The unplanned adventures are the fun ones, right? Spontaneous, thrilling, adventure at its best.
Uh. Not always.
I’m really trying hard to give Cameron an adventure of some sort every weekend. It’s my idea of a gift to him, as those are the sorts of things that made a strong enough impression on me as a child that they stuck around as memories. I know that many of my friends’ memories do not really begin until well into school years, and I love that mine begin well before school at roughly the age Cameron is now. This may be partly to my own brain’s makeup, but also I am certain partly due to the family I grew up in.
This weekend’s first adventure was one of those spontaneous and unplanned ones. It’ll probably also stick in his memory long-term.
Cameron woke with a cough that started out of the blue on Friday night, just as I was getting set for bed. Then he inhaled, and ohgods, that sounded awful. I’ve been trying to think of a way to express that sound in text, but just can’t. Gasp, wheeze, groan, gurgle all at once, leading straight into coughing.
Asthma was my first thought, hearing that whistley wheeze. I got him out of bed, as he’d now woken up and was crying between the barking coughs and inhales. The puffer he has had only a mild effect. In around five minutes the wheezy whistle was calmer. Still, he was barking and gurgling, and his voice sounded low, raspy, and liquidy.
Here in BC we have “811”, which is the old Nurse’s Help Line revamped. I decided to call; Cameron was clearly having troubles breathing, but he was alert and interactive so I was not certain how to approach this. I sat on hold for a long time, but the nurse I spoke with quickly helped me to establish that no, this was not asthma. He had to sit up and lean forward to seem comfortable, he had to stop in the middle of a short sentence to breath, and his mouth was so swollen inside I had no hope of seeing the back of his throat. Call 911, she instructed.
The fire engine was the first to arrive – I assume they get called because they can get here the fastest, and a child having breathing difficulties needs quick attention. We met them outside, and set up on the veranda for them to assist. These were guys from the local hall, but either we haven’t been around often enough to know everyone lately, or these were all new guys. I didn’t recognize one of them. Maybe I was stressed? The ambulance arrived, and off we went. Cameron was a total trooper, by the way. Answered questions, took deep breaths when asked to, wore the oxygen mask with zero fuss. What was wrong? “There’s a snake in my throat,” he explained, rubbing there. “It wanted to eat the food in my tummy.”
By the time we got to the hospital, all traces of the asthma-y wheeze were gone (yay, ventolin), and Cameron didn’t seem in nearly as much distress. Still, he sounded horrible. Diagnosis was croup. I was pretty tired by this point and didn’t ask many questions. He got a dose of steroids to reduce the swelling over the next couple of days, and we headed home by taxi.
Quite the adventure, sure, but one I could do without. Cameron slept fine the rest of the night, even gave me an hour or so extra in the morning. Today he’s clearly got a cold, but that’s it. He does that awful sound a little when he coughs, but not as loudly or as long as last night. What can I say, steroids rock! He loves telling people that the fire truck and ambulance came to his house.
Here’s hoping tonight is uneventful. We’ve had enough adventure.