I noticed that Calliope had a slightly runny nose when we came in from the playground yesterday. I thought maybe it was just from the cold air.
Then she started coughing in her sleep yesterday, resulting in a dramatically shortened nap.
This morning her cough was a little more productive, though still totally within the realm of normal for a toddler in wintertime. We went with our friends to the toddler gym this morning, and Calliope had a ball. She totally owned the somersault ramp. No one else could match her. But she was beyond tuckered out afterwards, and wailed most of the way home.
She coughed a bit more on the car ride back home, and I remarked to Amy, "you know, I have a feeling she's going to be wheezing by tomorrow."
Just to be on the safe side, I gave her a puff on her inhaler before nap (no lunch -- too tired). But she woke up, again from coughing, wheezing. I gave her two more puffs before we went out to buy milk and fruit, then to visit our downstairs neighbors.
By bedtime she was worse, and even my friend Emily could hear, without prompting, the wheezing.
I gave two more puffs off the inhaler (which she uses with a device called a spacer, which enables just about anyone to use it successfully, even babies) and put her to bed.
She's been up multiple times, talking and crying in her sleep, and this most recent time, looked like she was working much too hard to breathe.
So I anxiously called the doctor's after-hours hotline.
The doctor said I can give the inhaler as often as every three hours. But if she needs the medicine as often as every 1-2 hours, or if her respiratory rate reaches 50-60 (currently it's 38), I have to take her to the emergency room. Otherwise we go to the doctor's office first thing in the morning.
Of course, while I was talking to the doctor, Calliope was cheerfully building a tower on the floor, and kept asking loudly "I talk?" while I was trying to concentrate. And as I was saying goodbye, she chimed in cheerfully, "Goodbye! Goodbye!"
Luckily, I guess, I'm sure the doctor could also probably hear Calliope's hacking cough in the background so I don't sound quite so ridiculous.
I really, really don't want to drag my toddler to the emergency room tonight! Praying that her breathing gets better and we both get to sleep.
Regardless, I will be taking yet another sick day tomorrow to bring her to the pediatrician.
Now to worry about exposing my mom, who is undergoing chemotherapy, to Calliope's germy little self. I was so sure that this was going to happen. I mean, what are the odds of a toddler staying healthy for two weeks in a row during the winter months? Last week she was both healthy and off antibiotics, so this seemed inevitable.