Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sick, Sick, Sick

My poor baby girl is sick, sick, sick.  And I am laying in bed worrying about it rather then being able to sleep.  So why not write a blog about it right???

L was at a birthday party last weekend.  It seems unfair to blame it on that, but it seems that every child there caught some sort of cold while there. :o( They had TONS of fun at that pool party but, unfortunately, have all been sniffling and coughing this week.  It happens.  It's a part of life.  I am not one of those crazy germa-phobe moms. So my daughter has had a cough all week. I thought she would squeak by with just the cough. Well. This morning she was somewhat hoarse and her cough was a little worse. Not by much though. She seemed fine enough to go to another birthday party today.  Which, by the way, happened to be filled with all the same germy kids from last week. Ha ha!

After the party we put L down for nap and she went to sleep waaaay too late.  She ended up falling asleep a half hour before we needed to leave for a family picnic this afternoon. Needless to say, the creature that had to be woken up was not a joy to around.  Not to mention that her cough had turned into a bark. Somehow in the matter of thirty minutes she had convinced us that she was well enough to go to the family picnic. She was NOT planning on missing out on "cousin" time for anything, short of bodily dismemberment!

Surprisingly enough she acted fine all night. The kids ran through corn fields and made their own "mazes". They fed and petted some adorable baby cows. There was an insane amount of goodies to be munched on. Lots of marshmallows and hot dogs over the campfire. A great wooden swing was prime for pushing and there were plenty of other things for the cousins to do. The highlight of the night... L's statement, "Ow! I hurt my leg! It's broken! I need a marshmallow!". To which someone replied, "Yes, a marshmallow will glue your leg back together!".  What logic!!

On the way home L finally slowed down and it seemed like she hit a wall.  She barely made it home awake.  She all but pried her eyes open to watch Dora on our portable DVD player. And the barking began again, harder. We got home and shuffled her into bed right away.

I had been laying in bed reading for the two hours she had been asleep, listening to her coughing getting progressively worse and more persistent. It all came to a head when she woke up gasping for air and couldn't get any because her body was too busy coughing. The barking cough wouldn't let up long enough for her to draw a breath.  That made her panic, which made her breathing even worse. I knew I had to do something and do it immediately or things were going to become dangerously worse.

Having experience with croup and asthmatic breathing problems, thanks to my brother, I knew what to do to hopefully help with her problems. This is the time that I could put my knowledge to good use. You see when a person is having breathing problems such as croup or asthma it is because the bronchi in your lungs are closing up.  The bronchi are similar to upside down trees in your lungs, with the bronchiole spreading out from them like tree limbs.  The alveoli are much like tree buds on the end of the limbs.  They help pump oxygen into our blood streams. When people experience respiratory problems it's because the bronchiole (the tree limbs) tighten up.  This restricts the air from getting the the alveoli (the buds of the tree), which can cause all kinds of problems. The best way to help a person when they are experiencing this is to try to help them open their airways (bronchiole) back up. On a side note, if you ever wish to know what this feels like you can perform this simple experiment. Run in place til you feel slightly winded then simply try to breath through a regular drinking straw. Not fun! This ends the educational part of this blog.  See Mom!  Sending me to asthma camp with my brother really did pay off!

So.... I ran for the bathroom, with L, and made sure to shut the door behind me. The shower was turned on to the hottest it would go and we sat snuggled as close to it, without getting wet, as we could. I laid her on top of my chest and told her to try and breathe with me.  I breathed in deeply and she did it along with me. I slowly pushed out my breath and she did too.  This seemed to help her calm down some as well as helping her to get some of the steam into her lungs. (Steam helps loosen up your lungs when they are tight.) I was praying that this would work because the next step was heading to the ER. Scary!! Fortunately, after about fifteen minutes in the steam L was mostly done coughing and nearly asleep on my chest. While I had been doing that T got the humidifier set up in L's rooms, shooting right up at her face, where she lays in bed.  I also made sure to grab some extra pillows to prop her up more in bed.

After L fell back to sleep I came back into my room and collapsed. (And gave myself a little pat on the back!) For now, all the measures seem to be helping. For a little bit there I was one scared Mama! But I can say that this is actually one occasion where I was happy that my brother went through all of his problems as a child.  Or I may have not known how to help L get back to breathing normally.  Here's hoping and praying that she doesn't wake up anymore tonight!

Picture found here.

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