We spent the last couple of days/nights in the hospital with Josh. A simple chest cold turned into an asthma-like disaster. Here's the email I sent to most friends and some family:

As some of you know, Joshua has the onset of asthma, although the doctors don't officially diagnose it as such at this age. A minor cold on Friday put mucus in his lungs causing him to wheeze and be short of breath. Rusty gave him breathing treatments at home but by Sunday morning he was still working real hard to breathe and wasn't doing well at all. We took him to the ER hoping he'd get a few good breathing treatments and be sent home by dinner. But his lungs didn't respond to anything. So they kept him (and us) overnight in the hospital for further treatments and observation. Today he is doing better but still isn't good enough to go home. We'll be in the hospital again tonight and hopefully going home tomorrow.

During his stay, Josh was hooked up to an I.V., an oxygen tube under his nose and a blood oxygen sensor on his big toe. The blood oxygen sensor told us how well his lungs were taking in air and what his heart rate was like. He was admitted in the ER with a blood oxygen level of about 88, though we saw it dip in the ER to a low as 82. He needed to be around 95 or higher to be considered in the clear. With all this equipment, he was severely restricted in movement and always getting tangled up. Rusty and I took turns sleeping next to him in the hospital bed those two nights. Every 2-3 hours a nurse would come in and we'd give him a breathing treatment of albuterol, even at night. Every 4-6 hours he got a steroid (luckily it was given through the IV instead of a shot). By Monday afternoon, Josh was able to get off of the oxygen and that night get rid of the IV.

We were finally able to come home late this morning around 11am. The doctor was on the fence with his health during his last visit to the room but since we're already well accustom to giving him breathing treatments and medicines, he felt we could give good home care. We have a cocktail of medicines to administer this week: Xopenex with a nebulizer every 3-4 hours until his wheezing stops, Advair and Flovent inhalers through an air chamber, prednisolon syrup twice daily for four days, and dehistine syrup twice daily. I'm to listen to his chest with our stethoscope periodically and make sure he takes it easy for a few days. I'll take Josh to see his pulmonologist on Monday for a check up. Needless to say, he's not going to day school this week and I'm not working much.

The hardest part for Josh was not being able to walk around and play like he wanted to. The hardest part for me was watching my baby feel so miserable and not being able to make him feel better. We're all tired today and going to bed early. Rusty and I both caught Josh's cold (though it's minor for me) so we'll be chillin' at home tomorrow. To help the little feel better, I blew up a bunch of balloons this afternoon with the helium tank left over from his birthday party and tied long strings to the end so he could grab them when they floated up to the ceiling.

I hope Josh outgrows this and pray that we don't go to the hospital like this for every other cold his gets. What some kids get as low-key sniffles seems to be potentially life-threatening for Josh. Well, maybe that's a bit dramatic to say, but he definitely has more complications than most. I am so grateful for the medical help we got. If this had happened a hundred years ago we might very well have lost Josh by now. Medicine isn't a miracle but it is so great.

Thanks for Dorothy, Melissa, Adam & Nolan for the hospital visit on Monday night. They brought us books and toys for Josh to play with in bed. Also, thanks to those of you who sent us your well wishes.



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