It started as a runny nose that developed into a junky sounding cough. I'd had him into the pediatrician February 11 where he was diagnosed with an ear infection and bronchiolitis, and treated with antibiotics and 2 inhalers. I was instructed on how to tell if he was having trouble breathing and told to get him seen immediately if he seems any worse. I had taken him to our local ER on the 17th and 21st because it seemed like he was struggling to get air. They gave him a breathing treatment and sent us home, with me questioning my ability to determine how sick Little Guy was. (I found out later that our local ER does few infant cases and I would have been better off to take him to the next town over.) I took him back to his pediatrician on the 22nd. The doctor took one look at him and said he needed to be admitted. We were literally walked out of the Dr.'s office and through the tunnels to the hospital. We were put in an ER hallway to wait until a bed was available.
Kiddlet happened to be with me this day; she was in an every other day kindergarten class and this happened to be a day she was home. I had not planned for us to be gone all day and even if I had, we didn't even have a chance to grab anything from the van before we were walked to the hospital.
So there we were, in the ER hallway by the ambulance bay doors for, I'm not kidding, about 8 hours. We didn't have any food with us, any books, games, anything for Kiddlet to do. She did discover the ice/water machine almost directly across from us and occasionally entertained herself getting a drink. One of the nurses took pity on us and brought some blank paper, crayons and a patient breakfast package. We played tic tac toe, drew pictures, ate cherrios and took pictures with my cell phone. Throughout the whole thing, Kiddlet remained in good humor and didn't start to complain until we were well into our sixth hour.
Meanwhile, Husband is on his way home from where ever he was working at the time. I have to say, the company he works for was very good about everything. Husband was working out of town at the time and his supervisor dropped everything to get him home before Strong-Willed One got off the school bus. Since we only have on vehicle, they even brought Husband straight to our house and told him to keep them updated, but not worry about work.
Husband got home in time for the school bus. I was trying to figure out how to get Kiddlet home. Anthony was exclusively nursing and would not take a bottle. A trip home and back to the hospital would cross a feeding, so there was no way I could go. Of all our extended family, everyone was either working or had no vehicle. I think it was around 5pm when I finally reached one of my brother-in-laws. He drove the 30 minutes from their house to the hospital, brought me dinner (best Big Mac of my life), took Kiddlet back to their house for dinner, then made the 1 hour round trip to our house and back.
Little Guy finally got a room sometime after 6pm. Because of his condition, we were put in a room by ourselves and everyone entering had to be gowned and gloved. The nursing staff were great! They made sure I understood everything that they were doing for Little Guy and why and made sure that I was doing okay, too. I think it was about 9pm when he fell asleep again, and I was finally able to leave his side. I made a trip to the drugstore for things like a toothbrush, munchies and a book. And look at what I got to sleep on.
The next day, my best friend called my cell. She told me she was going to my house to stay with Strong-Willed One (who was home from school with a fever) and giving her car to Husband so he could bring me clothes and spend the day with Little Guy and me. She was even prepared to stay overnight if needed. That is one of the greatest gifts that has ever been given to me.
Little Guy had been admitted on a Tuesday and was released on Thursday. I had been given the option to stay another night if I wasn't comfortable taking him home yet, but I felt mostly okay about leaving and I needed to see my girls.
It was another week before he was well enough that he didn't choke when he cried, two before he was back to his normal happy self. This virus had lasting effects. Every cold led to a junky cough that required inhaler use and constant monitoring. It's only been in the last 4 months that he seems able to fight off colds on his own and I don't have to make extra trips to the pediatrician. I no longer freeze inside when Little Guy coughs, although we're still being instructed to isolate him when he gets congested.
This whole experience was overwhelming. Even as I sit here remembering, tears fill my eyes. And it's not so much the memory of how sick he was, but the way our family and friends rallied around us, supporting us and making sure our needs were met. I said it many times then and I'll say it again: Thank you so much!