Poor Carter has been a sick boy lately- we has had a cold and cough basically for 3 weeks now. A few days ago I thought he was getting better but then Friday his runny nose and cough came back even worse. That night he coughed almost constantly and we tried to keep him upright. We ran a warm humidifier, rubbed Vicks on him (feet, chest, back, neck), gave him some Tylenol, etc. He did not sleep well and was very sick. In the morning I noticed he was breathing rapidly so we took him into an InstaCare.
They tested his oxygen which was normal, but he was still breathing apparently faster. So then they ran a strep test- it came back positive immediately- and then they did a breathing treatment on him. Even after that his oxygen stayed the same. They did a chest x-ray and saw something in his lungs. After a few hours there, the doctor recommended we go to Primary Children's since he could do nothing further at his clinic. We went straight there and stayed in the ER another 3 hours or so. They started him on oxygen since he was breathing so hard, and ran a bunch of labs. Eventually we were admitted to the 3rd floor and given a room so he could be watched overnight. His chest x-ray was not yet determined if it was pneumonia or aspiration, but they gave him antibiotics anyway to treat the strep as well as possible pneumonia. They gave him fluids as well as oxygen to keep him comfortable. Before we left that night, he seemed to be breathing harder again so they suctioned him out several times. He hates it and gets so worn out after it, he usually falls asleep. Since we knew he was in good hands, we went home to get some rest.
We ended up getting 4 different calls over the next few hours, so we didn't sleep as well as we had hoped. They had decided to send Carter down to the PICU (intensive care unit) for more intensive oxygen and breathing therapy. I guess while down there, he also was not responsive and was not waking up. They seemed quite concerned about this, but I'm sure he was just exhausted. When we came back in the morning, we were nervous about how he was doing. By then, he was doing much better and was not breathing so hard. They continued to wean him off the super high flow with humidity, and he tolerated it just fine. The nurse there was great, but the room was kind of awkward and not comfortable. My parents visited him and gave us a break so we could go eat. At about 5 p.m. they finally transferred him back upstairs to the 3rd floor once again. He did great with his meds and bolus feeds, and his breathing was much improved. We left that night feeling much better, confident we would go home the next day.
In the morning we came back, and he was doing much better. He was more active and awake and on a pretty low flow of oxygen. We tried taking him off to just room air, but he dropped pretty fast in sats. We decided rather than stay a few more days just waiting for him to get off, that we would come home with the oxygen. They gave him a flu shot and a prescription before we left to further treat his strep. While we had not expected a weekend stay at the hospital, I am glad he was well taken care of. He is still really sleep and isn't awake for long, but he is in good moods when awake. The docs said he should be feeling much better by mid to end of this week, and should only be on the oxygen at a week max. We will follow up with his pediatrician to determine when we can take him off it. In the meantime, to avoid spreading his cold and strep, we will be home and recovering. I'm crossing my fingers that we both don't get it as well. The docs determined that he probably doesn't handle colds as well because of his low muscle tone and aspiration issues; he really doesn't handle the mucus well at all. Here's to hoping he doesn't get sick anymore this year.