Friday, September 28, 2012

A Day From You-Know-Where

I find parenting, on occasion, to be terrifying.  I have the responsibility of four little people, who are dependent on me for just about everything.  Today was one of those terrifying days.

This morning when Elizabeth woke up, she complained that her back was hurting.  She also had a fever.  No school for her.

When I told Emma that she would be going to school without her sister, the waterworks started up.  I'm glad the girls are close and support each other, but good grief.  This new school thing has been very hard on Emma, and she was not liking having to go without her security blanket.  So, I let her stay home too.

Elizabeth and I spent an hour coloring- a very quiet activity.  And then she just sat on the couch.  About 11 am I started noticing that her breathing was very labored.  She was wheezing, and her breath was coming fast and shallow.

I was worried.  So I called the doctor's office, and got an appointment.  And counted down the minutes until it was time to go, while I gathered supplies for the impending doctor's visit.  Emma was told she needed to go to school.

When I arrived at the doctor's office, I was led into the exam room pretty quickly.  The nurse took Elizabeth's temperature and oxygen reading, and I felt good about my decision to bring her to the doctor.  Her oxygen level was fluctuating quite a bit, but it was in the decidedly low range, averaging about 92%.  The nurse said she would go get the PA, and she did.  A minute later, Nick came almost running in.  (That's when you know it is serious.)  He looked at her, said she looked stable enough, but her numbers were really bad.  Like almost call an ambulance bad.  So they got her a nebulizer and we hoped for improvement so she wouldn't have to be admitted to the hospital.

And we waited.  Annie and Maddie did pretty well, all things considered.  We were in that room for almost two hours.  I comforted Elizabeth, asked questions, and juggled/played with/ran interference with the twins.  We had another PA come in, they consulted with a doctor, they listened to her heart and lungs.  They decided it was either asthma or pneumonia, but with the weekend coming, they decided to treat both.  We were given a list of her new medications and when to take them, a nebulizer to take home, and lots of instruction papers.  Poor Elizabeth was too tired to move.  Her oxygen levels were still not great, but rather than admit her to the hospital, I was given very specific instructions for the weekend.  I looked at Elizabeth, my loot to take home and a couple of tired and grumpy 3 year olds.  Good heavens, how was I going to get them all to the car?  The nurse offered to wheel Elizabeth out in a wheel chair, and I was glad to accept.

Ryan brought home the prescriptions; all four of them.  He said he was glad we have health insurance.  Otherwise it would have run us upwards of $450.

Elizabeth was a blob for a long time.  She was given a really awful injection before leaving, and it did not make her feel better for a while.  But then she perked up.  All those meds were doing their job, and we started seeing one of the side effects- being hyper.  The poor girl couldn't even hold her hand still on command.

Elizabeth isn't wheezing anymore.  She even ate some dinner.  She gets to camp out on our bedroom floor tonight.  Here's hoping we don't have to do any treatments during the night, and we all get some good sleep.

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