Feb 11, 2004

Friday’s weather – a wintery mix of cold rain, freezing rain, and more rain – was awful. The sky made little effort to brighten above a low dim. We have these days every winter. Sometimes they wait until March. A cold shower washes away the snow, now more slush than snowman. It’s Mother Nature’s way of rushing things along toward spring. Ignore this damp, bone chilling day. A thaw is on the way.

Still, it wasn’t the cold or the rain that left me shuddering on Friday. It was worry. On Wednesday, we found out that little Cambell had pneumonia and worry lines have peppered the faces of two first time parents ever since. Outside of a nasty little flu late last year, this was the first real illness we’ve encountered with our little one. Words like hospital don’t enter my vocabulary often. On Wednesday, it did.

It all started with a little cough Wednesday morning. Coughs aren’t usually something to worry about and we sent him to the babysitter. During the day it got worse. By the time my wife picked him up, he was wheezing. She went directly to the nighttime pediatrician. I came straight from work to join her.


Cam wasn’t well. His cough had worsened considerably. They ordered an X-ray and I accompanied him to radiology. What awaited me was a little unexpected; I had not thought through the entire process. It turns that they take it for granted that infants won’t exactly sit still for X-rays. Their solution to the problem involved a wooden seat not unlike the child seat we use to feed him dinner. The exception was two clear pieces of hardened plastic which held his body in place, with his arms high above his head. The technician spun him left and right in his medieval torture device as he let his displeasure be known. What was the worst part? The first set of pictures didn’t turn out. We had to do it twice. I don’t know who was more upset, him or I.

Cambell and I returned to my worried wife to wait for the doctor. He had pneumonia. The big question of the day was where we would be sleeping, home or at the hospital. Two other kids that night were already on their way to the hospital. It seems we weren’t the only one dealing with pneumonia. The doctor needed to see how he would respond to her treatments before we knew if those kids would have company.

Three nebulizer treatments followed. He fought us on the first one. He was upset for the second and he collapsed during the third. The effort exhausted him physically and us emotionally. I just kept worrying about resentment. He was in a strange place being forced into situations he was unfamiliar. No one explained this mask being pressed against his face. What was going on? The argument of being “for his own good” sounded hollow to me. Heck, the dentist is for my own good. That doesn’t make me excited to see him.

The doctor took her time deciding what to do with us. The fence was straddled. Eventually, home won out. He had responded to his treatments. I went to grab his prescriptions, one of which included a chamber used to administer inhaler treatments. I was home just before 1:00 am. There were lots of tired folks in the house that night.

On both Thursday and Friday, he returned to his regular pediatrician. On Thursday we were told to continue his medicine. On Friday, the inhaler was replaced by a nebulizer. This time we got to play the home version.

The weekend was filled with visits from the grandparents. Cambell improved over the weekend but his progress has been slow. He is still having nebulizer treatments every four hours but I have to say he’s been really good about them. We set up Bear and the Big Blue house and shove the steaming pipe in his face. He turns it on and watches the screen until we turn it off. When we do, he claps his hands and gets down from the couch. He doesn’t need anyone to tell him how good he is. I think he knows.

On Tuesday, we found out that the nebulizer treatments will continue for a little while but, for those who’ve asked he is getting better. He’s eating good, drinking good, and sleeping good. He’s got plenty of energy and he’ll even pose for a picture or two.

I’m quite proud of how good he’s been through all of this and thankful of all those folks who’ve expressed concern and well wishes for our little one. We’re hoping that we are on the back end of this thing. There’s nothing else that could make the rain go away any faster.

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One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Laura
    February 11th, 2004 at 11:38 am #

    WHOA! That’s really scary!!! Glad to hear the little guy’s doing better. Poor kid, inhalers aren’t fun. Take care of yourselves too. We’re thiking of you.

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