Today is day two out of probably (hopefully only) three that Brady P. is home from school. Sick. With a cold.
How do I know it's just a cold?
Because I took him to see a medical professional yesterday. After new parent trial and error, most parents don't take their kids in to the doctor when they think it's just a cold. There's really nothing to do except keep them comfortable, keep them away from others and push the fluids.
But "just a cold" does not mean what it means for most kids what it means for Brady P.
Monday night was another one of those scary nights. I almost called 911. Several times. But once I got little man calmed down enough, he could breathe better. Yes, he was breathing. That's vital.
Living 45 minutes to an hour away from an emergency room is a bit daunting when you wonder if your child is going to keep breathing through the night. However, this isn't our first (or second or third or forth, etc.) time dealing with this.
With a little memory prodding from my mother the nurse, it finally clicked with me just what is going on with Brady P's breathing.
Please note that most kids with Down syndrome often have a thing or two or three that their parents have to deal with as extra medical conditions.
The two big ones we have dealt with Braeden are mostly resolved. They continue to be on watch each year or two.
But now I have finally realized that this is Braeden's extra medical fret.
Not only is his entire body smaller than an average child his age (less than 1% on the growth chart), but so are most things inside him -- his airway being no exception.
So take his extremely small airway and shove a ventilator tube down it for two different surgeries before he was one year old. Each time after the tube was removed, he had excess inflammation and gobs of mucus build-up. I would bet there's a bit of scar tissue from all of that as well.
These days, even now that he's five, when he gets "just a cold," there is one night of no sleep, calming him down between gasps of air, wondering if I should call 911 and all the small child vocal expressions that go with it.
One night of that is one too many, thank you very much. Here's where I finally got wise.
Little Brady P. needs special medical treatment at home during that time. The albuterol nebulizer doesn't quite seem to cut it, so I went to see the doctor yesterday to get him a three day supply of prednisolone, a steroid that helps keep his airway open. As my mom always said during these times, "You don't mess around with a little person's airway."
She's absolutely right.
I am going to hopefully get him an inhaler of some sort for the next time (and the next and the next) this happens, so I don't have to worry about calling 911 that first night. Or strapping him into his carseat and navigating the winter roads at 2 in the morning myself. Cuz the latter is a pretty bad idea for many reasons.
Hopefully, we've got it figured out!
So, that's what we're dealing with during each cold. And let me tell you, school is amazing in most ways, but pretty brutal in this way. Before we were just usually quarantined in our little house.
But this is life, and here we go.
We are making the best of it.
Here is him posing in front of the Dino puzzle we finished today.
Well, here's to your health and wellness! Be prepared, my friend!