So Josh indeed did not sprout a molar or any new teeth. He had an ear infection last week Thursday evening followed by difficulty breathing caused by bronchiolitis. Here's the email I set to friends and family the night we came home from the ER:

Our adventure started last night with lots of crying before bedtime, fingers in the mouth and ears, and a runny nose, which we believed was all due to teething. By early morning Joshua was very short of breath with wheezing. I called the pediatrician'’s office as soon as they opened and got a morning appointment. Upon the beginning of his appointment Josh was having a hard time breathing resulting in a low blood oxygen level (91) so they gave him steroids orally and a Xopenex vapor breathing treatment. They also checked his ears and found he had an ear infection on one side (which he got amoxicillin to treat that). There was an immediate response to the first treatment in that he sounded better and his blood oxygen level was normal (95). We gave him one more breathing treatment then headed around the corner to get his chest x-rayed. Because he had a fever and raspy breathing, they were concerned that he might have pneumonia (he doesn't) or asthma (he doesn'’t, although asthma does run on Rusty'’s side). X-Rays were mostly clear except for a tiny speck on the right side of his lungs, but the doctor isn'’t concerned about that at all. After the x-rays the doctor decided to give him another breathing treatment because he sounded raspy and short of breath again. By the time we were ready to leave the pedi's office, his blood oxygen level was down to 91 again. They said once the steroids kick in he'’ll feel good for a bit and things should start to clear up. We were instructed to give Josh vapor breathing treatments every 2-3 hours at home over the weekend plus antibiotics for the ear infection plus steroids. We have a vapor breathing machine on loan from the pediatrician's office.

The steroids kicked in at home and he was in a great mood for about 20 minutes, eating, playing, babbling. Then he started to sound raspy so we gave him another breathing treatment and put him down for a nap. He slept 2 hours then when it was time we gave him another breathing treatment. After the fifth treatment, it didn'’t sound like he was having any better breathing. We decided to take him to Rusty's mom (who works in the NICU at Plano Presbyterian Hospital) to get her opinion on whether he sounded ok. One nurse took his blood oxygen level reading (it was real low, around 83) and another breathing specialist advised we check him into the ER for more treatment. So we checked into the ER and quickly got him into a room and had THREE breathing treatments in row. [A note about these treatments: They are not fun. Each treatment takes about 10 minutes. There'’s a mask that goes over the mouth & nose and the machine that pumps the air and converts the liquid medication into a vapor is noisy. So Josh squirmed and cried and got real upset with every treatment.] After the third treatment he was breathing well. The doctor watched his progress for a couple of hours before we came home. We're advised to give him breathing treatments every 4 hours during the night and to go back to the pedi's office tomorrow to get a check up.

Josh is sleeping now (soundly) and hopefully he'’ll sleep better than he did the last two nights. I'’ll send an update later this weekend on how he's doing.


Then the follow up on Tuesday after the pediatrician gave Josh a clean bill of health:

Josh is fully recovered and back to his normal active self. The pediatrician suspects he developed bronchiolitis. This is fairly common among babies/toddlers and is not related to asthma. Thank you to all who called or emailed your concerns this weekend!

It was fairly scary on Friday morning when Josh was not breathing right and was lethargic. I knew it wasn't a cold and I feared it was something worse. After breathing treatments every three hours during the weekend and Monday, and steroids to increase his activity level (which is never fun for the parent) and antibiotics for the ear infection- after all that Josh is feeling and acting about as normal as ever. Which for him normal is 90 MPH.

This weekend we are going to Lubbock to attend an engagement dinner with Matt Muselman & his fiance Oana. We decided, after a week of waffling on the issue, to leave Josh with Rusty's parents here in Dallas. This is a short visit of formal affair and we'll be traveling with a friend who is sharing our hotel & gas. I think Josh will have much more fun spending two days with grandparents. And we will be able to enjoy our short time there without worrying about naps, feeding him, tantrums, avoiding heat, play time- all the things that take time. To help me feel better about this, I've made a two page dissertation on how to care for Josh and to expect. I'm hoping the tips and routines I outlined will help the grandparents. We'll see soon enough!

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