This year we have had four hospital admissions a midnight ambulance ride, and a midnight dash to a Thailand medical centre along with the countless sleepless nights.
This is not uncommon, Rod and I often pull all-nighters, a combination of bad sleepers, paranoia and dreaded sickness.
When we started writing this blog post it was going to be about our first overseas trip away as a family and we were really excited about writing it. The holiday WAS brilliant, coming and going with only one trip to the 24hr Medical Centre a few km's from where we were staying, standard process of checking oxygen saturation, heart rate, breathing, wheezing blah blah blah.
After a few days he came good and all was right with the world. Which brings us to the other diagnosis...asthma!
Little did we know that Leo's asthma diagnosis roughly six months ago would stress us out so much more, and give us more grief than Ds ever has. This winter has been hard, and in July Leo was placed on an Asthma plan and preventive daily medication. Asthma has been a hard diagnosis to process, to me much much harder than Ds. You find yourself watching him breath, asking “is that a wheeze” or freaking out at any sign of a cold as the mucus tends to move down into his lungs and reduce his oxygen levels which then snowballs into other issues, you know, like breathing!.
So here is a raw look into our world! Monday night I managed to get to sleep sometime after 3am.
So the night went like this, 630pm off to bed Leo, fine and without any symptoms other than a slight runny nose and congestion, 930pm wake up crying (our first alarm bell as Leo doesn't normally wake crying unless he's really sick), he's shivering with a fever, high heart rate and having some very slight difficulty breathing. Ok, off to Royal Bankstown ER we go...
It’s now 11:15pm, yes I’m still awake and Rod took Leo to emergency about an hour ago. Am I worried? Not overly as I know he is in good hands. We have become pros at this, calm Rod takes him in and sends me updates...
“oxygen bit low heart rate high he has had suction”
“they're giving something to stop him spewing and chest X-ray on the way”
“how’s your night? I’m trying to catch Leo’s pee”
At 1am we received the all clear that it's just a chest infection (yes just a chest infection, our words not the doctors), some oral antibiotics, monitor his symptoms, GP check up the next day and Rod is just waiting to be discharged. Rod gets home at 230am and after half hour of talking we both get some sleep.
A little after 5am and I was on the train writing this entry.
Ds has visual characteristics like a palm crease, almond shaped eyes and a larger toe gap between his big toe and second toe for example which are all somewhat instantly recognisable, Ds doesn’t make Leo sick, just prone to other medical conditions.
Insert "small airway characteristic" here...you can’t see it but Leo has very small airways which makes us hate winter! A simple runny nose can send us to the doctor or emergency department straight away. He also has a fantastic pain threshold, so high that we often have no idea he is sick until we are on the way to emergency...hence the increase paranoia and anxiety in our household. But we have a plan we follow at any sign of sickness.
We don’t want to gloss over the illness and just report the happy ending. Asthma is serious and scary, I have no idea if this hospital trip is a visit or a stay. If it’s a cold or asthma?
This is the hard part, the sleepless nights, the worry and uncertainty.
Tomorrow Emmy will wake up and say “Where is dad? Where is Leo?” ... I will reply "hospital baby" and she thinks he has a “cough in his tummy”. I will avoid details and try make her morning normal and get myself ready to take over from Rod at the hospital so he can catch up on sleep or look after Emmy.
I will sit with him caged up in a hospital cot, eyes fixed on his SAT monitors, the beeps and alarms are programmed into my brain as they go off or waiting to hit the magic numbers and he taken off them.
This has been a glimpse into our 24hours last Monday...let’s hope the warmer months are kinder to our little guy, and thankfully tonight was just some nasal suction and home xxx