Chicago: Part 1, Breathing

As I stated on Wednesday of last week, I was a bit afraid of Little Man and Wifey getting sick because of my ailment. Well on Saturday Wifey started feeling bad, and we noticed that Little Man started showing signs of a sore throat as well. Sunday rolls in and Wifey is feeling better, but Little Man seems a bit worse for the wear. At this point Wifey and I are trying to decide whether or not Little Man and I will be making the trip. It just would make no sense for us to travel to Chicago if his breathing was severely compromised. We decide that it is going to be a “game-time” decision, and wait to determine his travel fitness until Monday morning when we are planning to start our trek.

Monday morning rolls around. He sounded a little creaky, but a breathing treatment seemed to take care of it easily. We are ready to roll. We get in the family vehicle and take off for Chicago. Just outside of Indianapolis (North side) he starts coughing. For some background: When Little Man’s asthma rears its ugly head, it presents itself as coughing and not wheezing. We find a mall and an outlet to give him another breathing treatment. It has been a bit over 4 hours, so we are not alarmed by the treatment’s necessity.

Fast forward another 4 hours, we are now on the I-90 toll road to the South of Chicago, but not quite to the “Skyway.” Traffic got really heavy, much heavier than one would think for a holiday afternoon at 6 pm local time. All is good though, we were only 20 miles away from our final destination. As we approach the Skyway, traffic stops. While this is a typical traveling nuisance and typically just mildly annoying, this delay took more of a toll on us because Little Man started to cough. We are only 20 miles away from the hotel and the ability to give Little Man a breathing treatment.

Traffic was creeping forward at a snail’s pace, and to make things worse, the vehicle behind us was populated with 2 little girls with access to some kind of external speaker system. They were commenting about adjacent cars and drivers. They thought that were insanely clever, but high pitched voices on a tinny speaker are not terribly discernable. Therefore their incredibly clever banter ended up sounding like some chipmunks hooked up to a guitar amp. Not pleasant, nor funny in the least, in fact, quite annoying. I really wanted to brain those little urchins. Little Man’s coughing was getting worse.

An hour and a half later we had finally traversed the 20 miles, and pull up to our hotel. We unpacked as quickly as we could, got up to the room and started a new breathing treatment. (Hindsight being 20/20 and all, we should have purchased the nebulizer that hooks into the car cigarette lighter). He responds well enough to the treatment to settle down enough for the night.

2 hours into his sleep he wakes himself coughing… another Breathing treatment. Every 2 to 3 hours we gave him treatments. This breathing regime continued throughout Tuesday. We decided after his 3 pm breathing treatment to go to the Chicago Children’s Memorial E.R. and put our kid on Orapred again in a “foreign” city. We are kind of old hat at this, so we decided to get dinner first, and then head to the E.R. when his breathing was worse so the E.R. would take us a bit more seriously. We ate at a nice little pub about 2 blocks away from the E.R. and then hiked our way to the E.R.

We signed in and gave them the litany of medicines that Little Man is currently taking: Singulair once a day, 1 tsp Zyrtec daily, Pulmicort (.5) twice a day, Foradil twice a day, and Xopenex with Atrovent as needed (every 2 to 3 hours in this case). Little Man was barely coughing at this point. IT had been almost 3 full hours since his last “breathy.” His pulse/ox was at a surprising 98%, and he seemed to be doing a bit better. After being in the waiting room for 30 minutes, we notice that his breathing is actually better than it was immediately after his previous treatment.

Wifey, is his breathing better?
I think it is.
Did we just have to threaten him with a Dr’s visit?
I think so.

We told the triage nurse that his breathing was better and then we left. On Wednesday we had to give him 2 rescue treatments. Thursday: 1. Friday we gave him one for good measure. On Saturday we went to the zoo and headed home.

To recap:
Little Man’s asthma is scared of doctors
We give him a shit-ton of medicine
Yes, we brought his train to the hotel room
Decided to not be so anonymous anymore
Little Man and me outside the Field Museum
Outing Wifey too
Wifey and Little Man waiting for the El to go by, Little Man is really enjoying it