The past few days have somewhat reminded me of when Charles was new, holding him long hours of the day, burning through library books, worrying over his every sigh. The differences lie in the sensations, the actions, the muscle aches (though there were plenty back then, too).
Instead of checking for infant breaths with a jolt of adrenaline when I realized that I had drifted to space or whatever, now Charles’ breathing is so fast and raspy as to dominate thought. Instead of the faintly sour odor of baby vomit, I have been the recipient of the foul-smelling barf of a 1.25-year-old when he coughs so hard his gag reflex kicks in. And the poop. Oh, Lord, I won’t even go there. But I think you know.
Too, the past 96 hours have mimicked the roller coaster of emotions from my early days of motherhood, only now, instead of dealing with hormone fallout and a new baby, my child is strong enough to exert his will, to wriggle out of my arms and writhe in pain on the floor, to bang his forehead into mine in agony, and to cause me no end of stress and exhaustion, not to mention anxiety.
We went to the ER on Saturday, a product of a prolonged, elevated temperature and the aforementioned floor writhing, during which I helplessly called Tony and explained that “something” wasn’t right and he needed to come home from work right now. The doctors don’t know what the writhing was, but the rest of it, the dripping-faucet nose, the diarrhea, the ear infections, the cough, the temp, the 90-mile-an-hour breathing, was all related to RSV, a respiratory virus assaulting Charles’ 15-month-old lungs. Were he any smaller, he probably would’ve been admitted right away and put on oxygen, but as he is no small baby, he was given chest x-rays (clear), a popsicle, and a ticket home. I was given instructions to bring him back in if it got “worse.”
What is worse when your baby is retracting, wheezing, crying (when he has the energy, which is not often), and clinging for dear life to you? I flipped my junk over this all night long, I even called the doctor on call, ultimately deciding that he hadn’t gotten worse, but not better either. Same for all day yesterday, which Charles and I spent between the couch (when he was sleeping) and standing up and rocking (because that seemed to be the ONLY way he wanted to be held). Remarkably, he has slept well overnight the past week, no small blessing.
Today he was put on Albuterol and Prednisone as his O2 saturation had dipped slightly (but not dangerously). He proceeded to sleep until about 3:30 pm, at which point he could not be kept happy, calm, or even marginally content unless I stood and held him. He has been drinking enough water, which is awesome, and another worry to strike from my list, and he finally perked up a bit at dinner and ate something. Miracle!
He’s sleeping now.
Yesterday, when Tony came home, I went for a run to clear my head. Tony has already gone back to work, barely home an hour, so I guess I’ll do a workout video and eat some chocolate. I *think* Charles is doing a bit better, but we’ll know more at the doc’s tomorrow. Nevertheless, I have cancelled my plans for the week.