Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I can't breathe

Ok. No parent should ever hear their kid saying those words. Ever. Especially not in the middle of the night, after emergency inhalers have failed to work. "I can't breathe. I'm scared!" No. It should be illegal for children to get ill.

Welcome to October. The burning times. The air is stupid-toxic this time of year and it affects Brian badly. We have been keeping him on Claritin, which helps keep allergies at bay very effectively, but he caught one of the cruds that are currently going around - apparently the flu, bronchitus, and strep are all on the move - he had heavy congestion, slight fever, even some nausea for several days. Not awful in itself, sounds like a mild flu, but with the air polluted like this, he got hit with a massive asthma attack as a symptom. I was awake with him from 1am, Saturday night/Sunday morning, through to the morning. Very near to waking Brad and saying, get Honor, we're going to the ER. Problem is, while the ER here 'works' - and they took very good care of Honor when we had to take her - it is not equipped for children. A not-so-perfect hospital full of sick people, is not a good place to be when you are sick. Sorry, but it is not up to standards we are used to - I don't care how nice, educated/trained, and helpful the people are, and they really are... if the place isn't clean and equipped, then it is NOT clean and equipped. The ER didn't even have a child-sized blood pressure cuff when we brought Honor in. Anyway, I wanted to avoid it if possible, but we would have gone - in a flash! - if he had not stabilized... emergency care would have been fine, I'm sure, but going there, just in case, would not have been worth the risk. I kept him on his meds and steamed the bathroom to a misty sauna, etc. We only had a little while to wait before we could go to the clinic and have him treated by professionals that we know.

Poor little guy was stuck on oxygen and nebulizers for most of the day Sunday. They were thinking of sending to the hospital for overnight observation, but gave me the nebulizer and sent him home when his oxygen levels went up and stayed in the 'low, but ok' range. I've been sleeping on the floor in his room every night. He's getting better, and xrays came back clean - he was very rattley in his chest and we checked him out thoroughly. (I was happy with the lab - NileScan, they did a great job).

We think he is doing better today. His breathing is better and he isn't needing the nebulizer as much. I'll be sleeping by his bed again tonight though. More doctor appointments tomorrow. This will be 4 days in a row out of school. He was very disappointed. He had worked all last week on a social studies project, and it was to be turned in on Sunday. Tomorrow he is missing a field trip. We stopped by the school today, saw his teacher and turned in his project. He was able to get some of his classwork and see his classmates' projects too. He was feeling good enough to play and argue with his sister this evening, but he was very tired at bedtime. Still working on getting this out of his system, still fighting whatever cootie it was that triggered the whole thing.

Me, I'll sleep ok on the floor - it's pretty good for my back actually. But I'll be setting the alarm to wake at odd hours to check on him. I'm tired from several night of this - but I would not be able to sleep a wink in my own bed at this point - it's too far, all ?30? feet too far. Brad has to work and get Honor to school so I'm taking all the night shifts. I think the running to appointments at all these different places is harder - it's tough trying to find places with no street signs, few well-marked buildings, no decent parking (with a kid who is too tired to walk - and too big to carry!), etc. Thank goodness we have a good driver - with his own well-kept cars - to get us around. We've known him since we arrived and he's always taken care of us. He showed up after 8pm last night to take me back to the lab to pick up Brian's results - he has a full day, up early, driving all over, but he came and gave me another 30 minutes of his time... and would not accept extra pay for 'over-time'. We've also got a good friend and neighbor who has been picking up Honor from school, and has even taken her to school a few times, when Brian and I are stuck somewhere across town.

Sigh... apparently I was in need of more grey hairs. I sure hope Brian can kick this gunk out his lungs soon!


junglemama said...

Oh COnnie, how hard this must be watching Brain suffer. I am so sorry. I'm glad to hear he is doing better.

MsTypo said...


I'm glad to hear that he's on the mend. Don't forget to take care of yourself while you watch over him. **hugs**

Tina in CT said...

What a scare you had. So sorry to hear how sick Brian has been. Whoever said that being a mom is easy?

It must be awful living in an area where there is not an up-to-date modern hospital. We are lucky here in the States. Isn't there a European hospital in the city?

Connie said...

Brian slept pretty soundly last night. I had to wake him up for meds twice, but he is going 5-6 hours between now, and is getting stronger.

The nearest hospital, As Salam, is an international hospital, I hate to complain because I feel like I am not being diplomatic, fair, or even grateful (they helped Honor!) but while I trust it to work - I think they do the best with what they have - it isn't what I expect in a hospital. I am sure the professionals who work there would agree, and would prefer better facilities and equipment as well. Besides, I believe in avoiding the ER anywhere, if possible - that's where the really sick people go first, and you are most likely to be stuck next to them for long periods of time!

I'm hanging in there. Tired. But the crick in my upper back from this weekend is gone. Floor sleeping has benefits.

Mama Seoul said...

Yikes! When I tell people about the care in Egypt, I always say,"You can either get much better care (more attention from doctors, etc) or much worse." You never know and that is what is scary. Emergency situations are the worst.

Anonymous said...

all this is happening cuz some insects decided to burn garbage and rice.

Simple Answer said...

Scary stuff. Hugs to you and Brian.

srsr said...

I'm so sorry Brian has been under the weather. Here in the valley the cooties are lying low for the most part and the pollution is pretty low right now. So we only have to deal with the seasonal allergens. Our asthma sufferers are doing reasonably well. Hope you two can get your needed rest and Brian continues to improve.

Anonymous said...

That's got to be really tough when he's having such a rough time and you're so far from better-equipped facilities--glad he is on the mend--hope he continues to improve and RAPIDLY--healthy thoughts go out your way! Take care, Jeff