Posts Tagged ‘ barfing ’

My Kids’ Health Crisis, Part 1 = My Resolution Crisis

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Remind me to never make a New Year’s resolution for as long as I have kids under the age of 18. My resolutions were reasonable and tangible. For 5 minutes. At the top of my list: getting back on the blog. Posting at least twice a week. Followed by running 2 times a week and doing yoga at least once a week.

Then came the proverbial thunderstorm that sucked me into its vortex as it wreaked havoc on my week. Here is part 1 of my war story.*

Wednesday at 3 a.m.: Em coughs to the point of barfing. Fia wakes up complaining of something in her throat.

Em eventually falls back asleep, propped up in crib, humidifier at full speed, slathered in Vicks Vapor Rub, particularly on his feet (click here for more on this cough tip).

For Fia, I see a white “thing” almost like a skin tag on her tonsil. I give her Motrin.

Wednesday 9 a.m.: Em is doing awful. He can barely breathe because the cough is relentless. Fia is saying it’s hard to swallow. I rush both kids to the doctor. Em is diagnosed with full-blown pneumonia. They give him a hospital-grade antibiotic shot in the butt to try and avert an emergency room visit. I guess this is a super painful shot, and he screams bloody murder as big fat tears roll down his face. Fia can’t wait to tell everyone about this. She is almost giddy.

Meanwhile, she is diagnosed with a “tonsil stone“…which is when debris of food and bacteria build up on your tonsil, causing a hardened, white, almost scab-like spot. The doc doesn’t think it’s hardened yet though and is able to put a long Q-tip in her throat and knock it off. Or so he thinks. Problem solved. 

Wednesday 4 pm: Fia spikes a 105.5 fever. I’m suspect that the stone wasn’t the only issue.  Problem not solved. I give her Motrin, she seems fine and I am so preoccupied with Em, I don’t call the doctor. Em just wants to cuddle and sleep. For once the world’s most active (almost) 2-year old boy is passive.

Wednesday 11 pm: Em’s fever is 103 (love my thermometer because I don’t have to touch him to take his temp) and he is panting in his sleep at a rate of 70 breaths per minute. I speak to the on-call doctor. She said if we can give him Motrin and get his fever down, his breathing should slow to 30-35 bpm. If not, then we have to get him to the ER for oxygen.

Emmett is the worst child with taking medicine. Even at the doctor’s office the nurse gave up on helping me with Motrin when he barfed all over her. He is so stubborn, and he gargles it at the back of his throat until he pukes. But Phil and I had to get it down. So we get him up and pinch his cheeks so his mouth is open and the cheeks are between his teeth. That way the nurse said he can’t bite down because he’ll bite his cheeks. I get 1/5th of a dose in before he projectile vomits on us both. Fia is awake now screaming with a 104 fever.

I get Emmett in a cool bath, then try again once he’s dried off and a little calmer. I manage to get down about half a dosage. I decided not to push my luck, because I’d rather him have a little bit than barf all of it up.

Phil is with Motrin-medicated Fia, whose fever is down again. I’m with Emmett, waiting for him to fall asleep so I can count his breaths. 30 minutes later he is panting, but at a rate of 35-40 breaths per minute. I put him back in his crib and go to sleep on the spare bed.

It’s only been 20 hours since this all began…and that was just the beginning of my perfect shit-storm. And the end to my New Year’s resolutions. I’ll post the rest tomorrow.

*I realize in the grand-scheme of things, this is just a bad day/week. We are not battling a chronic illness or worse. But I like to put it all out there in case anyone else has experienced these same conditions or others. It’s parenting in the trenches. Thankfully I don’t have to do it often. Tell me your tips/stories.  It feels good to write it all down.


Yoga pose via Shutterstock

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How I Handled Baby Choking

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Well, I guess technically it’s not called the heimlich with a toddler. It’s a back manuever. But regardless, I did it today. And dare I say, now that the shock is over, I feel like a rock star mama? The fact that I remembered what to do from a CPR class 4 years ago and that I stayed calm and focused is nothing short of monumental. I don’t think I’ve ever been calm, maybe focused, but not calm. If I didn’t believe in the mom instinct before, I certainly do now.

Here’s how it all went down. Literally:

I was feeding Emmett a burrito–shredded pork, cooked until it falls apart. Melted cheese was part of the mix, as was the soft tortilla. I broke it into little pieces on his highchair like I always do. I didn’t think twice. These are soft, small foods. But it goes to show a child can choke on anything. Especially a young one who maybe doesn’t understand the importance of chewing. My guy has almost a full set of teeth. But apparently if he puts too much in his mouth and doesn’t chew long enough he can choke. This is some scary shit my friends. Because I get complacent and often walk away while he’s eating. I don’t go far, but I’ll do some dishes, etc with my back to him.

Luckily today Phil and I were eating lunch with him when it happened. I had him strapped into his highchair. Phil said, “Look, he is choking.” Well you know kids often have choking/gagging issues but it rarely amounts to a full-on choking experience.

I stood up and patted his back. It was then I could see down into his mouth–which was wide open as he was gasping. I could see the shredded pork and burrito just beyond his uvula. It was way too far back for me to scoop it out. At that point we both knew he wasn’t just gagging.

I leapt up, unbuckled him from his high chair, turned him face down over my knee and bam bam, right between his shoulder blades. All in a matter of seconds. The piece of burrito came flying out.  Emmett was still gasping for air so I pounded again. Then he started to cry. What a perfect noise.

Phil took him in his arms where he quickly barfed all over him. I’ve never been so happy to see barf. We laughed and held him until he calmed down. He is now sleeping gently. I think Phil is more impressed with me than he’s been in months.

As scary as it could have been, it actually wasn’t. I just knew what I had to do. I never panicked or doubted myself. I always thought if I were put in that situation I wouldn’t function. However, I am going to take a refresher CPR class. Here are the steps I went through today.

I do know a mom’s instinct exists. I’ve known it since my babies were born. Today was just further proof.


Pic of baby via Shutterstock

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