My five-year-old son Mason wasn’t feeling very well last week. On Wednesday he stayed home from school with a cold. By Thursday, his breathing was rapid, and I could see “indrawing” — his lungs were struggling and the skin between his ribs was being “sucked in” with every breath. We went off to a local emergency room because our family doctor couldn’t see him. And it’s a good thing we did.
Mason was having a severe asthma attack. X-rays were taken, and no infection was found, and blood work was done. I had to hold my terrified boy down while they took blood, he was so scared. Long story short, we spent 8 hours in that emerg, and were then transferred via ambulance to another local hospital where they have a paediatric ward because Mason wasn’t improving.
I spent sleepless nights, and worry-filled days watching the monitors, wishing his oxygen numbers would increase. I watched his sallow skin and limbs that jerked because of the heavy doses of steroids and ventolin he was given. My heart was breaking. Mason smiled and played and snuggled me.
There are plenty of people who still die from asthma, they told me. Why hadn’t he been on an asthma management plan before? We didn’t know he was truly asthmatic, that’s why.
Why wasn’t my little boy improving? How come those machines kept beeping at us? When could he breathe without a mask?
A couple days can feel like forever in the hospital. They said he’d have to be stable off the oxygen mask for 24 hours before he could go home, and on Friday night when they had to finally administer oxygen again because he couldn’t do without it, I cried and cried.
But Saturday, the paediatrician said he could go home. We were armed with medication and a plan, and home we went.
But now, even days later I am feeling so drained. I’m exhausted and emotional and, well, I’m moping. I’m wallowing knowing that my child who suffers already with life-threatening food allergies is now also asthmatic. It’s not like it’s a surprise, we’ve always needed to give him ventolin when he got sick. Food allergies and asthma go hand-in-hand.
I guess I’d always just hoped he wouldn’t have it. That maybe there wouldn’t be an official diagnosis and maybe he could just shake off these problems and move on, worry free. But no.
The fact that yet another something can steal my boy’s life away so quickly is just making me feel all the sad feels.
So if I’m not my regular self these days, give me a few moments. I’m just busy moping.