4:30 am Little Momma is coughing. She sounded distressed. We wake her up and do the usual things like run the shower and turn the bathroom into a sauna and give her a glass of water. This cough was different it sounded wet and mucusy. She is having a hard time catching her breath between coughs. She also had a low-grade fever.
The week before she was sick with a fever and a cold but it seemed to go away and she seemed healthy and back to her happy self. At 5 am my not yet husband (NYH) took her to the hospital. She couldn’t stop coughing and the fever was increasing. My daughter has an abnormally sized lymph node on her neck. It fluctuates in size when she is sick from big to very big and it was very very big that day. The doctor took an x-ray of her chest and said her lungs were clear but she had an ear infection. He sent her home with a prescription for antibiotics and 2 inhalers and an oral steroid to help a cough. He said it was a virus and let her rest.
By 11 am I knew something was definitely wrong. She had just thrown up the oral steroid which I heard can happen as it is hard on the tummy but her chest was now inverting in-between her lungs with each breath. Her breathing was rapid and she was sweating. Her fever was not decreasing even though she has taken Children’s Advil. I know kids can get a bit worse before the medication kicked in but my gut told me she needs to get re-accessed. I had to stay home with the boys and my NYH left at 12 pm and took her to a different hospital.
When he got there they saw her quickly drew some blood and gave her a breathing treatment. I was able to have a girlfriend watch my boys and arrived at the hospital around 3:30. When I arrived she was sleeping her coughing had calmed down. The doctor came in with her blood work and said: “her white blood cell count was very concerning and she was a sick little girl.” We were both so nervous trying to ask questions and what he meant but all he said she was very sick but didn’t know what it was yet. He honestly scared the crap out of us we thought we were about to hear some terrible news. He put a call into the pediatrician on call and she was down about a half hour later.
We told her about her history and the morning hospital visit and she woke up and did an exam. By this point, Little Momma was very dehydrated and her eyes were puffy and red and her cough was flaring up. The doctor was able to pull up her morning x-ray through the internal computer system. She came in shaking her head saying she didn’t understand what licensed doctor could misread this x-ray that it was clear she had double pneumonia. She would need to be admitted. She would require stronger antibiotics administered through an iv to get it under control. We were so relieved that it was pneumonia. Don’t get me wrong pneumonia is very dangerous and it came on strong and fast but at least it was treatable. Next came the iv and an oral steroid once again, and she threw it up. The doctor ordered it in a pill form and smashed it and she drank it and it stayed down.
She was soon going to be transferred to the pediatric ward. On the ward, they treated her like a princess. After 2 doses of the antibiotic, she was feeling much better and her fever came down. She was frustrated and uncomfortable with the IV band but she did great considering. The doctor was impressed and shocked by how well she was doing by the morning and she was going to be released after her noon meds. The doctor was amazing. She was empathic to our concerns and even called to follow up when we arrived home and a few days later. The doctor showed genuine love and care which few do these days. Little Momma rested and continued on her med treatment plan but was back to herself about 3 days later. We had her take it easy for 2 weeks.
As parents, we like to put our trust into the medical system but doctors are people too and clearly make mistakes. I know that it happens but I can’t lie I was furious. My heart was racing and I was terrified. This is my Little Momma, I only have one of her, and pneumonia can turn bad very fast even deadly. If you ever see your child paradoxical breathing where their chest inverts deeply in-between their ribs they are struggling to breathe and you need to seek medical advice. It looks like their chest is sucking in between their ribs. They may also be breathing quickly. I have attached a video that I mad that morning when she arrived home from the first hospital. Please ignore the tv in the background and excuse the poor video quality. I wasn’t planning to share this video but it may help someone so I am. They may not show or say they are in distress. There is so much pressure being a parent and being able to read our kids is one of them. We are their number one advocate. If you don’t like or feel comfortable with what a doctor tells you to go find another opinion. Trust yourself doctor mom knows best.