We have an official diagnosis of asthma, for Sophie:(
Friday late morning she developed a cough and a runny nose. Runny is actually an understatement. I could not keep it wiped, and when she sneezed, well it was everywhere. I assumed she was getting sick. Makes sense, right?
It got worse as the day progressed, and Fri night was torture trying to get her to sleep. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about the night before her first hospital admission, and how I'd stayed up with her all night. It did occur to me this could be another episode of "whatever that was" but because there was SO much congestion in her nose, I ruled it out. She was coughing, but not much.
Saturday morning we woke up around 8 (Sophie in bed with us), and discovered that she has started the belly breathing and had some retrations in her neck area. Dan made the call to give her Albuteral, but we couldn't find her Asthma Action Plan they had given us when we were discharged the first time. I assumed it was in a box that we had yet unpacked, just a single piece of paper. Dan dug and dug and found it, thankfully.
At that point, she was somewhere in the middle of the yellow and red zones. According to that plan, we were able to give her 4 puffs of Albuteral in an hour. So we gave her a 2nd dose, and then waited 30 minutes. No improvement (but no worse), so we gave her a 3rd and 4th dose. We both decided on the ER at pretty much the same time, but neither of us really felt it was all that urgent. She was lethargic yes, but her breathing wasn't horrible. Honestly, I don't know what the hell we were waiting on...she needed to go.
I got in the shower, knowing that an ER trip would most likely last all day. I'm uncomfortable enough as it is, so at least wanted to be clean, lol. As soon as I turned the water off, Dan is yelling "we need to go to the ER NOW." I walked into our bedroom, where she is lying on the bed, breathing very clearly worse than when I got in the shower.
Long story short...They did a 5 minute Albuteral treatment (via nebulizer) as soon as we got there. It helped, but her respirations were still high and it was clear she was having trouble breathing. They did a chest X ray to rule out pneumonia (negative) and did the nasal swab to test for viruses (normal). She got a dose of prednisone also. Finally, the did a 20 minute Albuteral treatment, and decided to admit her. The treatment improved things, but she was still having trouble. And, the ER docs were definately playing it safe after her quick downward spiral last time, that landed her in the PICU.
She got started on Albuteral treatments every 2 hours, then weaned to every 3, and then every 4. Their protocol is that she has to respond well to two every 4 hour treatments to be a candidate for discharge. Luckily, she got there quite quickly, and we were sent home Sunday afternoon.
Our pedi's partner came to visit on Sunday morning. I asked if it was asthma, and she said yes. She said it's almost impossible to dx asthma after one occurance, but now that we've had two, and she presented very similarly both times (and responded to the same treatment both times), then yes it was asthma. She asked if there'd been any triggers lately and neither of us could think of any. That's the scary part.
We were sent home with 3 days of prednisone (let me tell you how fun THAT is!), albuteral via inhaler every 4 hours for 7 days, and she's back on the Flovent that she had previously been weaned from, 2 puffs in the AM and PM.
Luckily, despite all the stress...I was able to stay with her, and got almost complete bedrest while we were there.