Wednesday, November 04, 2009

"I Can't Breathe" - by Brad

I am reluctant to go to the emergency room with my children. Maybe it is because I don’t want to be an over-protective parent who rushes their kids to the doctor for every little ailment. Maybe it’s because we have been blessed with generally healthy kids. Well, last night I held off as long as I could handle it before I took Elliott.

Elliott has had a fever the last couple days and a croupy cough. Our kids have had croup before and it has never been that big of deal. There were times in the middle of the night were they were having crazy cough attacks, but the attacks would go away within seconds if we simply had them breathe the cold outside air.

Last night around 2:00, Elliott woke up coughing. He came into our room wheezing very hard trying to pull air into his lungs between coughs. We took him outside to see if the normal method would solve his problem. It didn’t work. His throat must have been so inflamed, that combined with a little panic on his part, he couldn’t breathe at all. He looked at us wide-eyes and mouthed the words, "I can't breathe." Once he focused and calmed down, he was able to gasp in a little air and a few minutes later he was able to breathe enough to fall back asleep. Emergency room averted.

To those readers who have had asthma attacks, this probably doesn't sound terribly unique. Nonetheless, our family is not familiar with them.

Elliott was sleeping in our bed so we could hear his breathing and within a half-hour, he was coughing and gasping for air again. Once again he came to the point where he couldn't breathe at all. Seeing the fear in his eyes (again) of not being able to breathe caused me to lose my pride and take him to the emergency room. As Elliott and I got in the car and drove to the E.R., he was gasping for air and for the third time got to the point where he couldn’t breathe.

At the hospital, they diagnosed it very quickly and gave him a breathing treatment for him to inhale for a few minutes. The treatment apparently worked because we came home and he was able to breathe for the rest of the night.

Elliott's inability to breathe was probably caused by two things: an inflamed throat, and a feeling of panic. In hind-sight, if Elliott would have passed out from asphyxiation at home, he might have calmed down in his unconscious state and started breathing on his own, thus not needing the emergency room. Regardless, I am still supporting our E.R. decision that probably prevented us from finding that out.


Kathi said...

Found you off of Jen's blog. You made a good decision. Even if you could have dealt with it at home, it eased your mind and showed your child that you were willing to step in a help him.

Both of my kids went through croup. For many years in a row. One had to have a steroid injection. The other was taken by ambulance from urgent care and had an overnight stay in the hospital.

It's scary seeing your kids go through something like that.

Anonymous said...

I take that last paragraph was tongue in cheek huh Brad? I love you analytical analysis of the situation. Very level headed I must say.

Brad said...

Yes Jordan... That last paragraph was simply dry commentary of how blessed we are... so I do not take health care for granted.

On our drive to the hospital I made sure to pray with Elliott as he was gasping for air. On the way home I said a prayer of thanksgiving.

Peaby said...

I also support your decision to go. We kinda like that kid.

Nina said...

I am so thankful with you that Elliot is doing better. My dear Sarah and Becky were at the emergency at least twice a year and the doctors office also. After we do our best God provides these places for help. You are great parents and your prayers took you to the right place. I love you !! Myrna/Nina

Brazenlilly said...

OH my gosh, how scary! My heart was racing just reading this. I'm so glad you took him. Maybe even sooner next time!

Gary and Margo said...

What a scare that must have been for all of you. Praise God all turned out well.