 3:30 in the morning, we were headed home.

Overall, it was as good an ER expreience as you can have. I often imagine taking your child to the ER to be very scary, but it wasn't really scary because he was not having a ton of trouble breathing or turning blue or anything, and of course there was no blood :-) So, that's how we spent our Saturday night. We spent much of the day Sunday just chilling and holding Sam a lot. He woke up at 9:30 on Sunday and was pretty tired for most of the day and somewhat cranky. Last night he got put to bed around 8:30 because he had reached the point of no return - nothing was good, he was unhappy and just fighting sleep really hard. He cried, but he went to sleep, and slept through the night, so hopefully today will be a more normal day. He's still coughing a little at night, but hasn't had an attack like the one on Saturday night, and it's not really waking him up from sleep, so that's good. Hopefully we won't hit ER visit number 2 for a very long time!

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