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Asthma in Toddlers, How To Cope

Antonio was diagnosed with asthma about a year ago. We had two-three episodes where he had to be hospitalized for a few days. We had to put him on an inhaler for a long time, and we started to wean him off of it because he was doing better overall and got through some of the sick seasons without issues.

We were doing fine, alright. We went about five months off of Antonio’s inhaler when we had an episode. He was starting to get sick on and off but was acting normal. You know how sometimes being sick is crazy and unpredictable. Well, I picked him up from school, and he had a cough, the cough was worse than the day before. We went home, and usually, he takes a nap on the way home. This time he took a nap, but it was short. He woke up as soon as we got home and he was coughing horribly (almost like a choking cough) and couldn’t go back to sleep.

My husband was away for the day and wasn’t going to be home for a little while, so it was up to me to do this on my own. We came inside and tried to do activities, but he just seemed SOO tired and out of it. He started to cough more; the cough at this time was a dry cough. He didn’t have much of an appetite (which is SO unusual for him). By the end of the night, his cough worsened, and he was coughing up gunk. I started to give him his emergency inhaler, cough syrup, Tylenol, and even Claritin. He has horrible allergies and sinuses just like me.

I was worried about him going to bed; I just had a feeling. When your child coughs like that, you constantly worry if they are going to choke or stop breathing. He kept trying to fall asleep but waking up due to his cough. It was a LONG NIGHT. I brought him into my bed because he couldn’t fall asleep, and I wanted to monitor him. I thought I could get some sleep monitoring him. All that said, I started to worry more. He was wheezing and gasping for air. I was on the phone with my dad, and he said “Susie, what do you think? Don’t you think his breathing is kinda bad?” I said yeah, but no one wanted to believe me. I knew he was off and it started hours ago, but I couldn’t prevent it from happening.

It’s one of those things where it has to take its course. SO, I didn’t even think twice, hopped in the car, and took him to the ER. We were in the ER for about 4 hours (till 3 AM!). The staff did a lot of breathing treatments (with a nebulizer) and then gave him some breathing steroids. It was a LONG LONG LONG LONG LONG NIGHT. I don’t even know how we stayed up that late.

Finally, they said, “You need to go to Akron Children’s Hospital and get admitted for the night.” I tried talking myself and them out of it mainly because I wanted to sleep. I said okay let’s just go. They put him in an ambulance while I ran home to get an overnight bag and let the dogs out (again, my husband was gone, so I was the caretaker).

Once I arrived, I was panicked. I didn’t know where my son was, the hospital was all locked up (which is good), but I literally couldn’t get in or find my son!!! It was so quiet and dead during the 4 am rush. I was worried… Is my son here? Is he sleeping? Did he throw tantrums? Did he scream the whole way? What was really going on? I just want to sleep. My hands are full. All these thoughts running through my mind.

I finally got to his room and let out a sigh of relief. He was SOUND ASLEEP. The ambulance ride put him right to sleep. I was so worried that he would need me, or be scared, but he wasn’t!  The nurses said he was a champ. I won’t get into too much detail about asthma because it is complicated. I crashed hard for the night and relaxed finally knowing that my son was in good hands and recovering.

They kept giving tons of treatments through out the night. People kept coming in and getting vitals. The saying is you won’t get any sleep while you are in the hospital. I felt this. I woke up next morning, knowing that we could go home soon. BUT, he wasn’t passing his tests for breathing.. I thought he was fine, but it was better safe than sorry. It was better to leave it to the professionals…

We had to stay ANOTHER NIGHT. There were lots of things happening, and, again, I won’t get into much detail. But, I realized that Akron Children’s Hospital took incredible care of us.

Here are the elements I liked the most about our stay at Akron Children’s Hospital:

  • The food…

Hospital food isn’t horrible. We were able to order food up to our room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had access to the kitchen on the floor so that we could get other food at any time as well as drinks. There were so many options to choose from for food! It even had healthy and heart recipes noted on their menu.

  • The people…

The people were the NICEST and answered all of my questions. This instance wasn’t his first time for admittance, but I still needed my nerves to be calmed, so I kept asking questions. Talking to people calm me down and I needed this at that moment in time.

  • The overall feeling…

I felt safe, secure, and on top of the world. The hospital isn’t meant to be fun by any means, but I honestly can say that we were taken care of and had the best two days there considering. I left the facility knowing that my son was well-provided for, and they REALLY did care.

All in all, here is something that I took away from this horrible visit:

Always follow your gut and motherly instinct. I second guessed myself and tried to explain it to my husband and parents; they didn’t understand because they weren’t there. I kept talking myself out of going to the hospital, but I needed to go.I knew I needed to, but kept trying to talk myself out it. I was so glad that I was able to take him to the ER.
antonio asthama


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