Daily Archives: March 11, 2011

She Says… The “P” Word

Or should that be the “Pn” word? Darn silent “p”. In any case, the word of the day is PNEUMONIA. Believe me, I wish it wasn’t.

As you know from yesterday’s post, I was worried about Owen’s hacking cough and wheezing. Though it was quiet, almost unnoticeable, and he was in great spirits, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I wanted a doctor to listen to the noise I was hearing and confirm that something wasn’t right. Little did I know that as soon as the doctor took a listen, she would say, “I’m sorry to say this, but we need to send Owen down for a chest x-ray right away.”

So off we went, my hacking little baby wrapped in a blanket, smiling at everyone in the waiting room and bouncing on my knee, having a grand old time. They took us right in and put Owen on this little contraption that was like a bicycle seat. Then I had to hold his arms up over his head while they clamped a plastic tube around his chest to keep his arms up out of the x-ray machine. The harder he cried, the more I couldn’t hold back my tears (you haven’t seen sad until you’ve seen your 7 month old wailing while you hold his arms up over his head and let someone clamp a plastic tube around his tiny body). We were both a sobbing mess by the time the nice nurse got the x-rays. Luckily we both wiped our tears and were dry-eyed not two minutes later when we headed back upstairs to see the doctor again.

The doctor deduced from the x-ray and other stats (oxygen level, heart rate, temp, etc.) that Owen does, in fact, have pneumonia. She suspects it is a secondary infection from whatever virus he has over the weekend (quite possible RSV, though no test was done, because it doesn’t really matter what you call it, you still can’t treat a virus). While we chatted she gave Owen an albuterol nebulizer treatment (sort of like an inhaler – I held the steam nozzle in front of his face so he would breathe in the medicine and some saline solution to open up his airways). Shortly after the treatment he sounded a lot worse, but then after a few more minutes his breathing relaxed and he sounded better. That was good news.

The doc said he was “borderline” for being admitted to the hospital for monitoring. She actually called over to the emergency room at Children’s Hospital to ask if we would be admitted or not, given his current stats and x-ray. The triage person there confirmed that we were borderline, so instead of sending us to the ER to sit for hours and possibly be sent home, our doc (who I trust explicitly) told us to go home and watch him very closely. If anything changed, we were to go straight to the ER. Those are some scary words to hear.

She sent us home with a nebulizer and we were instructed to give him a 10 minute treatment every 4 hours, around the clock. Plus a 10-day course of Amoxicillin. Plus Motrin if his fever spikes again. Poor little lamb.

So far he’s been doing great. He’s in a relatively good mood, despite all the medicine I have to give him, and he’s tolerating the neb treatments really well (he even slept through the two night time treatments!!!), thanks to letting him watch a little tv while he gets them. What? It’s the ONLY way I could get him to sit still and not try to tear the mask off.

We’re heading back to the doc this afternoon to be re-checked, and I have to say, the appointment can’t come soon enough. His breathing sounds worse to me than it did yesterday, but he’s still eating and drinking and wetting diapers and sleeping, and he’s not lethargic or breathing with huge stomach movements… so I have to assume he’s doing ok.

Poor baby! Anyone dealt with similar breathing issues/treatment? Anything else you did to help soothe the coughing in a baby this tiny?