Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This is our first update for October, and fittingly, it's a slightly scary one. Bryce spooked everyone last night when what seemed to be a mild cold suddenly turned serious. I was at a working dinner when I received the dreaded "please call asap" text message. Bryce had recently awakened from his afternoon nap, and he was clearly struggling to breathe. Christie tried our old friend albuterol first, but it didn't seem to ease his breathing at all. When he emptied out the entire contents of his stomach and turned pale as a ghost a little while later, she decided to whisk him off to urgent care.

Four hours, one chest x-ray and one round of steroids later, they decided to admit Bryce to the hospital. His "sats" (blood-oxygen saturation levels) were in the low-80s, and he needed a little extra oxygen on top of the meds to ease his ragged breathing. Furthermore, the doctor at our local hospital thought his lungs looked sketchy, and felt that it would be best to transfer Bryce's care to a pediatric pulmonologist. So, Bryce was taken by ambulance to the first home he ever knew, the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital. He didn't arrive until the wee hours of the morning, and by then the steroids had started to kick in, so Bryce and Mommy settled in to "sleep" at the hospital for the rest of the night.

The diagnosis this morning was "some virus that hit him in the wrong way." I'm happy to say that he was back to his usual cheery self upon his discharge this afternoon, although 90 minutes of non-stop screaming this evening coupled with coughing fits that leave his lips tinged with blue have reminded us what it means for a one-year-old to "have the lungs of a fifty-year-old lifelong smoker." That healthy lung tissue can't grow fast enough!

Given the condition of his lungs, we've worried for more than a year that this day would come. I'm not at all happy that our fears were justified, but I am relieved that it happened in October 2010 instead of October 2009. A night spent twisting the bed covers in knots while the rain pelted down reminded me how fortunate we are that this is the exception, rather than the norm.

Late October is a time when the ghosts, ghouls and goblins come out to play; it's too bad that the unwelcome germs feel the need to join in. May your Halloween frights be the pleasant kind!