Friday, April 24, 2009

Dr. Google

From time to time, David and I, like most parents turn to Dr. Google for medical diagnoses. Ruthie started with a barking cough in the middle of the night on Saturday and a slight fever and got a little bit worse throughout Sunday. I diagnosed her with croup and since Dr. Google says that there is nothing the doctor can do since croup is a virus, we just kept using the home remedies they suggest. David stayed home from work with her on Monday and Esther went to school and me to work. David called around noon and said that Ruthie had hit the wall and was now acting lethargic and her fever had gone up. Screw you Dr. Google, I'm calling the REAL doctor. Through a series of phone calls and well executed persuaviness we went from appointments on Thursday afternoon to Tuesday morning. The nurse practitioner diagnosed Ruthie with asthma and maybe some sort of virus, but I have no doubt that it was croup. The little seal cough is a dead give-away.

She's on the mend: uses a nebulizer several times a day and is on antibiotics. Her fever is gone. I won't go into all the gory details, but suffice it to say, it was bad. Real bad. David has taken the entire week off from work, has held her throughout the night for several nights in a row. It brought out the best and the worst in David, Esther, and me. But the sight of my husband holding her on the couch at 3am while she finally sleeps or Esther rubbing Ruthie's back and offering her own beloved Pooh to help Sissy feel better...well, those are the memories that I will replay over and over so I never forget them. As I've said before, when I am an old, old lady I will pull out these moments like a string of pearls and hold them in my hands and move them through my fingers one by one and pass the time remembering them.

Throughout it all, I was grateful. I know people who know people who have had children die. And I was all too aware that all it took to make Ruthie better was the social/cultural capital to talk my way into an earlier appointment, a car to jump in and get there right away, some easily accessible antibiotics, and access to good insurance so that it was easy to say, yes, we'll buy the nebulizer and take it home. I knew that in a second not only could I call someone from the neighborhood to come and help, but I could also e-mail some bloggy friends, or call my sister, one of the Milk Moms, or my mom or Aunt Sandy to fly in and help. I have no shortage of resources. It doesn't mean that it wasn't still scary for us to listen and see Ruthie struggling to breathe, but come on. In the grand scheme, we were and are so very, very lucky.

Photos coming...


Rachel et Natalie said...

oh my dear Ellen (tears in my eyes)
poor Ruthie - so sorry you had to go through that. I am glad you are feeling
tks God for your parents who reacted quickly
take care
ps. big applause for the hubby. We sometimes say bad things about them but we know deep down that when we do need them they are there

ps. Rachel woke up with the same symptons Sat. night but the fever went away in the next few hours and the cough disappears in the next few days

Sandy said...

Even with all the friends and family you have as back up, there is no worse feeling in the world than feeling helpless when your child is sick! I am so glad to hear Dear Ruthie is feeling better! You and David make a good team.

The Lowe said...

Tears rolling down my face too thinking of poor Ruthie. So glad to hear she's on the mend.

Laurie said...

Oh Ellen, that must have been so scary. I'm so glad to hear that Ruthie is feeling better. What a great team you and Esther and David were to help each other this week.

Silvia said...

Oh Ellen - I hear you my dear friend.

What's with kids' heath this week? Matthew had such a bad ear infection in his right ear that his ear drum ruptured, his other ear is also infected, he has strep, and diarrhea with bits of blood (likely from the diaper rash, but tests are in progress to make sure). Renee had an appointment at Sick Kids (Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto) this week to get her bladder and kidneys tested to rule out any potential reflux. Everything thankfully is fine. Her kidneys look a bit small but she's small so likely ok, but we'll have to do an ultrasound again. The perspective that you get though being at a Kid's hospital is quite something. I count my blessings that all we had were 5 ped apts for Matthew in the last 10 days, and only 2 tests for Renee. Not like the baby with heart surgery who was spitting up green bile who is also a twin but with 3 other siblings - mom had tears in her eyes telling me she tried to nurse her twins like she did her older kids, but couldn't do the nursing of the healthy baby and pumping for the sick baby. I count my blessings, sickness and all.

(Samuel has a cold, Marc is also sick and so am I)

Mike said...

Amen, Ellen! I'm continuing to pray for the Thorp family! That sounds like quite an ordeal (understatement), but you are absolutely right about seeing the blessings through the worst of situations!

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