Tuesday, October 30, 2007

First Ambulance Ride

Riding in an ambulance isn't something you WANT to do, but we had our first experience last night. Carson has had a cold for few days and started to have some difficulty breathing (something that has happened only twice in the last 3 years). Of course, I didn't have a current prescription for albuterol, so after cousin Paige's party, we headed to our pediatrician office. The convenience care office is open until 10pm. They have never actually diagnosed him with asthma because the episodes are so infrequent. The two prior episodes have involved a trip to the doctor's office, a breathing treatment, and home to bed. Not last night though.


Here's what went WRONG:

  1. A non-pediatrician was working that night.
  2. In fact, a non-MD was overseeing him (a physician's assistant).
  3. The PA was measuring his pulse-oxygen level on a machine meant for adult fingers.
  4. His pulse oxygen level was bouncing around from 88 (dangerous) and 96 (healthy) in a matter of seconds. Didn't seem like the thing was working.
  5. After two breathing treatments, the PA did not wait for his pulse oxygen level to stabilize, which takes almost an hour in kids.
  6. The PA suspected pneumonia because he doesn't have a history of asthma (doesn't two prior episodes count as a history?)
  7. Because his oxygen level wasn't high enough immediately after treatment the PA would not let me drive my child to the ER.
  8. 2 fire trucks and 1 ambulance show up to pick Carson up and take him to the children's hospital in Tacoma.
  9. We will need to pay for an ambulance ride when the paramedics didn't do one thing on the ambulance.
  10. By the time he got hooked up to a real monitor, his pulse oxygen level was 96 (which is good...it stabilized in that hour!)
  11. We needed to fill two prescriptions at 2 in the morning.
  12. We picked up Addy at 2:30 in the morning. (Thank you to our awesome friends, Jeff & Kim!)
  13. We went to bed at 3:00 in the morning.

Things that were GOOD!


  1. Carson is a fireman for Halloween, so how cool is that to have 6 of them show up to take care of you?
  2. He had his costume with him because we had it at the birthday party...so he got to wear it in the ambulance.
  3. He now has a great paramedic friends. He talked their ears off in the ambulance. They want him to visit at the station next week.
  4. You get to see out the back window and lay in a 'bed' while you are riding in an ambulance.
  5. He LOVED getting the chest x-rays....totally grinning ear to ear as they took them. And seeing your bones....so cool!
  6. No pneumonia.
  7. Children's hospitals have books, toys, movies, and awesome nurses and doctors (who actually questioned the PA's call to send him to the hospital in the first place!).
  8. Although feeling not-so-good at the party, he completely perked up after the first treatments...back to his normal talkative self, loving all the attention.
What I know now (after a follow-up visit with our pediatrician today):


  1. Our pediatrician is awesome.
  2. When numbers are bouncing around on a pulse-oxygen reading...you go with the HIGHEST number (because kids' circulatory system in their fingers can be very volatile).
  3. It takes an HOUR for kids to fully get the effects of breathing treatments.
  4. A child's pulse oxygen-level is just ONE item to take into consideration before sending a kid to the ER (speaking in full sentences, being alert, talkative, and acting 'normally' are others).
  5. I need to INSIST I see either a pediatrician, or if not available, phone the on-call pediatrician BEFORE a decision is made to go to the ER.
  6. We can treat a future, similar instance on our own with the prescriptions our pediatrician gave us.
  7. It is likely he will grow out of this by age 7 (hoping!)

It was a long night. Without a degree in medicine you really are at the mercy of who is working the shift the night your child gets sick. I know it is better to err on the safe side, but overly aggressive treatment can make the situation scary and frustrating. Live and learn, I guess. I will be more prepared the next time. You have to be willing to say NO sometimes, even to doctors (and PA's!). After all, a mother knows some things about her children that a doctor never will.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pumpkin Patch at Spooner Farms



In the Northwest, if the weather is good on any Saturday in October, you go to the pumpkin patch. You can't hold out for the weekend closest to Halloween as it might be pouring down rain...and no one likes picking out pumpkins in a mud pit. So last Saturday was it...beautiful weather, 65 degrees, and just a little mud. There are dozens of pumpkin patches around here, but we have gone to the same one each year. The kids love the hay maze, the animals, the displays, and goodie shop. Don't you just love little places like this outside of suburbia? We ran into several families from church and probably half the population of Washington too. We had a great time like we do every year and ended up with a haul of pumpkins ...137 pounds to be exact.






Superstar!

We LOVE Mrs. Budinger. You wouldn't believe her classroom. Every corner is filled with treasures: tall glass bottles full of cotton balls or marbles, bins of huge wooden blocks, dinosaurs, trains, posters of letters, months of the year, days of the week, class pictures, puzzles, shapes, a huge library of books, and on an on. She has quite the collection after teaching Kindergarten for 17 years! Carson is loving school! We just had his parent-teacher conference where she said he is doing great in class. Each day at school someone is the superstar. In a class size of only 17 students (hooray for that!) your time to be the superstar comes around quite often. You get to sit in a special chair at school and help with the attendance, weather, etc. Mrs. Budinger also sends home this poster paper that they fill out at the beginning of class. Addy and I go and help out a couple days a week at the beginning of class to shuffle paperwork for Mrs. Budinger (papers coming from home and papers to go home) so we got to see him honored as the superstar last week. He was beaming and so excited! Addy wants to be in the class so bad! Hopefully Mrs. Budinger will stick around for another 2 years!


Friday, October 05, 2007

Little Reader


Addy LOVES books and stories. We have to limit her to 5 or less at night before bed. She has her favorites memorized (Olivia is a major favorite, by the way). Ever since school started for Carson, we have been getting the kids to bed earlier (hallelujah). Anyway, she still has a hard time going to bed (but, of course, is always the first one up too...go figure). So now, we leave her lamp on in her room, and she can read books until she tucks herself in and falls asleep. She always falls asleep at night time and bed time with a pile of books nearby. I hope this means she'll be a good reader someday...
Oh, and by the way, yes, she is on a crib mattress on the floor. Her big girl bed is made and waiting for a potty-trained girl.

Soccer Player & Ballerina

Carson has been playing outdoor soccer for a few weeks. Coach Trevor (Dad) is coaching the team this year. They have been having a blast. And Carson is much improved over last season...actually understanding which goal to score in. He is still mostly interested in the oranges at half time and the treats at the end of the game...you know, get candy, get candy, get candy.







Addy started her ballet/tap class this week. The age group is 3 to 5, so she was right under the cut-off with an Oct 27 birthday, but they let her in anyway. The class has 6 girls, 4 of which are friends from church. She was so cute in her little leotard and tights. She especially loved tap (probably because of the noise she gets to make). The other girls all have been in dance before, so she has some catching up to do, but it will be fun for her to finally have an activity all her own. And, another requirement to enroll was being potty-trained. I can't make the official call yet because she has yet to go 2-days without an accident, but we are getting there. I swear, if I have to clean out another pair of poopy panties....I am going to die! This girl has been bribed to no end...but that is another post.


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