Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Birthday Disaster

It's a good thing that Brendan is as laid back as he is, and it also probably helps that he has no idea what is going on when we yell "It's your birthday!!" over and over... because his birthday really bit the big one.

Let's see, it started on Sunday... his actual birthday was on Monday, but we decided to celebrate the day before since Matt usually gets home from work late.  In the middle of preparing a delicious cake and a great dinner, I noticed that Niall's "allergies/asthma" were really out of control.  He had a coughing fit that was so bad, he almost threw up.  Then, I noticed the rapid breathing.  He already had 2 breathing treatments that day, and he usually responds well to them-- but not this time.

I called the on-call doctor at my practice and he suggested we take him to urgent care.  Can I just give you a really valuable piece of parental advice?  Don't take your kids to urgent care.  They are fake doctors who are lazy and don't feel like dealing with you, so they just tell you that everything is fine.

I'm not sure why I haven't figured this out the other 5 or 6 times they have dismissed Niall & Brendan's illnesses as nothing.  The last time I took B in for what I suspected was an ear infection, they told me that they couldn't really see down there because he had a narrow ear canal.  And literally left it at that.  Their suggestion (once I prompted them for one) was that I take him in to my regular doctor the next day.  I was so glad that I took the time to sit in that over-crowded lobby crawling with viral infections for an hour to be told that one.

Anyhoo, they told us that Niall's lungs were clear and everything was fine, so we should just continue breathing treatments for the asthma and ibuprofen for the fever.  So we went home somewhat relieved, but mostly confused and a little skeptical.  In the middle of the night that night, he woke up and came into our room.  When I pulled him into bed with us and rolled over to go back to sleep, I immediately noticed that he was breathing so quickly, his little heart could barely keep up.  I started timing it and found out that he was breathing about 40 breaths per minute, which is pretty dangerous.  I called my on-call doctor again and he asked me to bring him in first thing in the morning. 

Long story short (fighting with the receptionist about getting a same day appt, multiple doctors' offices, chest x-rays, annoying hippa laws & long waits later).... he has pneumonia.  Thank you so much urgent care, for your medical expertise on "clear lungs."  Turns out my motherly intuition is more valuable than your 6 years of med school and 20 years of experience.  Simultaneously, Matt contracted the flu and could do nothing to help me on my day of running around from office to office like a lunatic.

But, amidst all the chaos, it was Brendan's first birthday.  And so help me God, we were going to celebrate.  Even if that meant I would consume an entire chocolate heath bar cake all by myself (a good enough excuse for me)... with a little help from the newly turned one year old:

My easy going birthday boy would chill on the couch while his sick (thus totally deserving) brother opened his never-wrapped presents...

And the most exciting part of his day would be getting woken up from his nap with the "Happy Birthday" song...

But we don't have very high standards around here these days, so all things considered, I think his big day could have been a lot worse.  We'll shoot for perfection next year-- for now, I will be grateful that our little family is pretty easy to please.  

**part of that being that I will be happy if one of my kids is willing to be in a picture with us.

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