It happened again. This time because of the fear of the flu. And of course, It has to be the worst flu in like forever. It’s always the struggle of knowing when to go to the hospital and when not to. You don’t want to go to soon and jump the gun, but you also don’t wanna go to late and then end up in the PICU for five days, which has happened to us, so we know. We’ve kind of come up with a set of things we look for to know whether or not it’s hospital time or wait it out time.
The first thing we do is we always watch his breathing; we’ve learned to kind of tell what belly breathing looks like, and what retractions are, or if he’s using his shoulders to pull his breathing. Sometimes I find myself watching, and I just think he looks like he’s breathing normally. And then I have to remember we usually don’t see his whole stomach move when he breathes. I’ve taken video when he’s really bad to help me remember what it looks like when I need to go to the hospital. So the first thing we do is watch the breathing.
The second thing we do is we count his respirations per minute. If he’s breathing really fast it’s a sign he is having to work too hard. Counting reparations is an easy thing to do. We usually count to 10 and see how many times then multiply it by six or sometimes do 30 seconds and count them. The general thought is 20-30 is normal. If they are sick 35 makes sense. Once you start getting past that number that’s concerning, especially when coupled with other symptoms like a cough and belly breathing.
The third thing we do, and you have to take it to degrees out because this is the reason we went to the hospital last night and it turned out to not be accurate, is we have a pulse oxygen reader at home that we try to measure his O2 levels and his respirations per minute. So anything 90 and below is worrisome; they don’t even really like you to get below 96-ish so we have a thing on his finger we watch it and try to get the best read we can but his fingers are small. This last time I got a reading of 90, and with the flu exposure, the on-call pulmonologist said to come in.
So we wake him up, grab our “go bag” and head to Lucile-Packard Stanford’s children’s hospital. Luckily the doctor called ahead for us. So they knew we were coming. We didn’t have to wait which sucks when you’re in a pediatric hospital but have to wait with the adult patients. We were seen really quickly and put in our own room, which was also really nice because that meaning process and waiting to decide if they’re going to actually admit you or not can take hours so sometimes it’s really hard sharing a room when you have a toddler and there are other sick kids. But we got our own room, thank you thank you, and he got to watch Curious George while they checked him out.
Of course, Moms o2 reader didn’t read right and his oxygenation was 100. Which means we didn’t really need to go. However, we did get the rapid flu response, and he does have the flu, so we were able to start Tamiflu which I think is a really good thing. If there is anything that can potentially help him fight the flu and avoid pneumonia, I am on board. I know there are side effects to Tamiflu and some DR aren’t gun-hoe about it, but I will take GI issues over lung most days. He also got a dose of steroids called Decadron which they give him when he goes to the hospital but aren’t going to admit him.
Asthma is a really tricky bitch (pardon my french, but man she makes me mad) because it seems so calm and it something we hear and talk about all the time, but it changes so quickly and is so scary with little ones like Dean. I have so much more to say on this topic, but I wanted to get this latest experience down while it was fresh in my head.
Here is a printable PDF to help decide when to take your little one to the hospital for respiratory distress.
What happens when you are using voice text: He’s at the grocery store sweetheart yeah he’ll be home soon you wanna watch more dinosaurs you want to read a book look at all these toys come here sweetness