All it took was me writing on Facebook some version of "It looks like we're going to skip the hospital with this cold" to have to make the decision twice in one day, when the numbers were looking really bad, whether to go to the hospital or not.
We decided No and there are a couple of reasons for this.
1) We made the conscious decision to see if we can keep Bridge off prednisone AND out of the hospital. So we decided in the morning that we wouldn't even go to the sick clinic at the peds with the first bought of low numbers. They wouldn't have put her in the hospital but they would have put her on prednisone and that would be 4 doses in 8 months.
Oh! Wait a sec. Why did we even get worried in the morning? Bridget woke up at scale 11. You live life on an energy basis of 1 to 10. Bridget lives at 11. All the time. Constantly. As soon as she wakes up until she falls asleep. Or actually, until her numbers start to tank a bit. But sometimes not even then.
It was time for her treatment, she was at running around at ll, and I convinced her to stop for a sec on the sofa to "read her finger" as we put it. (And sometimes, she gives me the right finger to read. Nod. Nod. Wink. Wink) It started at 93 and then went down.
93 is not an O2 number that makes me happy. But going down makes me less so.
2) Thank goodness for my Mom mentor who is/was a respiratory therapist, Liz, to help us through this. Liz and I "met" through Salon.com's blogs 11 years ago. We've kept in touch through blogs, Facebook, and twitter and no, we haven't even met "in person." I don't know though. I feel like after knowing someone for 11 years and following their lives and ups and downs and day-to-day experiences more closely than I do some of my neighbors, I consider her Someone I Really Know, and clearly someone close enough to start IMing and texting about what was going on. She gave us more info to look for, clear "go to hospital" criteria, and Bridget's numbers came back up after treatment.
They came up and stayed up at really fine numbers, until night time--after most of her treatments and while we were watching the family movies. And then they tanked hard for *us*. She was between 91 and 88 for 5 minutes. I packed a bag for the hospital and Dave realized we hadn't done the shaky vest. We did the shaky vest. She figuratively showed us which finger we could measure from now on. And her numbers came up to a fine 97. Monitoring overnight, she was often at 99.
3) So here's what we think is going on. I think we are handling this cold at home. She's got stuff moving around her lungs and occasionally it clogs up some portion or another of her lungs before she gets it ALL the way out. (Happened like that at the hospital) That's when we get the bad numbers. But then she moves it up and out and she's doing better.
I don't know if we'll always be doing this "well." I can foresee a really bad cold that gets ahead of us on moving the junk out of her lungs, but I think we can do this for the most part.
I will tell you of two new stress signs I've developed. One is a need for more sleep. And I mean massively more amounts of sleep. The second is that it's harder to focus on recreational activities. I cannot run for crap lately and it's because I can't keep myself focused enough to use my good tricks when it gets tough. It'll be fine though.
Once Bridget's cold regimen becomes the new normal, it won't be so hard to just do it and take all her numbers in stride, until we shouldn't.
But I should stop tempting the gods by making proclamations that everything is ok and we've got a handle on this!!