I shall never be mother of the year. I am much more likely to be charged with negiligence, because apparently, I have no clue.
Ainsley has had a chronic cough going on since Easter weekend. She has asthma, so for her to cough all spring long is really not too unusual (or at least that's the story I'm telling myself today.) It's worse on days she's been outside, and it's gone from tight and croup-y to a little wet sounding, so I let it go; I sometimes do the same thing during allergy season. She hasn't had a fever, hasn't complained, has been more or less herself.
Sunday was a really bad day for her and she coughed any time she did any kind of physical activity, even walking up the stairs. After a particularly bad fit, Jason looked at me and said, "Are we going to do anything about that, or just let it go?" When the husband, who probably has visited a doctor less than ten times in his entire life, thinks her cough sounds bad, it's a sign that the time has come to get it checked out.
I didn't hurry to get her in immediately; I took a lunch time appointment yesterday with the doctor in her pediatricians' office who has seen her the most about her asthma and allergies. I expected that another ashtma medicine would probably get thrown into her combo just for use while everything is blooming, and that would be it.
But guess what? The doctor heard fluid in one lung; she described it as "crackles", and since the crackles were just coming from the bottom part of her right lung, it can best be described as "localized", and if you do a quick Google search for localized crackles, you will see that one of the possible diagnoses is...pneumonia! Awesome.
The doctor gave her a breathing treatment right there in the office because her peak flow was low, meaning her airways were pretty inflamed. Her official on-paper diagnosis is asthma and bronchitis, but because it could be a mild case of pneumonia ("walking pneumonia", the kind that doesn't necessarily make you feel bad), she's on a strong antibiotic and we're supposed to watch her really closely for signs of worsening infection.
So I feel like a terrible mom. I should have known that cough wasn't right. I let frickin' pneumonia fester in my asthmatic kid's lungs. Who does that?
She also has a new inhaler to use during hay fever season, and we have to start monitoring her peak flow regularly. What had always been a mild case of asthma easily kept under control has suddenly gotten a little more serious.
I am trying to not beat myself up about it, because I usually take Ainsley to the doctor any time her wheezing gets bad, or any time she gets a high fever, or any time she plain old doesn't seem like herself. I am usually uber vigilant. I read parenting magazines; I know the warning signs. But this one time, this one stupid time, I wrote a symptom off as common-place when I shouldn't have. And it scares me, because one time is all it takes.
I hate being human and fallible.