We were 3 weeks into the school year, when the coughing started on a Tuesday(Day 1). As any parent with an asthmatic child knows, pull out the rescue medicine. For us this means the nebulizer for about twenty minutes every 4 hours. Well by Wednesday(Day 2) there was no improvement after using the nebulizer every 4 hours. On Thursday(Day 3) was the annual well visit for both kids, and the doctor noticed my DD was not passing any air. Her pediatrician gave her a stronger dose of treatment in the office and a dose of prednisone. It is never a good thing when we get a prednisone prescription. On Friday (Day 4) and I take her back for follow-up with the pediatrician and her condition is not improved. We were instructed to go to the ER asap so after 4 days of in home treatments we were sitting in the ER for more treatments and a chest xray. In the interim the pediatrician on call and the head of pediatrics wanted to wait for x-ray to determine if DD was going to be admitted. Well the news we were not thrilled to hear, overnight stay in the ER.
What does it mean when you are admitted for asthma flare ups not responding to your normal rescue medicine? The medication is increased every 2 hours and with the frequency of the medication there is heart monitoring. This must be done for at least 24 hours before the doctors decide to discharge the patient. DD was given 2 hour treatments from Friday afternoon, Saturday and it was early Sunday afternoon when she was moved to every 3 hours. It is impossible to get any rest for the patient and parent with medication being administered every 2 hours. On the first night in the hospital I belive she finally fell asleep in the wee hours of Saturday morning. This was truly a test of patience and endurance. The x-rays did show the presence of pneumonia. In addition to the respiratory treatments, there were a round of medications. Two antibiotics, prednisone, an antihistamine, and an antacid(steorids upset the stomach). The doctors believe the Enterovirus that was spreading was the reason DD’s symptoms were so aggravated. Normally it takes only about 24-48 hours with the nebulizer but the virus made it difficult to recover with her normal medicines. Lucky for us the nurse on duty was able to find some arts and crafts to keep DD busy and occupied. It is difficult to keep a child focused when they want to go home and sleep in their own bed. I never noticed until late Saturday her room was tagged with a placard for airborne contaminants. All the hospital personnel who entered her room had to wear a mask and a protective gown.
Thank goodness for cable and wifi in hospital rooms. If only they would put in cots for parents who have to stay overnight. Just imagine a chair that converts to a reclining bed for a day and a half. I found it interesting that parents who stay overnight have to pay full parking and buy food vouchers to eat meals. Again a true test of patience and endurance. When I did get a chance to go home for a change of clothes. It was so nice to breath some fresh air and see the sun. Unfortunately there was no opportunity to take DD outside. I have really have to thank her pediatrician Dr. Karten for going over and beyond with monitoring her condition. Before we were discharged the doctors had me watch the Nemours Pediatrics asthma online. We were discharged from the hospital on Sunday afternoon with 7 prescriptions, an asthma plan, a device to monitor her breathing zone, air spacers,