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A trip to the ER

Friday, April 8, 2011 Leave a Comment

We just spent nearly 36 hours at Children's Hospital at Fitzsimmons with our 5 year old.

It began with a sudden and severe case of strep throat -- the same strep that's been hitting the neighborhood hard.

That night, it turned into a croupy cough - you know, where you make your kid sit on the edge of the tub while running a hot shower. Then a wheezy cough. Then rapid, shallow breathing, and we were in the ER. Then admitted into the hospital. And Children's Hospital, by the way, was a pretty amazing place and under the circumstances, a great experience. My boy thought he was the King of the 8th floor.

Suddenly, I am familiar with terms like pulse ox, oxygen saturation, nebulizer, prednisone, albuterol, and asthma. My boy in one day is a pro at the neb treatments. The doctors say it's not necessarily asthma, but more testing will need to be done.

And like any careful parent, I'm wondering what caused this? I remember a statistic from Robyn O'Brien's book The Unhealthy Truth that one in eleven children struggles with asthma, and one in four is affected by allergies.

A year ago, I changed my own diet drastically (no gluten, no dairy, low carbs, lots of veggies and whole foods) and, since I'm the cook, it seems natural to assume that my whole family's diet changed, too... but did it?

Sure, they eat veggies dipped in hummus or... Ranch dressing, but a quick peek into our pantry and fridge reveals lots of chips and crackers, boxes of Mac 'n Cheese, processed sugary yogurts, fruit juices. It's hard to break the sugar cycle in kids!

So it's been an unwelcome wake-up: how we take our health for granted until something happens; how I'd take any illness or disease in place of my kids; how frightening and powerless you feel when something like this happens.

Have you had to deal with sickness or a scary hospital stay? How do you cope with it?