Thursday night on April 8th started out like any other Thursday night before it. We got home from daycare, fed PK her dinner, and got her ready for bed with bath time and story time. PK had a bit of a runny nose going to bed, which we attributed to the latest bug making it's rounds at the daycare. At around 1am, we heard crying over the monitor. I went up to check on PK, only to find her in a panic, gasping for air. I called down to the hubby who rushed up the stairs. We sat there trying to calm PK down. She drank some water and was seeming a bit better. She still sounded like she had trouble breathing, so we decided to take her to the Sick Kids ER.
The drive down to the hospital was eerie. It reminded me a bit of the night I was in labor. I rode in the back with PK, holding her hand the entire time. She actually seemed okay overall, thou still a bit confused and shaken up. As we rushed to the hospital, we passed a cop with a radar gun. The hubby was around 20 over, but he didn't get pulled over. My guess is that the cop probably saw PK in the backseat and figured that we must've been in a hurry for a reason. That was a close one.
When we got to the hospital, I brought PK in while the hubby parked the car. We were seen by a triage nurse not shortly after we arrived, and it was determined that PK had croup. It's a viral infection and will therefore go away on it's own. However, the nurse decided to give PK a dose of steroids to shrink down the swelling in her trachea. Unfortunately, we still needed to see a doctor to confirm all of this, so we had to sit in the waiting room.
I think that we wound up sitting there for about 3 hours before we were called in. In the meantime, PK befriended a little girl named Monica, who was about her age. Monica really fascinated PK, who has always enjoyed the company of older kids. She flat-out refused to sleep during that time, much to our dismay. Out of desperation, I let PK watch a few videos on my phone. The hubby also bought PK a bagel with cheese from Tim Horton's, the only food place open at the hospital at that hour. PK devoured her sandwich and kept running around all over the place.
Finally, they called her name. We were told that it would be a bit before we actually got seen. But it didn't matter, to us. At least we were out of the waiting room and into a more private area. There was a bed, a reclining chair, and a sliding glass door. Some privacy. While we waited, I distracted PK by letting her watch Shrek on my phone. PK loooooooooooves Shrek. She was content. You'd never guess that she was sick, which is probably a good thing. About 20 minutes later, a nurse showed up and took some vitals, and PK's history. A little while after that, she came back with a dose of steroids for PK to take. Fortunately, the meds were oral, and tasted sugary. PK was all over that. The nurse said that they were going to keep us at the hospital for a while, to ensure that the steroids took effect (takes a few hours). After that, PK was finally starting to cave in to fatigue, and wound up falling asleep on the bed. The hubby fell asleep beside her, and I took the reclining chair. In hindsight, I wished that I'd taken the bed.
PK had a good rest, and at about 8:30am, the nurse came back to check on PK. PK definitely seemed better. There was no more evidence of her having difficulty breathing. The meds had finally taken effect. The doctor came an hour later, to make sure she was fine. He was really nice. I love how at Sick Kids, the doctors go by first names. His name was Doctor Anthony. PK loved being examined by his stethoscope, and she was totally showing off for him. We were tired as hell, after only 4 hours of restless sleep. Dr. Anthony left to consult with his attending physician (I guess this guy was a resident), and when he came back, gave us the go-ahead to leave.
We didn't make it home until around 10:30am. We were pooped and hungry. We had some breakfast in the living room while PK watched more Shrek. I didn't care that PK had watched so much TV over the course of the night/morning. We were pooped. We were more than pooped. We were zombies. But none of that mattered, by cause PK was okay.
Taking PK to the hospital that night was perhaps the scariest moment of my life. Seeing PK having such difficulty breathing, and not knowing what to do about it was both heart-wrenching and terrifying. Fortunately, we at least know what to do now, should this ever happen to PK again (knock on wood that it doesn't). At the hospital, we were told to either run a hot bath, or open up the window to let in cold air (obviously only applicable to winter/fall/early spring). Either one of these helps to open up the trachea. They also said that if we saw no improvement after 15 minutes, to bring her back to the hospital.
We were told that the effect of the steroids lasted 24 hours, and that after that, 90% of croup cases saw no return of the difficult breathing. Still, we were terrified when PK went to bed that first night. We ran up to her room over the slightest sound. I went to bed late on purpose that night, even though I was absolutely exhausted (even after a 2-hour pass-out nap), to make sure that I could keep checking in on her. We even set the alarm to wake up in the middle of the night to check on her. Fortunately, PK had spent a restful night. The next morning, she was up to her usual antics. For once, I was happy to see her zipping about, causing a ruckus.