That helpless feeling

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Our “vacation” down here in semi-sunny Florida has really started off with a bang.  I thought my son sounded like he was getting a little congested on the flight on the way down.  By the next afternoon, we brought him to a pediatric urgent care clinic near my in-laws’ house.

[As a small digression, this was an entirely new experience for me. I don’t know of any urgent care clinics near us in Massachusetts. Our pediatrician’s office has a rotating on-call schedule, and if no one’s on call, then you go to the ER.  This was a brightly colored office, staffed every day until 11PM, in the middle of a strip mall.  Unexpected setting, but pretty good care and child-friendly with TVs playing movies and Dora in each exam room.]

Anyways, the doctor decided it was croup and gave my son some oral steroids and a nebulizer treatment to help clear the airways.  Hard both physically and emotionally to hold a mask over the face of a sick, unhappy toddler.  Though, I must say, having only the one child with me did somehow seem to tap into greater patience reserves…  Treatments went fine, we were sent home with instructions to keep on the Motrin to keep the fever at bay, and just wait it out.

On the plus side, my sweet son might be the most well-tempered sick kid you’ve ever come across. While he clearly isn’t feeling 100%, he’s still smiling and playing and very much enjoyed our trip to the zoo today.  But the cough and the wheezing seemed a bit worse today (and his sister is now starting), and there’s nothing quite so sad as not being able to do a darn thing about it.

Tonight, after he went to bed, it continued to get worse.  He has slept well the last couple of nights, save for a cough here and there, but tonight he’s been a wreck.  My husband went in to get him, and after listening to the poor thing wheeze, has decided to take him back to Urgent Care, maybe for another breathing treatment.

And so, here I sit.  At my in-laws’ house, cell phone by my side. Clearly, one of us had to stay and listen for our daughter, in case she has a rough night, too. (So far, so good.)  I’m sure he’ll be OK, but right now I’m helpless. My sweet boy, who carries a big chunk of my heart outside my chest wherever he is, feels rotten and I can’t kiss it and make it all better.

I know, this isn’t a particularly twin-specific post. I have no advice to give, or questions to ask.  But we’re all moms. We all wish we could take away our kids’ illnesses, pain, or sadness and make it all better with our super-special mommy dust.  And it sucks when we can’t.

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8 thoughts on “That helpless feeling”

  1. When we had croup, my parents would sit with us in the bathroom with a hot shower running — the humidity made it easier to breathe. Might be worth a shot to alleviate things until you can get back to the clinic.

  2. Oh, I’m so sorry. We’ve dealt with croup and bronchiolitis and ended up buying our own nebulizer. A humidifer is a great suggestion; since we got ours, breathing problems have almost disappeared from our schedule.

    I don’t know if this will come across as comforting or annoying, but here goes … I’d much rather have kids who fight the nebulizer than ones who are so accustomed to using it that they can explain to their classmates why they need to use it during school. Our pedi found us dinosaur masks, which made the whole experience much more fun.

  3. We have urgent care clinics in NC and they are a godsend. No dealing with yucky ER germs and super long waits. My thoughts are with you! As a seasoned day care mom, we’ve had our fair share of illnesses that required both urgent care and ER visits. It’s never easy. Keep us posted!

  4. We are going through this same thing right now. Cullen was in the doctor’s office last week having breathing treatments, taking steroids and now is on a daily Singulair (which he doesn’t mind taking because apparently it is yummy). And they are both still coughing. The doctor told us that they will probably cough for a while so we just have to wait it out. It totally sucks. It is so hard not being able to fix them and to see them struggling with the coughing and not being able to sleep. It is great that Daniel is still good natured and enjoying the trip. Hope both of your kiddos feel better soon!

  5. Oh, I hope your little man feels better soon!

    Aren’t urgent care clinics amazing? My family lives in Oregon, and they are everywhere out there. Sadly, I think the reason might be that fewer people in OR (and the rest of the US) are insured than in MA, and for those folks, Urgent Care becomes their PCP.

  6. I’ve never been to an urgent care but have made WAY too many trips to the ER in the middle of the night with Maddie. She was diagnosed with asthma last summer and now every time the two of them bring something home from daycare Chloe is sick for a few days with no real problems and poor Maddie ends up in the ER. She was actually admitted last summer. I just about lost my mind. I can never stay home. I always make J stay home. I know I would be a total basket case if I wasn’t the one to go. BUT thankfully she’s on Singulair now and we haven’t had any episodes that her “treatment” won’t fix. We don’t have a neb – just a spacer with albuterol. She’s a pro – and I hate that – but it makes for an easier time b/c she’s cooperative.

    A side note…our last ER trip was BAD and there was talk of admitting her to the PICU. But she had two back to back neb treatments and steroids and when the doc took her dino mask off she looked up at the doctor and said “Thank you. I feel so better.” The doc, me and the nurse burst into tears.

    I totally know your pain and you wish you could take it all away to make them comfortable. hopefully they both don’t get it and they are on the mend soon. BTW – I second the hot steam in the bathroom – that always worked when we had croup.

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