Tag Archives: cough

I hate being sick

23 Jul

Hannah went back to school this week, after having a three week between terms break. I don’t go back to university until next week.  Needless to say, I was looking forward to using my kid and uni free time to get lots of stuff done.  Like cleaning the bomb that is Aaron’s and my room.   I clean the rest of the house every week, but the bedroom doesn’t get that luxury.  The kids are bored by the time I finish the rest of the cleaning, so I just vacuum around the mess and that’s it.  Aaron and I are not the cleanest people either.  We both have a tendency to leave clothes around, and put stuff on the dresser with intentions to put it away later, only later never comes.

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I was also supposed to go to a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security student get together on Sunday where we were all going to plant a bunch of native trees at the university’s river site.  I was really looking forward to it since I don’t really know anyone that well since I’m mostly an external student.  I haven’t even met a lot of the other people in my course.  There aren’t many of us, about 20-25 in total including first year and second year students.

But I’m sick.  I’ve been coughing for over a week now, but for the first 6 or so days, it was just that, a cough.  It sounded horrible, but I felt fine and went about my usual business, even running faster at the gym than I have in a long time.  Hannah has a cough too, and since I’m paranoid every time she has a cough, due to the time she had pneumonia, I called the home doctor service on Sunday.  My cough had turned into a deep, phlegmy type of cough that was getting harder and harder to break up, and leaving me short of breath when I did cough, so I had the doctor take a look at me too.  I love that there is a home doctor service for weekends and night time.

Turns out Hannah’s cough was just a normal she has a cold type cough, nothing to worry about unless she develops a fever, but mine is bronchitis.  By Sunday night, I had pretty much no energy, but didn’t feel too horrid.

Monday morning I took the kids to school and daycare and sat around all day trying to get better.

Tuesday morning I felt horrible.  In order to get the kids to school and daycare, I took two panadol.  Hannah said she wasn’t feeling well and stayed home too.  I’m still not too sure if she actually felt sick, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt.  I felt so bad yesterday afternoon that Aaron had to pick Daniel up when he got home from work.

And drop Hannah off this morning.  Oh, and now Aaron is sick too.  He describes the feeling very well: it’s like being blind drunk and you just have to lay down or you will fall over or pass out.  That is how we are both feeling right now.  Fevers, dizzy, aches, the whole thing.  His is a throat infection, that he finally found out about because I convinced him to go to the doctor after he dropped Hannah off this morning.  Lucky for us, no kids need to be dropped off anywhere tomorrow because I’m not sure that either one of us would be up for driving.

I hate being sick, I feel so useless.

I really feel for those who are chronically ill.  They are some tough cookies.

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Daniel at the children’s hospital

22 Jun

1 week ago:

My eyes are slowly drifting open.  The sound of coughing, barking, or maybe some kind of machine failure fills my ears.  It takes me a little bit to wake up properly and realise scream crying and gaging noises are accompanying the strange noise.  Adrenaline rushes through me and I am wide awake with realisation that the noise is coming from Daniel.  As I get out of bed, I see that Aaron is not here.  He must be up with Daniel already. How long had I slept through his horrible sounding cough and crying?  I must have been in a deep sleep.  It’s only 10:30 and I’ve only been asleep for an hour.

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Daniel is coughing a so loudly and uncontrollably that he is gagging and throwing up a little.  It’s not a normal cough, but a strange sounding one, kind of like a dry bark.  His coughing is distressing him so much that he is also screaming and crying and Aaron is having a hard time comforting him.  He wants me to lay with him in his bed, but first I have to put his dinosaur sleeping bag in the wash, as there is mucous-y vomit all over it, making this only the second time in his entire life that he’s thrown up.

The crying stops when I lay down with him in his small junior sized bed.  Instead his every breath is audible and seems to be a struggle.

“I’m calling the doctor.” I tell Aaron.  The crying starts again as I exit the bed to get my phone.  I’m told there is a 5 hour wait for the after hours home doctor.

“You can call the medical advice line in the mean time.” The operator tells me.  I do it straight away.  I tell them about the horrible sounding cough, the laboured breathing, and the coughing so much he vomited.  I put my phone up to Daniel’s face, much to his displeasure, and let the doctor on the phone listen for herself.  He coughs while the phone is next to him.

“I suggest you take him to the emergency room, that sounds like a bad case of croup.”  She tells me.  I’ve called the medical advice line a few times before, and they’ve never told me to go to the hospital, so I know it’s not just a standard line they give everyone.

There is a general hospital about 3 minutes away, but there is also a children’s hospital about 25 minutes away.

“Ok Buddy, we’re going to take a little trip to the Children’s hospital.  I’ll get dressed and pack my iPad and stuff and then we’ll go.”

“Can I come too?” Hannah asks.

“No sweetie, it’s night time and you have school tomorrow, you need to sleep.”

“I DON’T WANT TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL!!!!!”  Daniel is upset and crying again.

“It’s ok Daniel, the Children’s hospital is really fun!” I hear Hannah telling him while I get ready to go.  “There are toys there, and it’s only for kids!  There is a playground, and they are really nice, and it’s so much fun.  You’ll love it there.  Don’t be scared Daniel, it’s good there.  I wish I was going.”

Hannah’s kind words calm him down and his screaming is replaced by excitement.  I’m not sure why she loves it so much.  The only time she went she had pneumonia and pretty much laid in my lap the whole time.  She played on the playground for about 2 minutes, but that was it.  But I suppose that experience was much better than the time she went to the local general hospital when she was under 2, had a 40 degree (104) fever and refused to drink anything.  I took her to the doctor who told me to take her straight to the hospital.  She was admitted for the night as she was so feverish and dehydrated.  They tried at least 3 times to get a cannula in, but failed every time.  They never did end up getting one in so that she could get the fluids so so desperately needed.  They also needed to check her for a UTI, to see if that was the cause of infection, which entailed 3 doctors holding her down on a bed as she screamed the most horrible, heart breaking scream I’ve ever heard in my life while another doctor shoved a small catheter tube inside her.

Again, they failed.  While I held her hand and tried my best to avoid crying so that I didn’t upset her even more, they held her down and did the whole thing again, failing for second time.  They couldn’t get the cannula in, and they couldn’t get the catheter in, but despite not actually being able to do anything for us, they made us stay all night.  I was about 37 weeks pregnant at the time but Hannah was too terrified by that stage to sleep in the hospital bed all by herself, so both of us slept in her bed together.  She took ages to fall asleep after all her trauma and when she finally did, they shoved a thermometer under her arm, waking her up, as they did every hour.  Haven’t they ever heard of an ear thermometer that won’t wake sick kids up all the time?  It was horrible.  Needless to say, I now drive the extra 20 something minutes to the children’s hospital.

I bundle Daniel up and put him in his car seat after warming up the car so it’s not too cold inside.

Since the kids go to bed at 6:30pm, they don’t often get to ride in the car in the dark.  I thought Daniel might fall asleep on the way, but instead he is looking at all the lights, cars, buses, and trucks.  “Mommy, I see, a truck!!”  He tells me with excitement.  The car ride seems to be calming him down, but I can still hear his loud breathing.

“Look, there’s Wet ‘n’ Wild!”  I say as we pass the giant water slides.  For some reason, all the lights on the slides and stairs are on, even though it’s the off season and it hasn’t been open for two months, not to mention it’s now 11 something at night.  I wonder how much money they waste on electricity?

After parking at the hospital, a triage nurse greets us straight away to assess Daniel.  He hasn’t coughed much in the car, but he sneezes in front of her, which also has the trademark croupy bark noise.

“Yeah, that sounds like croup.”  She tells me.  She gives me a number with an A in front of it and tells me that I will be next because no one else in the waiting room has an A ticket.

Sure enough, he is seen about 20 seconds later.  Although croup is a caused by a viral infection, and antibiotics don’t help, oral steroids are given to open up his airways.  “We will check him again in one hour to make sure the medicine worked, and then, if he is doing well, you should be able to go home.”  She gives me a pamphlet about croup before we go to the waiting room for an hour.

Croup is more common at night, when it’s cold, and is often sudden, like it was with Daniel.  Hannah had croup a couple of months ago, but hers wasn’t nearly as bad as Daniel’s.

Daniel lays on me in a comfy plush chair (not like the chairs of our local ER) and tries to get comfortable for a nap.  There are too many other people around though, and he is distracted.  He really wants to lay down properly, but the chairs aren’t big enough.

I spot a long soft bench seat in the overflow part of the waiting room where the TV and wall toys are and carry him over.  No one else is in there.  He lays there for about 10 seconds before deciding that it’s play time, followed by iPad time.  Oh well, at least he’s happy, and I can keep myself awake watching the weird movie about a kid with leaves growing on his ankle that is playing on the TV attached to the wall.

After an hour, they call him again, check his vitals, and then tell us we can go home if we see our usual doctor tomorrow.  The steroids have done their job and there is no more laboured breathing or coughing.

When we get home, I sleep on the couch with him for the rest of the night, and I keep him home from daycare, since he has a virus and I expect him to be very tired and lethargic all day.

I am wrong.  He is not tired, and doesn’t seem sick at all.  Instead, he spends the day running around the house and jumping off the couch whilst I attempt to study for my chemistry final.  The doctor says he can go to daycare tomorrow and to expect a bad night again.

We put a heater in the kids’ room as cold air negatively affects croup, but we still expect some coughing and waking.  Luckily though, it never comes. They both sleep all night, and past their usual 6am wake up.

If your child has ever had croup. you know how scary it is.  That cough is like no cough you’ve ever heard before, and the laboured breathing is enough to send us parents running with our kids to the ER.  Although death from croup is rare, it’s far better to be safe than sorry.  And perhaps it’s rare because so many of us seek immediate medical attention for it.  I’m just glad that he is fine now.

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Daniel asleep on the couch few days later, after lack of sleep caught up to him

Daniel asleep on the couch few days later, after the lack of sleep caught up to him

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I’ll look after you

17 Aug

Last weekend I was feeling quite sick. I had a nasty cough that stole most of my voice and left me sounding much like a chain smoking transvestite. Not that I’ve ever met a chain smoking transvestite. But you get my drift. I laid on the couch, coughing my guts up and curling into a ball to stay warm despite my fever of 39.5c (103.1F). I just wanted to lay there. Needed to.

Hannah came bounding in from her room, the quilt that Grandma Linda (my host mum. Exchange student mother if you don’t know what a host mum is) made for her, and her Dora blanket hanging from her arms, almost tripping her as she walked.

She came over to me and laid them out on top of me.

Her little face changed to an expression of concern. “I’ll look after you mommy,” she told me firmly as she smoothed the blankets out and patted my side.

“Here Mommy.” She gave me some stuffed animal toys to cuddle.

“You need some books to read.”  She went off and brought me some of her books, getting quite upset when Daniel came over to look at them instead of me.

“NO DANIEL, THOSE ARE FOR MOMMY!!!!!”

“Do you need anything else, Mommy?”

“No sweetie, I think I’ve got everything I need. Thanks baby, you’re very sweet.”

“I think you need some food. I’ll get you an apple and a passionfruit.” She climbed up on her desk to reach the fruitbowl on the kitchen counter, and then put her chosen fruit in 2 of her little plastic tea set bowls before bringing them to me.

“Here Mommy. In case you get hungry.”

She ran off to her room again.

When she came back, she was carrying her pink Dora the Explorer garbage bin. I must say, I was a little baffled.

“You need this too Mommy…for your tissues.” She is clearly smarter than me.

The next day she laid on the couch, scrunched her face up, forced out a pretend cough and said in her sooky voice “Mommy, I feel a little bit sick, you can look after me.” FYI, she was not actually sick.

“I need my blankets, some books, an apple and passionfruit, my bin, and my Mickey.”

Cheeky monkey.

Do you like Veggie tales? I put a review of the new DVD, the The Penniless Princess on my reviews blog. You can read it here.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

The Best Mom Blogs

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