It was inevitable.
Emmett was bound to get sick earlier than Owen did. He’s constantly accosted by his brother who can’t keep his germy little hands off of him. He’s gone to daycare once a week for 3 weeks. It’s the beginning of fall when all of these lovely illnesses come out of hiding.
Still, though, I didn’t think it would happen SO SOON. The day that Emmett hit 3 months last week (monthly post to come… someday…) I started to hear the telltale grunting/snorting/snuffling when he nursed like his nose was stuffed up. Owen had the same. The next day it had migrated to both of their chests — a thick, mucus-y cough. Red around the eyes (“sick eyes” as we call them). No fevers and they were both pretty happy and playing normally, so really nothing to do but wait it out.
Since Owen’s asthma diagnosis we’ve kept a close eye on any and all respiratory bugs, as in the past they almost always got super serious and morphed into bronchialitis, pneumonia and an ear infection very quickly. Now we have an asthma action plan that includes starting up his inhalers at the first signs of a cough. It has helped IMMENSELY and dramatically cut down on the number of illnesses he had last winter. So last week when the cough started, I knew exactly what to do. After 2 days of “puffs”, he’s cleared up and feeling fine. Magic.
Having one asthma kid has put me on high alert for similar symptoms in Emmett. With Owen, now I know the sound and rate of his breathing and when/how to intervene. But I have no experience with a 3 month old getting sick, and Emmett is a completely different kid with a completely different body that I just don’t know as intimately yet.
By Monday Owen was still complaining of ear pain (he said, “I have an ear ninfection”, and he’s always been right when he’s said that in the past) and Emmett’s cough was still pretty thick, so I felt it was the right time to head to the doctor. Unfortunately I didn’t make the call until afternoon nap time so the only appointment they had available was 6:15pm. RIGHT AT BATHTIME. And I was home alone since Benjamin was traveling again. Of course. Still, I wanted to make sure both kids were ok, so we made it work.
The doc said Owen’s ear was dull and inflamed but not infected, so there wasn’t really anything to do except some Motrin if needed. His lungs were clear. Similar situation with Emmett — gunk seemed to be all in his upper respiratory area, not in his lungs, so no sign of his brother’s asthma (yet). Tylenol if needed and lots of hydration and humidifying.
I had already started humidifying over the weekend, hence the fire alarm scare. Since I couldn’t use the humidifier overnight for Emmett again, I decided to get out Owen’s old nebulizer from when he was a baby (he has since graduated to an inhaler and spacer) to give Emmett some saline-only treatment.
Guess who wanted in on the “fun fish face”? The kid who I used to have to wrestle to the ground to administer his treatments. My how times have changed. Unlike his brother, Emmett sat totally calmly and quietly while I held the mask in front of his face. Like he was at the spa or something.
Owen is feeling almost all better again (thank goodness for asthma medicine!) and Emmett won’t be far behind.
I think we’ve made it through our first double illness. While I’m sure there will be many more, I’m proud of (and exhausted from) handling two sick kiddos all by myself for several days. Sickness + fire alarms = NOT a lot of sleep for this mama recently, but we’re on the up and up.