Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Pneumonia Assvice

I am NOT the queen of pneumonia.  But with all three children diagnosed with pneumonia (X-Ray validation and all!!!), I do consider myself the Princess of Pneum.  The Duchess of D'Oh. The Queen Mother of All Dirty Words.

And as Her Royal Highness, I thought I'd share what my experiences with what pneumonia is like.

I got nothin'.  Every one of them has had a different experience.

Conor had spiking fever (103.7 one afternoon and 104.1 one morning), but I've seen viruses do that.  However, Conor was EXHAUSTED.  He couldn't even sit up to watch TV.  About all he could handle was lying down watching the new Curious George series.  Dr. Who and even cartoon Transformers involved too much cognitive processing.  His daily routine for 9 days consisted of: getting up out of bed; sitting at the computer doing school math for 10 minutes and watching Dude Perfect for the rest of the hour; stumbling to the sofa to watch Curious George and PBS Nature shows for 10 hours, and then be *thrilled* to go to bed because he was so tired.  We knew he was finally better when he could sit up and play Minecraft (this, after we started the Z-pack for atypical pneumonia).

Christopher's pneumonia was indicated only by a 105.7* fever on a Friday afternoon.  Let us pause for a second while that number sinks in.  Let me then describe walking in from a three day business trip.  Into a home of freshly baked cookies and art projects on the kitchen table.  Into a home, with children resting and watching some TV show.  "Oh, honey! It's so nice to be home, but let me check the children's temperatures!"  Bridget comes up with 102, which is high for most people, but moderate in our world.  Then I go to Christopher, slumping over in the corner of the sofa.  We're using my fancy under the tongue basal body thermometer leftover from TTC.  Our digital ear thermometer is unreliable.  When I shouted ONE-OH-FIVE-POINT-SEVEN, I might have become a bit agitated.

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that while I am high in Big 5 trait Neuroticism, Dave is very low in trait Neuroticism.  I had called the doctor's office, gone through the triage wait, pushed 0 because it was urgent, gotten the nurse, told her the numbers, was throwing cold rags on various parts of Christopher's body and prepping my travel bag to be a purse to take to the nurse who said "GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW." During this time, Dave gave Christopher his ibuprofen and was gently untying the knots in Christopher's shoes to put kindly on Christopher's feet.

Ahhhh, marriage.  I like to use examples of this in class to show how those of high in trait Neuroticism react quickly, we move like the wind, we are loud (or at least I am), we constantly scan the environment, we see the problem, and we Get. It. Done.  People who are low in trait Neuroticism are preferred by society.  They are methodical, slow to get worked up, calm in any storm, and highly likely to be yelled at by their high trait neuroticism wives to put the damn shoes in my bag, and carry the kid out to the car.

Honestly, there was no other sign in Christopher.  He was coughing more than Conor, but Christopher has asthma.  He coughs.  The doc heard a crackle, sent us off for X-ray, and by jove, it was pneumonia.  However, no energy?  DON'T YOU WISH!  He is running around the house like a crazy boy, except for the afternoons when the radio begins to close in on 105.7 WKIT, as we now refer to this incident.  (You might have to take a moment to get that pun)

I would also like to point out that after 105.7 WKIT, there has been some rearranging of roles in the family.  From now on, Dave is the child life specialist and as always, the cleaner of cat yak and dead bugs.  I am the nurse on call and the picker upper of the crap laying round around the house.  (Not literal crap.  Dave still has to do that)  But 105.7 WKIT has clarified our strengths in playing hospital.  We all have a role to play in the family, I am the no-nonsense check your stats nurse, and Dave is the fun one they all want to stay home with.  I do give more kisses and snuggles, though.

So Christopher's cough has gotten progressively worse as have his oxygen numbers.  Dave and I spent 15 minutes last night (at the beginning of Panther's game!) staring at the pulse ox moving from 85 to 89 while he slept.  Yes, them there's numbers to go the hospital, but as discussed with our doctor, we wake him up, he goes to the the hospital, his numbers are fine, and they send us home.   (90 is the cut off of good/bad oxygen) FORTUNATELY, Christopher had a major coughing fit, puked up a ton of phlegm, and went back to sleep with an absolutely fine (at this point) 90, 91 and 92 oxygen saturation.  This morning he's sleeping with a perfectly fine 95 to 96.  THRILLED.

Bridget is in between the boys.  Her temp has stayed 100.5 mostly, with a few 101 to 102 peaks.  She's puny sometimes and she is developing dark circles under her eyes.  She coughs some but her oxygen is fine. She's not been below 96 for any period of time.  BTW, Conor's was *100* during his pneumonia.  Bridget is a very steady 97-98.  However, the doc can hear crap all over her lungs and 4 days of fever are not good.  So her X-Ray showed pneumonia, too. We've started the shaky vest with her and called the pulmonologist.  She's doing the best of the 3, which is not what anyone would have expected.  That little trickster squirrel!  Keeping us on our toes!!

I think we've turned the corner getting the twins on the Z-pack.  I'm hoping two more days at home and then we're back to normal.

I, of course, have developed a productive cough.  But Moms and Dads don't get sick, right?  I don't.  But I am looking forward to some productive work once they all go back to school.

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