No words can ever express what this picture means to me. She’s so precious to me. And, I am absolutely in love with everything about her.
This last couple days have been trying. Miss Punky has what the doctors are calling “Chronic Cough” which for the record, infuriates me to no end.
Get ready, this is a long ass story….
In December, I took her to the doctor for some coughing issues that were pretty persistent. They said she likely had something viral, gave her a breathing treatment and that’s when we adopted Sammy the Seal.
In the beginning, as I have talked about before, Sammy was not the most well received new member of our family. In fact, Miss Punky decided, he needed to go! She was having none of it. Which put her Mommy on edge.
We finally got her to really like Sammy. So much so that she pets him while she gets her breathing treatments and tells him thank you when we are done.
We went back to the doctor’s office, at the beginning of April, and was told she had a double ear infection and that her lungs sounded good, but the cough – until she vomited – was likely because she had sinus drainage and she didn’t know how to cough it up, so she choked on it.
I went with it.
Well, Monday night, I went to sleep, ready to go to work in the morning. We had been pumping our kid full of Benadryl and Mucinex, just thinking she had a cold or the remnants of her ear infection.
Except, Monday night, she didn’t stop coughing. Kim had to come get me around 1:30 and ask if she could sleep in our bed. We aren’t much for co-sleeping, but the last time we did it, it really helped her not cough, because she laid on me – at an angle – and cuddled in.
She wasn’t in our room for more than 10 minutes before she coughed so hard, she puked on me. I got her out of bed, and we tried to get her drink something. We all know toddlers are notorious for not doing what you need them to do. So we thought, cold on her throat, from several hours of persistent coughing, maybe a Popsicle?
She enjoyed it until she coughed so hard to throw that up too.
If you are keeping count, that’s three times in a few hours. Once in her bed, once in my bed, and once on our couch. She had thrown up and it didn’t look like there was any stopping of her cough in sight.
We made the decision to take her to the ER around 2AM. I had to be at work at 7AM, let me tell you how thrilled I was about this idea. But, it just broke my heart to see her coughing til she turned red and her little body shaking, gagging to the point of vomiting. On the way to the hospital, she coughed and coughed and puked again all over her jacket.
That was number four.
We got admitted, hung out in the waiting room and then they got us in the room. She was pretty well-behaved for a two year old, no sleep, and a sickness. She actually didn’t cough as much either. We would told when they put us in the room, there was one doctor and 4-5 people ahead of you. I just envisioned our good natured kid suddenly becoming a pain in the ass, the longer we had to be there.
But she didn’t. Not really.
Kim taught her a new song and sent her out in the hallway to sing it! “Doctor, Doctor – Gimme the news!” So she danced around the room, singing pretty darn loudly that one phrase over and over around 2 hours in.
By 5AM, we finally saw the doctor. He said what everyone has been saying. Her lungs sound good, she’s not got a fever and while her throat was red and raw (DUH), she seemed fine. It was likely just a viral thing or nasal drainage.
For crying out loud, it took everything in me not to punch that man in the throat.
However, during the examination, she coughed so hard she puked on the doctor, all over the sheet on their bed, and all down my leg. Kim proceeded to pick her up to comfort and she puked on Kim’s arm.
That’s number 5 and 6.
He saved himself by saying they would do a chest x-ray, a breathing treatment and a round of steroids. Ok. So, we haven’t done 2 out of 3. No punching in the throat.
He left for another round of whatever, a half hour later an x-ray tech came in with a portable x-ray machine, sent one of us out of the room (me) while the other held our kid to get her picture taken, which by the way was not a fun thing to listen to outside in the hallway.
Chest x-ray done, in came the nurse with steroids, who by the way, decided she didn’t think I was telling the truth when I said Punky would take the medicine in a syringe no problem. Instead, she tried to rush it and force her to swallow, which made her spit it everywhere.
After steroids, Punky started to get a little cranky and temperamental. I couldn’t blame her, by that time is was nearly 6AM and my alarm for work had even gone off on my phone.
The respiratory guy came in to give her a breath treatment and he went to put the mask on her face and said, “Where Sammy?”
You know, I never thought I would lie to my kid as much as I do to make her do things that are good for her. We told her that the Respiratory guy name Dave, that’s what we will call him, I don’t know his real name, was sent by Sammy to give her the medicine, because he was at home sleeping, but Dave was a real good friend of Sammy’s.
Dave was pretty impressed when she let him put that mask on and didn’t move at all to take it off through the entire treatment. I’m thinking he doesn’t see it that much with toddlers, and it took a lot of work for us to condition her to them, so not having the seal there, I was sure would cause a tantrum.
Breathing treatment done, doctor came in and said, “It’s probably viral. Nasal drainage and everything looks good. We can’t take the cough away, but here’s some steroids, if it doesn’t get better, call her pediatrician.”
Cue eye-roll here.
So, we headed home, with a cranky and very tired toddler and of course, overly exhausted mamas. By the time we got home it was 7:30AM. I had to call in to work, just so Kim could sleep and maybe I could get some sleep when we situated Punky.
Except, Punky falling asleep didn’t go as smoothly as we thought it would. I had imagined the steroids would be a miracle cure and we could give her Benadryl on the recommendation of the ER doc and lay her down. She laid down no problem.
Less than 10 minutes into it, we heard her coughing, then gagging, crying from frustration because she just wanted to sleep, and then finally, number 7 vomit came all over her bed.
Being that we don’t have a washer and dryer in our apartment, and we were just too tired to do the laundry, I pulled Punky onto the couch with me, turned the fan on, because we were both pretty warm and tried to get her comfortable.
At one point, she was so frustrated with the cough that wouldn’t go away that she would cry and scream and cough harder and then puked again, number 8.
In case you were curious, all the vomit, was more liquid than anything of substance, but every time she puked, she got more upset, and in turn made herself puke more. At this point, Kim had fallen asleep in the bedroom, and I was sitting on our living room floor with a toddler in only her diaper and we were crying at each other.
She puked on me again, while we sat there. Number 9 of the evening.
I just felt so helpless. This kid was coughing so hard, she was so tired, and there wasn’t a thing I could do to fix it. No doctors were telling me anything new. No doctors were HELPING my kid. I couldn’t HELP my kid. I could just sit there and hold her, listen to her body rattle as she coughed and feel her tiny body shake.
It was one of my most scary nights/mornings ever. Of course, it didn’t help that I hadn’t had any sleep.
We did this until around 9AM, and then we finally fell asleep on the couch, but really, Punky slept uninterrupted for maybe 10 minutes and then she would cough for another 10 minutes. Until about 11AM, when she found the energy to get up and play, which meant Mommy was getting up too.
Needless to say, she was tired, but not coughing. She came to me at 1PM to tell me she wanted to get in her bed. I gladly put her in her bed.
She slept cough free through the nap, the rest of the evening, and the night, until this morning. Now, she’s only coughing if she’s crying or throwing a tantrum. Or if she gets too overly active – but her cough isn’t as dry, maybe the steroids are doing the trick.
If not, it’s off to the pediatrician to see if she needs to be treated for asthma or an allergy of some sort. I’m hoping that isn’t necessary.
So, we had one hell of a ride so far with this “Chronic Cough” and it’s so frustrating to hear the same thing over and over. It’s even more frustrating to be told the same thing and be charged thousands of dollars that we don’t have for treatments and doctor’s visits to hear the same thing over and over.
Hopefully, this is it. I am not very optimistic, seriously, I’m just not. But, hopefully. For my kiddo’s sake, because I know she was miserable and I hope I never have to cry with her on the floor again like that.