Last night just as I was drifting off to sleep I heard it. That sound. The one that makes me brace myself. That deep bark cough and the wheeze that follows. It was coming from the room next door and it can only mean one thing. Lij can't breathe.
By the time I got to his room and turned on the light he was already throwing off the covers and in a panic and was shaking from the adrenaline already. The last year as he has gotten older and more aware the shakes have come making calming him down ever harder. The more he panics the harder it is to breathe.
I took him by the hand and we rushed back to my bathroom to get the nebulizer and supplies. He was in more distress than normal so we ran downstairs to run the machine in the family room away from everyone hoping they would all keep sleeping.
The albuterol wasn't doing the trick as well as it normally does. He looked up at me part of the way through the medicine and said, "Oh, I hate it when this happens." Me too, buddy. Me too.
After breathing in the medicine, he was still having difficulty. We grabbed his slippers and blanket and I decided to drive him over to hospital. The night air helps a lot and I figured if he was better when we got there we would just come home. But if not, we would be close to help if we needed it. In a panic I left without telling Steve hoping he was still asleep.
When we got there I had him climb out of his seat and come sit up with me. He was still struggling some though his nail beds were pink and so were his lips so I knew he was getting enough oxygen. I moved my seat back, wrapped him in his blanket and we snuggled while we both prayed. It's pretty moving listening to a five year thank God that he can breathe again and asking for healing.
His breathing started to return to normal as he relaxed. He still had the wheezy, barky sound some but was no longer in distress and just wanted to sleep. Just as we left the hospital parking lot Steve called to check on him and see where we were at. This has happened before and we have driven around so he had an idea but I filled him in on the way home. It was nice to be greeted by him when we got home. It's a tad stressful watching your child struggle for every breath and be helpless to do anything and seeing Steve was very comforting.
One side affect of the albuterol, however, is it makes your heart race. Once the meds fully kick in our little boy gets a bit of a second wind. He starts to talk really loud and move like crazy. We knew it would take a bit for him to settle so Steve went back to bed and I stayed downstairs with Lij and watched old Woody Woodpecker cartoons while the meds wore off. Fortunately for me it didn't take long for him to get tired. I'm not a big cartoon fan but at that point I was willing to give him just about anything he wanted.
I am grateful we were able to manage the attack without intervention but I really wish I could kick asthma to the curb and yell "And stay out!"