Aubrey had her first ER visit last night. She had been congested all day and wasn't resting well, but as the day wore on, she was nursing worse and worse and her cry had become pretty weak and pitiful. She developed the typical barking cough of croup, so we took her into the bathroom for a steam, but even after emptying the hot water heater twice, she was still coughing something awful and had started crying inconsolably. She started looking a little dusky during some of her crying jags, so I called the pediatrician and they told me to take her into the ER.
I decided to drive over to the new Dallas Children's ER at Preston and Legacy--it is about 5 miles further than the other ER that I would have taken her to, but with it being brand new, I figured the wait wouldn't be bad, and I liked the idea of a pediatric only facility. Boy, was that the right decision! That hospital is fantastic! It is one of the largest ER's I've ever seen--I walked past room 28 on the way to radiology, and there was another hallway of rooms, so that gives you an idea of how big it is. There was no wait at all--they took Aubrey right back. And the docs and nurses were so wonderful--everyone was extremely helpful and friendly and really caring.
Aubrey was having some abdominal retractions with her breathing by the time we got there, meaning she was having to use her abdominal muscles to breathe, so they called in a respiratory therapist to do some deep suctioning. Basically, they put a flexible tube down her nose on one side, and poured saline down her other nostril to suction out all of the thick mucous that was in her airway that we couldn't get with the bulb suction syringe we'd been using at home. Aubrey screamed throughout that procedure, and I don't blame her--it was pretty awful--but afterward, her oxygen levels went back up to 100%. They tested her for RSV and sent her back for an x-ray of her neck next, to see how swollen her airway was, which was another 10 minutes of screaming since Brad and I had to hold her down to keep her still for the x-rays. When all the tests came back, it turned out she was RSV negative, very good news, but she did have some swelling along her airway from the croup, so they gave her a dose of steroids and sent us home with a prescription.
After all of that, Aubrey was finally able to nurse, so she got in a good, long feeding, and then fell asleep. She woke up 4 hours later to eat again, but she then slept almost all day today, waking only to eat every 4 hours or so--she was utterly exhausted after her ER trip and a day of being unable to sleep for all of the coughing and congestion. She's doing much better today, so she'll hopefully be back to her cheerful, happy self soon.