A first I would have preferred not to have experienced
This week marked the first time I had to take one of my children to emergency because they were so sick.
In six years I’ve managed to avoid midnight panics and high fevers and the stress that comes with it.
On Tuesday night, after keeping my son home for the day from school (mostly to cuddle, he had some symptoms of a cold, but it seemed like a good time to take a break), he woke with a cough that was worse than anything I’d heard.
We knew almost right away it was croup. Even without dealing with it before the tell tale ‘seal-bark’ sign was there. It was one thing for him to wake up coughing, it was another to watch as he panicked himself, was so fearful, in pain, and began to have laboured breathing.
We didn’t wait very long to get him in the van and off to CHEO. The drive from home is about 20-25 minutes (at 10:15 pm there is little traffic) so that was a relief.
He was admitted right away, got into a room right away, was given necessary medicine and a mask to help him breath right away.
I barely had time to text Andy that we were even in the room before everything was being taken care of.
We waited there until just after 1:40 am when he was cleared to go. He sounded much better, was breathing calmly and by that time we even caught a few minutes of a nap.
He was clearly scared by the experience. We kept him home of course on Wednesday from school (although by now you’d barely know he even had a cold) and Andy took the day to help out since we were all baked. But Wednesday night when it was time for bed, he started to cry, fearing that the episode would happen again.
Meanwhile, as he recovers, I’m not sure how Andy and I ever will. Those few seconds, minutes of fear that something seriously wrong was happening were terrifying. The moments in which we made the decision to take him in for help were calm and decisive, but deep down we ached.
I am so grateful to have CHEO in our city to help in those situations. We were lucky, croup is dealt with by many families all the time and he was in good shape otherwise. But those feelings of fear and doubt and worry will always be with me.
There are some parenting firsts that don’t have the same memory ‘glow’ that others do.
ps: coincidentally I am one of the bloggers for the new CHEO Moms and Dads blog. In all honesty, I was drafting a post for them that very night all of this happened! You can read many parents blogging about parenthood on the site.
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