Well, it finally happened. We made it almost a whole year without needing to, but yesterday we had to take the Littlest Brewster in to urgent care.
Friday morning she woke up kinda junky, with a bit of cough. But it was nothing big.
Then Saturday morning she was definitely raspier, with a harsh barking kind of note. Being a nurse (and therefore, a know-it-all), I diagnosed her as having a mild case of croup based on the barking sound. Still, not a huge deal – keep an eye on it, plenty of fluids, warm moist air, take her in if she develops retractions or blue-tinged lips.
She was obviously not feeling well and running a little bit of temp, so around 1 pm she got a dose of Tylenol and went down for a nap. She was up by 3:30 and had a snack and seemed to be holding steady.
But then we went outside to play and she started breathing a lot faster. And grunting when she was doing it. And I could see her poor little abdominal muscles working overtime when she was breathing. So I scooped her up and shoved her in the car and off we went to the nearest urgent care center.
Who, despite the fact that their door said they were open until 4:45 (it was 4:30), was friggin’ closed. The absolutely enormous woman who “worked” there and responded to my frantic pounding on the door and vigorous gesticulating at their posted hours told me that they had changed their hours – starting that day – to close at 4. And no, she did not know where I could go next.
Luckily, the DreadBrewer came to the rescue and looked up another urgent care center about 3 miles down the road and, joy of joys, they were open. And a hell of a lot nicer than super fat lady.
The doctor, who was awesome, said that LB does not have croup; she had WURI (Wheezing with Upper Respiratory Infection) – which is basically like asthma caused by a viral illness. So we’ll treat it with steroids and nebulizer treatments, just like asthma, and give the Littlest Brewster time to get over the virus bit on her own. She had to get a chest x-ray and her first nebulizer treatment while at the office. And let me tell you – holding my hysterical, so-mad-she’s-purple, kicking and screaming baby in that tube for a chest x-ray and then having to pin her arms and legs and hold a mask over her face for a 10-minute breathing treatment has to be one of the most harrowing and awful experiences of my life. And I’m pretty sure the Littlest Brewster thought it sucked, too.
This is the device they use to get a chest x ray (and no, LB did not look nearly as happy as this little guy):
After we got the diagnosis, I was informed that we would need to give LB neb treatments every four hours, around the clock, until she wasn’t coughing or raspy. So we are now the proud owners of our very own home nebulizer machine. And all I can say is Thank God for health insurance because I know that crap is horribly expensive without it. The RN told us our meds would be waiting for us at our pharmacy and that LB’s next treatment was due at 9:30. We headed out the door to get our meds and go home (it was now 6:15 or so).
When we got to pharmacy, it was friggin’ closed. Yep, no medicine for LB. I seriously almost started to cry in the middle of Rite Aid. Not knowing what to do, I drove home and called our pediatrician, hoping that the on-call doctor would phone in a night’s supply to a 24-hour pharmacy to carry us through until 10:00 when Rite Aid opened this morning.
Yeah right. That asshole wouldn’t do it. First off, he wouldn’t even talk to us but made the triage nurse run interference. Then he gave us some crap about it being illegal for him to prescribe medicine for LB. And basically told us we were shit out of luck for the night. And charged us $15 for the privilege of calling the after hours line. (It will be a cold day in hell before we pay that bill.) At this point, I did cry, somewhat hysterically, for quite a while. I kept thinking about how this is how parents who can’t afford doctors or medicine must feel when their kids are sick – so frustrated and angry and helpless.
Our only options were: A) take LB to the ER and get them to prescribe us the meds or B) watchful waiting overnight until the pharmacy opened this morning. Since she was finally sleeping – and sleeping hard – we went with option B. We used the monitor overnight for the first time ever. I must have woken up 20 times last night. It was an anxious night.
But this morning, she’s okay. She doesn’t have a fever anymore, although she’s still got the harsh breathing with the grunting, especially when she gets excited. Hopefully a few treatments and some steroids will clear it right up and she’ll be her usual self in no time. We gave her her first home treatment not too long ago – it’s not pretty and it makes her cough a lot, which is a good thing according to Dr. Google.
I got her a new “toy” at Rite Aid as a treat for being such a good girl – a Christmas tin! She’s been dragging it around and whacking things with it quite happily, so we’re pretty sure she likes it.
All in all, the situation could have turned out a lot worse than it did. Thank God we found an open urgent care and thank God they were nice, competent medical professionals. Thank God she made it through the night okay and that we were able to get her medicine this morning. And thank God that we have jobs that give us health insurance, so that we didn’t have to chose between a nebulizer machine/medicine/doctor visit and something else, like food or rent.
Now off to play with the Littlest Brewster, who is bouncing off the walls from the combination of steroids and albuterol. At least she’s happy when she’s hyper.