Monday, October 1, 2007

An Ass-thma Kind of Day

Being home on a day I'm supposed to be working is always weird. I've had time today to contemplate the insanity of baked-goods-packaging. (Why, after a weekend of grilling, do we have 4 hot dogs left but only 2 buns left? If Oprah and Dave can put aside their differences and appear on each other's shows, why can't the weiner people and the bun people work this out?) I've also had time to see the new Charmin commercial several times, and be more uncomfortable with each viewing. (Do I really need to know that there's a new Charmin that leaves "less behind"? Really, the less I think about wiping and the mechanics and what all goes on down there the better. I've been picturing toilet-paper-balls in unmentionable places all day thanks to that stupid bear. Thanks, Charmin.) And the kicker? In an effort to purge the whole dingleberry image out of my head, I took on a task even more grotesque than using non-Charmin toilet paper--I cleaned out the hair trap in our shower. And I didn't even gag once (well, maybe once, but that's pretty momentous for me.)
Why was Cranky home on a work day? Only my top reason for missing school: Ainsley got sick and scared the tar out of me.
It was a bad morning in the Cranky House.

Ains has had a bad time with her asthma since Thursday. She's not an audible wheezer, but she gets a persistent wheezy cough when she's having an attack. Her main trigger is a respiratory infection, but I've also heard the "hyena cough" after she's been exposed to a strong scent (I put an air freshener in her room this summer, and that didn't go well), or when she plays outside in cold, dry air. With the weather finally starting to feel like fall, and the ragweed in bloom, I figured this latest bout was allergy- and air-related. But things got ugly this morning.

She was fine last night, though I noticed that the inhaler wasn't doing its usual job of keeping the wheezy hack at bay. She slept well, though, so I had every intention of getting her up today and sending her to school.

Midway through breakfast, she went into a 5-minute coughing fit that left her short of breath and pale. Her eyes looked dark and sunken-in. Not good.

Two puffs of the inhaler eventually got her calmed down, but in giving it to her, I noticed she felt warm. The thermometer confirmed a mild fever. Crap. And all this was 10 minutes after the cut-off for calling in a sub at my school. Crap crap.

Our secretary said she'd work something out, and Ainsley's doctor said she wanted to see her, so 9am found us in the office. In typical Ains fashion, her fever went down and the coughing subsided as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. I love when I call the appointment line all in "Panic Mom" mode, and Ainsley's a picture of rosy-cheeked health by the time the nurse comes in. My mom says I was the same way, and I can remember her begging me to cough in the exam room before the doctor came in so the doctor wouldn't think we were making it all up. Gotta love the paranoia that runs in families.

She wasn't wheezing at the appointment, natch, but she gave a few good coughs and was doing an admirable job of looking pale and pitiful. It was decided she has a nasty chest cold that's going around and making people wheeze who don't even have asthma. After a quick breathing test, the doctor decided to give us a short course of steroids to open everything up in her chest and make the inhaler do a better job.

Several hours, three meltable steroid tablets, and one long nap later she's a different kid. Thank God for modern medicine.

Tomorrow I'll be back at work, though I will be making field trips to Ainsley's school during lunch each day this week to listen to her breathing and administer her inhaler to try to keep her tubes open until this nasty bug runs itself out.

And possibly stopping for that extra-strong Charmin on the way home. Damn you, you disgusting little cartoon bear.

No comments: