We spent this past weekend at the lake with Matthew's grandparents, uncle, auntie, and cousins. Unfortunately, Matthew came down with a cold when we arrived on Friday afternoon. Despite not feeling so well, he still had fun hanging out with everyone, giving high fives when requested and smiling.
While he seemed to cope well enough during the day, his breathing worried me at night especially with the concern of apnea already lingering in my mind. He had caught a few cold viruses when he was younger, but nothing that seemed as bad as this.
I checked on him a few times in the middle of the night. He stirred a lot and he was breathing like a bear.
We had quite the scare in the wee hours on Sunday. After a few times of rushing into his room when he woke up fussing in the middle of the night, I decided to sleep in Matthew's room. He was sleeping restlessly and breathing like a bear.
Then at around 3:30am, he sounded terrible. He was having a very hard time breathing, even with the humidifier on. I picked him up. I held him close. Bill burst into the room just as I thought of calling to him over the baby monitor. We turned the light on to check Matthew's color. His lips weren't blue (Thank God!) but every breath he took was tight and labored, like breathing through a very narrow straw. Should we take him to the hospital? Call 911? Do something fast PLEASE!
Bill went to wake his sister and her husband, who is a doctor - not a pediatrician, but a medical doctor nonetheless. We were so grateful they were there. He quickly tried to listen to Matthew's lungs but couldn't hear anything more alarming (like wheezing) other than the obvious labored breathing. He suggested that we take him into a steamed-up bathroom and stay there for as long as we could or until Matthew sounded better. The humidity helped tremendously! It loosened the congestion that seemed to have accumulated and maybe dried up in his throat. What a relief!
We were back from the lake on Sunday afternoon. That night was another restless one for Matthew and I. I whisked him into the bathroom for the "steam treatment" at 9:30pm and then again at 3am.
A Nasty Summer Cold?
I took him to his pediatrician today. He has not had a fever with this cold, his nose was running, he had a hoarse voice, his throat was red, and he had a hard time breathing at nap time and at night. His appetite has waned but overall, he's doing fine and getting plenty of fluids. The diagnosis: It could just be a nasty summer cold with croup-like symptoms.
His lungs sounded fine and that the noisy breathing was coming from his upper airway caused by his swollen throat and (most likely) swollen vocal cords, which are. He is to take a minimal dosage of a liquid steroid for 3 days to reduce the swelling. With it being for a short period of time, he should not experience any side effects. The home remedies for easing cold symptoms, which have always worked for us in the past, seem to have very little effect for this particular bout with this virus including:
- Warm baths in a steamed-up bathroom.
- Saline solution - a few drops or sprays in each nostril as needed.
- Nasal aspirator to clear his nose.
- Aquaphor or Vaseline under the nose to keep that area moisturized.
- Vicks babyrub on the chest and back.
- Using a humidifier in his room.
- Using a crib wedge under his sheets. We use DEX Safe Lift Deluxe, whether he has a cold or not, since sleeping at an incline is supposed to help drain the airway of congestion. However, Matthew is such a wiggly sleeper that he ends up sleeping with his head on the opposite end of the incline. Oh well. He also likes to sleep with his bottom in the air.
- Steam treatments (latest addition to our list since Saturday night). This basically involves taking him in a bathroom with the door closed and the hot shower running so he can breathe in the steam to ease any congestion that may have accumulated in his throat.
ENT appointment - Surgery?