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Archive for October 5th, 2008

We knew it … I mean, we knew it.

After our WEBMU meetup last week in Bremen, we knew Bubba Joe would get sick.

You see, being a preemie parent doesn’t end when the child is big enough or old enough … at least not for us. Being a preemie parent is what kept me house-bound for nearly 10 months, numerous trips to the doctor and even a few late-night trips to the emergency room. And why? Because dear Bubba Joe doesn’t just get the sniffles. He has only once that I can think of in the last 29 months had what I would call a simple cold – one that didn’t turn quickly into an ear infection (or burst eardrum – yeah, that was real fun with a 4 month old) or breathing difficulties).

But, we know that he’s getting older and the only way to really build up his immune system is well, to expose him to germs.

At 10 months, he started going out to dinner with us (and grabbing waitresses butts too – thank God he’s a cutie!). He still had colds and ear infections and breathing difficulties, but we exposed him.

So it has come as no surprise when just this past week, after running around with 3 other kiddies (having TONS of fun I might add) and more importantly (at least in the case of the germs) crawling around the floors of restaurants on his hands and knees, Bubba Joe has come down with yet another cold.

And BJD and I have learned a few very important lessons about medical treatment in Germany. BJD was in Hungary this week for work – from Thursday to Friday. Bubba Joe had a cold in the beginning of the week and we started breathing treatments as preventative. (From 1 year of age up to his 2nd birthday, he received 3 breathing treatments daily as preventative – when he was sick, it was every 4 hours. I consider us “experts”.)

But, as you may have guessed, with BJD out of town, things got worse. And fast.

Me, having lost all confidence in my German language abilities, asked BJD to call, from Hungary, Henry’s peds office. They were on vacation. He called the on-call docs office. They were also on vacation. (It is important to note that BJD was calling on Thursday – German Reunification Day – a major holiday here in Germany.) He called the Notartzt (Not = emergency, artzt = doctor). They said if he was having such issues it was best to go to them (in the hospital) to get checked out.

I didn’t want to go to the hospital. Certainly not without BJD. Not yet at least. Bubba Joe’s breathing was troubled, but he wasn’t having retractions (really struggling visably) yet.

My SIL got me in to see a doc here in town. He was older and commented on Bubba Joe’s name. 🙂 He was nice and gave us a prescription for cough syrup and said the best thing for a parent to do is expose their kids to germs. (Dude – I agree completely. But when *every* single time we expose him lands us on steroids for breathing problems, I gotta problem with exposing him!)

By Friday, BJD came home very late. Bubba Joe was having retractions. We contemplated taking Bubba Joe in at 11:30 pm or taking the wait and see approach.

We waited.

Saturday, we got up and were still contemplating – I knew he just needing some stronger medicine for his breathing treatments. I did not think he needed cough syrup. Unfortunately, we had used up the stronger stuff a few months ago and forgot to ask his ped for a new prescription.

By early afternoon, I looked at BJD and said we’re going. Mama’s instincts have never once been wrong … seriously. Not once.

So BJD and I heatedly discuss which hospital to go to. The Notartzt recommended the hospital in Luedinghausen – where his ped is. I wanted to go to Datteln – where his ped recommended a long time ago when we asked what if and where to go.

We went to Luedinghausen. Bubba Joe fell asleep on the way there. And slept up until we walked in to see the doc. The ER doc was internal medicine only and had no clue how to deal with a screaming child who didn’t want anyone to look in his ears. He advised us to go to a hospital that specialized in children – such as the one in Datteln. So off we went.

Datteln was another 15 minutes away. And it was awesome!

As soon as you walk in, you register. While BJD was registering, Bubba Joe and I had fun playing in the big boat and then with the animals on the wall (elephant, hippo, bird, etc.).

Then we had to take the paperwork, walk outside, around the corner to door #1. Seriously, to door #1. We walked in and were immediately in an examination room!

The doctor there obviously knew how to handle kids and took advantage of Bubba Joe’s crying to check out his throat. He has, once again, a mild ear infection. She also gave us a prescription for a steroid suppository for his breathing and a different type of cough syrup. She said to give the suppository first, wait, then give the cough syrup.

BJD and I argued about who would give it – I don’t really do butts, much more than cleaning them. And I honestly try to avoid that if someone else is around that can.

I won. During Bubba Joe’s diaper change, pop went the suppository and within 1 hour later, his wheezing, the rattling noises, the coughing … well, it was all pretty much gone. Honest. Gone.

So far, so good. No breathing treatments today. We did give him the cough syrup this morning and he’s gotten a bit more of an appetite.

We are going to his ped for a follow-up tomorrow. But let me tell you, how awesome that some butt medicine worked SO fast.

Oh yeah – our ped gave us three levels of breathing treatments for Bubba Joe. The first is what we use on a regular basis – and is more of a preventative. The second is when he’s wheezing and is mildly stronger – it also has to be stored in the fridge once opened and has a very short shelf life. The last is for emergencies – I found it today. The exact same thing the Datteln ER doc gave us. For her, it wasn’t an emergency but was manageable – with a follow-up visit to his ped on Monday. For our ped – that was an emergency.

Lesson learned.

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