Last week was...interesting. Maybe horrific would be a better word.
On Saturday night, Princess started having a hard time breathing, as did I. By Sunday, she was taking nebtreatments which didn't seem to do any good. She spent most of the day gasping, wheezing, and sounding like she was about to take her last breath. Scary. Especially knowing from experience as I do, that severe asthma can be fatal at worst and traumatizing at best. On Monday morning, I called the doctor and got Princess in at 1 pm. The doctor diagnosed her with pneumonia and sent us home with an antibiotic. Tuesday and Wednesday, Princess and I both seemed to improve which was good because I was about ready to have a break-down worrying about PRincess so much while being unable to breathe myself. On Thursday, Princess and I were both much worse. I got Princess into the doctor again. This time, chest x-rays and a blood draw were ordered.Princess does not particularly care for doctors and nurses probing, touching, or generally looking at her so I was concerned about sending my baby girl off into the x-ray room by herself (They still haven't changed the rule about pregnant women being near the x-ray machine). Apparently however, she and the nurse in charge of baby wrangling that day really hit it off and the only time Princess cried was when the x-ray technician tried to touch her.
The blood tests came back negative and the chest x-ray showed that Princess had pneumonia. DUH! Tell me something I didn't know. The doctor assured me that, since Princess didn't appear to be sick in any way or wasn't even running a small fever, that she had the "best kind of pneumonia to have." That really made my day especially since my daughter was still lying on my lap wheezing and exhausted from lack of oxygen. We were sent home with a prescription for prednisone this time.
Being a lifelong asthmatic myself, I've been around the block a few times with prednisone. In case you don't know, prednisone is a strong steroid that is often given to asthmatics when nothing else is helping. It weakens your immune system, does weird things to your stomach and appetite, can bloat you and make you gain weight. And that's just a few of the lovely side effects. Not something I really wanted to give my daughter, but breathing is kind of important and I know how much prednisone can help.
Princess loves taking medicine, and I've had to hide her baby tylenol because otherwise she begs for it. So I was totally unprepared for the reaction I'd get to the prednisone. The stuff tastes incredibly strong and burns your throat on the way down. Being a strange child, I actually didn't mind the stuff when I was a kid. Princess does not take after me in that way. She started eagerly sucking it down and then stopped, gave me a stony glare that clearly said, "How dare you give me something that tastes like this." and turned away. Try as I might, not another drop went down her throat. Most of it made it into her mouth, but was rejected and kicked out immediately. The next morning, I decided to be sneaky. So I made some really strong sickeningly sweet chocolate milk that I knew Princess would absolutely adore. Then I made sure she wasn't watching and surreptitiously poured 2 teaspoons of prednisone in the milk. I handed the cup to Princess who happily took it from me and began gulping it down. Then she realized that I had sabotaged the chocolate milk and I was graced with another "if looks could kill" glare as she handed the cup back to me. Try as I might, she only drank about 2 more sips. In desperation, I called the doctor's office to see if they had any ideas on how to get a 21 month old to take some of the worst tasting medicine available. The nurse cheerily suggested I put it in chocolate milk because "that works every time." She was rather taken aback when I informed her that I had already tried that and my one-in-a-million kid had not cared for it at all. She offered to call the pharmacy and see if they had any ideas. The pharmacist didn't call me back that day and so that night, I recruited Hubby's mom to help with the predisone taking. She used M&Ms as a bribe and managed to get both teaspoons into Princess. I was very relieved to see that Princess had finally taken a full dose of her much needed medicine. The stress of taking care of a child who couldn't breathe, trying to get her to take her medicine, not being able to breathe very well myself, and the incredibly crabby, clingy mood Princess had understandably, but still frustratingly been in for the last couple of days was wearing me down and I was literally standing on the edge of the cliff ready to push someone (probably Hubby) off of it.
Thankfully, Friday night I got a reprieve from the governor. My parents were going to a concert called Bowfire (look it up on youtube, it's amazing) and I had guilt tripped Hubby about not getting me anything for my birthday until he said I could go too. The timing could not have been better. We met one of my mom's old friends at an Indian restaurant which was really good food that I didn't have to cook or clean up afterwords. Then we went to a concert where I managed to relax and enjoy myself. By the time I got home that night, my nearly dead battery had been recharged and I was ready to get back to real life.
Saturday morning, after convincing Princess to choke down another dose of prednisone, I got a call from the pharmacist.
"I put the wrong dosage on the bottle. It's not 2 teaspoons twice a day, it's 2/3 of a teaspoon twice a day." he said.
I stopped breathing until he continued. "It won't hurt her to have taken so much, but it is hard on her stomach. Better skip a dose tonight."
I was furious. Was he saying that I had just forced my daughter to take over twice as much of a harsh steroid as she needed?!?!?!? Since I've been going to the same pharmacy since I started taking medicine and never had a problem before and because Princess was not going to suffer any permanent damage from the overdose, I managed to forgive him, but I will be triple checking everything from now on!
So anyways, that's my week. Lets just say I don't do well under pressure, but everyone came out alive. Even Hubby who almost didn't make it on Friday when, on my ONLY day to sleep in, Princess uncharacteristically woke up at 6:30 am. He could've been sympathetic, but instead his reaction was, "Oh good, you're up. Now you can pack my lunchpail before I go to work." But I managed to refrain from killing him (this time) and we're once again a happy semi-healthy family.
I understand that not everyone has this tremendous resource at their fingertips, but whenever I get sick, I call in reinforcements to help me take care of Princess and the house. My younger sister was the lucky victim this time who not so willingly did my dishes, swept the asian beetles off my porch and did my laundry. If you have someone like that around, either ask them over or send the kids to their house!