The last week of 2010 was marked with fevers, coughs, CROUP, medicine, and bundling up to sit on the front porch @ 3am with Becca.
Monday, 12/27, I noticed Becca was coughing, and her eyes were beginning to rim with red - a sure sign she's getting a cold - so I started dosing her and Mary-Gail (prophylacticly) with medicine. Becca's fever would subside, but I'd spike again when she was due for her next dosing (I hate the fever). By Wednesday I was sure Becca had Bronchitis and dialed the pediatrician. We'd been down this road before, 2 years ago, and Becca was hospitalized for a week w/double bronchitis and pneumonia! Becca was moaning and injected the occasional cry, "I don't want to go to the doctor!" and "Mommy, my tummy is hot" and "My head hurts." Lovey had just gotten off work and met us in the physician's parking lot; he collected Mary-Gail, while Becca and I hauled our bundled-up selves to see Dr. Later.
Wednesday @ 4:15pm
Thankfully Becca's fever never got higher than 102.3
(did I already say I hate fevers?)
We made it to the office just before they closed. The MA weighed Becca and took her height: 31.6 lbs and 40" tall, a definite light-weight. Her blood pressure was 98/58 - high, but normal for her - and her temp was 100.8. The Tylenol was working. Then the MA took Becca's oxygen saturation. I held my breath; it was 93%. Phew - I knew then that it wasn't Bronchitis.
Dr. Later came in shortly afterwards. Becca perked right up. She turned into a regular chatter box: "Dr. Later! Dr. Later! I have an owie on my leg, but I don't want a shot." "Dr. Later! Dr. Later! I got bandages for Christmas!" After talking to Becca about all her owies and her Christmas experience, Dr. Later listened to Becca's heart, lungs (please don't say it's pneumonia), checked her throat (please don't tell me it's Strep), checked her ears (I could manage an ear infection), and pulled down her bottom eyelids of her red-rimmed eyes (I didn't know what to expect with that).
"She's got Croup." We've never "done" Croup before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Dr. Later said said the best thing for Croup was to take her outside. WHATEVER! Hearing that went against everything I knew to do as her mother. Dr. Later knew me and my attitude and protective nature of my girls - he's seen us since Day 1 in the NICU and saw us through the nightmare week in the hospital two years ago - and offered more insight to me. He said he once spent the entire night outside holding his 5 year old when he had Croup. "Of course," he said, "it wasn't below freezing then."
Crazy how I understood and related to this better than when Dr. Later simply stated to take Becca outside and let her breath in the cold air. It's because Dr. Later went from "doctor" to "father." Croup is an inhalant problem - the lungs aren't expanding enough to let air in, and so they fill up with fluid, which will produce coughing fits. The cold air would help open Becca's lungs, and help turn her non-productive cough into a productive one (coughing up phlegm). I told Dr. Later that I'd been giving Becca breathing treatments with our nebulizer, but it hasn't seemed to help. He said to keep with the breathing treatments, gave us a prescription for Predisone (a steroid used for asthma since both Becca & MG have a mild case of asthma), and reminded me-as a father to a mother-to take Becca outside for some cold, fresh air. He also suggested, as a father to a mother, to mix the Predisone with chocolate syrup because the medicine tastes awful! Right-e-o. Becca & I have been on our front porch, all bundled up, sometime between the hours of 1am to 3am since Wednesday night. Mary-Gail provides us with laughter and company in the daytime as she joins us. We're three little Eskimos on the front porch, breathing in deeply.
Thursday, 12/30 Becca said she wanted to blow bubbles. What the sick girl wants, the sick girl gets. We pulled out the bubble guns (what is it with us and guns?) and loaded then up with fresh bubbles. The girls made a bubble mountain.
Thankfully we're doing much better. We only have 3 more doses of the awful medicine which usually makes Becca gag (Becca doesn't like Chocolate - who's child is she? - so she takes the medicine straight up). Lovey gave her a blessing Friday night because Becca's fever was still persistent. I'm happy, ever-so-happy, that her fever is gone!!! Hooray! And, her coughing is less and less, although we still sit on the front porch in the wee hours of the morning, taking in deep breaths of freezing cold 9 degree air.