Friday, October 5, 2012

Why I almost called 911...

Last Friday was a scary night. A night I hope will never happen again...

Kapri couldn't breath.

She was wheezing, gasping for air...choking...almost to the point of throwing up. HOLY CRAP.

I had just put her to bed 2 hours before this nightmare took place. She had gotten sick for the 2nd time in 2 I'd hoped it would come & go as quick & painless as the last time. Boy was I wrong.

When I went to check on her after hearing her coughing, I soon realized that this was serious. I took her to the bathroom because it sounded like she may throw up...but as soon as I got her in there, it turned worse. Her body was SO hot and the wheezing grew louder and louder. So I threw her over my shoulder, patted her back... & yelled for her to breathe...

"breathe Kapri... BREATHEEEE!!"

I ran into her room with her in my arms, yelled for my sisters who thankfully were over (James was working late)... I set her on the floor and scrambled to get her nebulizer ready and pump this kid full of albuterol. My sisters came up, one with her phone ready to call 911 at any moment...they sat next to her & urged her to try & take a deep breath, after the other...but she was still gasping - that frightening sound is engraved in my brain.

We now have 2 different attachments to the nebulizer... a hard plastic piece that you have to hold in the mouth and a mask that covers the nose & mouth, secured around the head with elastic...

Fortunately we just got the mask from her doc, which seems more effective - as it pumps the meds into her lungs a lot quicker. Unfortunately, those pieces do not work together... each piece screws onto a little chamber piece, where you pour in the albuterol. So the one for the mask was on there already (which I didn't realize right away)...but I had reached for the plastic mouth wouldn't screw on.

I was beyond frantic by this point.

Hands were shaking. Eyes filled with tears. Body sweating. Heart racing. Trying desperately to stay calm & collected in front of Kapri as she continues to struggle getting air into her tight little lungs.

My mind is in a million different places. I can't figure this damn thing out. I know this...I can do this... but I'm so scared that I cannot think straight. I know we have an inhaler as well...but it's downstairs - and I can't say exactly where. So the last thing I want to do is leave Kapri and try to find it. Plus she hasn't gotten that down 100% yet....since you have to breath in at the exact same moment the air/meds pump out.

Finally I take a deep breath & somehow regain composure. I get the right pieces together, get it over her nose/mouth...but it won't turn on. GRRRR it's not plugged in. So I wiggle my arm around under her bed in search of the extension cord, plug it in, turn it on and hold her against my chest.

My mind goes to that part in the movie Signs, when they're in the basement and the son is having a gnarly asthma attack, and they don't have his meds...and Mel Gibson is holding him against his chest, telling the little boy to breath like him - in & out, in & out...oye. So exhausting and SCARY!!

My sisters let out a sigh of relief once we see that she's breathing somewhat normally again. I want to just cry - but this little girl of mine needs me to be strong. So I am. They leave shortly after, and it becomes quite clear that I cannot possibly sleep tonight, without knowing that she's breathing okay. The wheezing continues, and the cough doesn't sound good.

So my worried mamma heart erases the "we sleep in our own beds rule" and carries her into my bed for the night. She grabs her blankie, lambie and a book. I don't care at this point, I'll read her a thousand books tonight if it helps sooth her.

That night, James got home late and decided to sleep downstairs so we could *try* and sleep. Psh. Yeah right. Every toss, every turn, every shift, every breath - I checked on her. I swear I must've slept with one eye open the entire rest of the night.

Pure exhaustion all day Saturday.

Luckily James was home by her bedtime Sat. night...and I just HOPED that we wouldn't have a repeat of the night before.

Well - it wasn't a was worse! We were up with her, taking turns, about every hour. We HAD to put her on the nebulizer about every 2 hours... she was coughing sooooo much... such a difficult time breathing. This has to be traumatic for a child. It is for us!

Anyway...long story...well, loooong. But I am just so sad that she has to deal with this. It breaks my heart when she looks up at me with those glassy, sad eyes and says "mamma, I don't like being sick!" Ugh. So I tell her to just keep telling herself to get better... so she gently pats her chest/tummy and says "get better body, get better body",'s the cutest thing.

At least she's at the age now, where she fully understands the nebulizer & medicine it gives her. She sees that it helps her breathe. It's her lifeline. I honestly don't know how we'd get by without it!!! Which scares me to think how much we depend on it in times like this...only when she has a bad cold.

So I've been researching a lot... I already knew that children who get RSV as babies/young toddlers, have a greater chance of developing asthma, but this really sums it up:
"Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a virus that causes respiratory infections in adults and children. RSV can cause wheezing, particularly in children under 2 years of age, which can lead to hospitalization and even death in rare cases. This increase in airway sensitivity sometimes lingers long after the infection has been cleared. In a study that followed 1,300 children from birth, children with severe RSV infection were more likely to have asthma symptoms until 6 years of age. There seems to be a correlation between severity of infection, history of allergies in the child or parent, and the chance of having airway sensitivity that mimics asthma."
I also just read about "bronchoconstriction" - which appears to be exactly what happens to K:
"The bronchioles or tubes that air flows into and out of the lungs are surrounded by a type of muscle called smooth muscle. In asthmatics, these muscles often squeeze tighter in reaction to certain triggers and the inflammation associated with worsening asthma. As the bronchioles narrow, blocking airflow and making it harder to breathe, you may develop other symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath."
But then I just read about a 'preventative' type of drug called "Palivizumab" - which I may bring up to her pediatrician next time around, to see if that's a good/safe option or not.

Every moment that K is healthy & sleeps calmly/quietly through the night - I am beyond grateful & don't take any instance for granted. All we can do is HOPE that her lungs get stronger year after year... and that she doesn't have to worry about asthma for the rest of her life.


  1. This post scared me! I felt for you as you were rushing to put together the crazy breathing contraption and so glad you kept your cool and did it! So sorry for the little bug, but I'm glad you ALL powered through that rough night. Hang in there Kapri (and Mama!)

    1. ugh, tell me about it....super scary!! hopefully you don't have to go through this with Miles in the future - it is awful.


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