RSV and Rush; My One Tough-Cookie-of-a-Four-Year-Old Son

This past Monday, an asthmatic Rush began to feel sick.

Symptoms of lethargy, runny nose, wheezy cough, refusal to drink, refusal to eat

and a high fever that could not be broken by tylenol.

Beautiful Droopy Rush Eyes. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Rush at Almost Four. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Sleepy Sick Rush. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

This past Wednesday, a concerned Mama drove her almost four year old son to the pediatrician.

The wise, experienced and elderly Dr. Barfield listened to his chest and looked in his ears.

Barely able to lift his head up off the table, Dr. B had a hard time looking into his throat.

Without hesitation, he told me to drive Rush immediately to the ER of Egleston (Child Healthcare of Atlanta).

He called ahead and told them we were on our way.

Rush on the Pediatrician’s Exam Table. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

An unsure Rush lay pitifully on an ER exam table.

A nice lady (and child specialist) explained to Rush that the nurse was going to put a special straw in his arm;

That would administer medicine to make him feel better.

She brought games and an iPad to distract the fear.

Rush was brave and did not cry, although he did wince loudly in pain.

Panicking with stress and anxiety on the inside,

I remained calm and strong on the outside for my child.

My camera acted as a therapeutic vehicle for expressing and capturing all that I witnessed; 

Allowing me to cope and keep sane.

The State of Rush When We Arrived at the ER. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Rush with a Purple Dragon Face. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Wednesday night, Rush was registered and placed in a room to stay overnight.

The night consisted of breathing treatments every three hours, a constant changing of the IV fluid bags

And a high fever that could not be broken for more than an hour with Motrin.

At its lowest, the fever would be 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

And at its highest, 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

For a moment, Rush’s tummy told him he wanted Fruit Loops cereal.

However, it ended up in a pink hospital basin.

A Sickly Hello in IVs and Oxygen. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Thursday morning came and a feverish, lethargic Rush lay in the same spot on his hospital bed.

The day consisted of highs and lows, but his spirit was still bright.

Rush had refused to eat or drink since Monday and continued the day with this same pattern.

Thursday night came, and a Motrin-induced Rush desired to view the fish in the aquarium downstairs.

Hooked to an oxygen tank and an IV machine, he worried people would see him.

I encouraged him, by informing him, that he would not be the only kid hooked to machines as he strolled the hospital corridors. 

My mother and I maneuvered the devices as Rush walked, determined to view the fish outside the cafeteria.

Full of energy and life, his smiling face also desired to visit the playroom in Five East, which he had just been told about.

There, Rush made a sweet friend named Jared, who patted him on the back every time he coughed.

He played until it was time to return to his room for another breathing treatment.

Rush Met a Friend in the Egleston Playroom Named Jared, Who Patted His Back Every Time He Coughed. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Rush Taking a Stroll to the Playroom in Five East. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

The Monitor I Watched All Night Instead of Sleeping. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Thursday night was the roughest of all.

Perhaps he overdid it by playing and walking around so much,

But it was difficult to refuse a smiling child that had energy for the first time in three days.

His fever rose.

The doctor said it bugged him that Rush’s fever had been so high since Monday and wasn’t going away.

Thoughts of pneumonia.

After a round of Tylenol and Motrin did not break Rush’s fever even one degree,

The doctor ordered for blood to be drawn and his chest to be x-rayed immediately.

A sleeping Rush awoke to a giant needle drawing red blood from his arm.

He screamed like those in a horror flick.

An unamused Rush then kicked and screamed to get away from the firetruck-disguised x-ray machine coming towards his bed.

Then his IV (which had been difficult to get in the first time) fell out.

Four nurses held him down while three of those nurses took turns with a flashlight and a needle,

Attempting to place an IV in veins that hid themselves from view.

An hour later, the IV was back in.

Thirty minutes later, Rush vomited all over the bed.

Thirty minutes after that, Rush peed on me as he missed the urinal.

As we climbed back in bed to go to sleep, however, a glimmer of personality displayed:

“I pee-peed on you, Mama. That funny!” exclaimed Rush.

At two thirty AM, Rush finally fell asleep.

Weak RSV Eyes. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

A Peekaboo Spirit. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Friday morning was similar to the other mornings we had spent at the hospital.

The high fever persisted.

Oxygen levels were still low.

Breathing treatments every three hours.

Meds and more meds.

Each that examined him, remained bewildered by the cause of his symptoms.

Friday afternoon, the doctor ordered  the nurse to test Rush for RSV;

A respiratory virus that adults can shake.  

Infants and those with breathing problems have a more difficult time overcoming it.

In the meantime, a respiratory therapist massaged Rush’s ribcage with a vibrating machine to break up the fluid in his lungs.

Rush remained in this state for the rest of the day and into the night;

Low oxygen levels and a high fever.

I, as a mother, was concerned and slept beside him in the bed just as I had every night thus far.

However, I knew we were in good hands.

Rush Wanted Me to Take a Photo of Him and His Angry Bird. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Get Well Soon, Rush. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Self-Portrait of a Concerned Mother. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Blurred Self-Portrait of a Concerned Mother. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

My Almost Four Year Old Is One Tough Cookie. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Gettin’ His Spirit Back. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Saturday morning, his fever had vanished without a trace.

The respiratory therapists and nurses saw improvement and began to ween him off oxygen.

Two times they tried and two times they placed him back on it.

But, third time’s a charm.

Three scary nights and, finally, a hopeful day.

The test results were in and the diagnosis RSV.

Treatment consists of letting it run its course. 🙂

Saturday night, he wanted to eat.

He refused to drink, but the IV fluids continued to hydrate him.

Saturday night, the doctor told us he would probably go home the next day

If he would start drinking.

Day Four and Off Oxygen. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Rush Was Glad to Leave These Behind. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Rush’s Breath Capacity Measurer Thing. Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Sunday came and Rush’s only task, before he could be discharged, was to drink an entire Gatorade juice box.

He struggled but managed to do so by Sunday afternoon.

Full of color and smiles, we were finally able to bring our Rush home from the hospital.

Rush no longer resembled my Grandaddy, who remained hooked to an oxygen tank until the end of his life.

It was a roller coaster ride of emotions, filled with ups and downs;

But, I have one tough cookie of a four year old.

All Smiles and Anxious to Leave; With Disgusting Hospital Food to Eat First (Don’t Be Fooled By Its Looks). Polly Nance. Instagram photograph. 2012.

Thank you for taking the time to visit and view my blog!

As always, please feel free to leave any and all feedback.

PEACE, LOVE until my next bloggy-blog post, dear fellow blog readin’ friends. 🙂

53 thoughts on “RSV and Rush; My One Tough-Cookie-of-a-Four-Year-Old Son

    • Thank you. It’s so nice to hear other experiences with asthma etc. because it is so scary. Because I never grew up with asthma nor did anyone in my family, I had no idea how scary it could actually be. The ER is no fun but glad he overcame it. Thank you so much for your comment!

    • Yes, it is so scary… i cannot believe you went through that with your son as an infant. THAT is scary. My daughter was born six weeks early and came home hooked to a monitor because she had a habit of quitting breathing… I cannot believe she never had any scary experiences beyond a few at home, but I never imagined my four year old would wind up in a hospital. Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing yoru experiences 🙂

  1. On a personal level I’m sorry you went through that and I’m glad he’s better. On an objective level, that’s a gripping story, well told with words and images that are moving.

    • Thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed the story and images… it was a blog post that came along naturally. I have to document those mommy moments in order to cope with the stress of the scare. Thanks so much for your feedback and I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the post! 🙂

    • Thank you! Me too! It’s so hard to see your child in pain without being able to ease their pain. Glad time and the care he received in the hospital got him back to his normal healthy self finally. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  2. I send you my wishes for his speedy recovery, and glad that this dramatic and traumatic experience is behind your family and you. Not only did you do a good job of documenting your precious son’s illness, but he will have these images years from now to remember the concerns and kindness of others. Hope things get back to normal soon for you, Sally

    • Thank you! I hope he will appreciate these photographs one day… he does now but I am curious as to what he will think when he is older. He is a trooper though! Love that little guy so much I’d do anything for him. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for the feedback 🙂

    • Thank you! He is so very precious to me. Those nurses loved him! He was a pretty good patient except when needles were in his arm… but, he was still a good sport. Thank you so very much for your comment 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with asthma… I’m not sure those who’ve never experienced the scariness of asthma really understand how worrisome and stressful it can be. It does wear you down but I am tough and so is my son and rest of the family. I appreciate your comment and glad you could relate to the post 🙂

  3. Oh, he is soooooo cute!!! I’m so glad he is feeling better. As a mother, I know there is nothing worse than watching your child suffer and not being able to make them better. You just wish that you could magically transfer their suffering to yourself.

    • Thank you! So true… I did desire to transfer his suffering to me so I could suffer instead. It is so sad to see your little ones in such a delicate, scary state. Thank you so much for your comment!

  4. Great photos as always and great story. I’m a nurse and surprised they didn’t test him for RSV earlier. Sure they explained to you it’s a common virus in children. He was a good camper though and I trust they gave you literature to help prevent him from catching it again. If not just Google RSV.

    • Thank you! Yes, I know all about RSV because my daughter Lennon was born 6 weeks early and had to get expensive shots every month to prevent her from catching RSV. Scary stuff. I was surprised they didn’t test him earlier as well. Thank you so much for your comment!

  5. Wow…what a dreadful experience for you all. I’m so glad that the little feller is back to his normal fighting fit self.

    We live in Wales in the UK, and I just said to my wife (we were reading your post together on my laptop as we are away in our Caravan for a break), why is it, that it seems that no matter where you are in the world, Hospital food is always rubbish???

    Well done Polly….and if that’s first time he’s peed on you think yourself lucky. I promise it won’t be the last. :-0)

    • Thank you Mark! So happy to hear from you! I enjoyed your latest post and I hope your wife is feeling better although I know it’s a constant battle. 🙂
      The hospital food at the hospital I gave birth at was pretty decent… This food was almost unedible, took 45 min to get to our room and was cold and nasty when it arrived! Most hospital food is rubbish and I don’t get it because my school’s (growing up) cafeteria food was delicious in comparison. 🙂
      And no, not the first time I’ve been peed on just the first by Rush as a fully potty trained boy!
      I hope y’all have a wonderful trip 🙂
      Thank you for your comment!

  6. Good heavens Polly – I imagine it was good that you had the camera there to hide your concerns from Rush , but also to keep you occupied which I’m sure helped you stay focused.

    On the other side of the coin, the photos document well the events as they unfold.

    Glad Rush is feeling better !

    • Thanks, Cowboy! You are so right… My camera helped me focus. I tried to keep him smiling and constantly told him how brave he was. I cannot imagine being so young and being poked with needles constantly. I bet he’s over his fear of shots now! Ha. It was scary because RSV can be deadly for young lil thangs. 🙂
      Thanks for your feedback and continued support. I worked hard to document in a real way so I appreciate your words and so happy you enjoyed the post! Take care, dear friend. 🙂

    • Thank you! I had to share the story because I did use my camera to focus my energy so I could cope. Glad he’s back to his normal self now! Thank you for the feedback and I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

    • Thank you! We are happy to have him home and I am happy not to be sleeping in a hospital bed as well! I cannot imagine being in a hospital with your child for more than four nights. That was about all I could handle. I feel for the mums and dads that have a child with a terminal or chronic illness. So tough. But, in some ways, kids are stronger and tougher and more brave than adults. They delight in the moments they feel well. Thank you so much for your comment! 🙂

  7. You definitely have a tough cookie in this 4 year old :). He is just so darling and reading this has definitely put a smile on my face for the rest of the night. I suffered from horrible asthma as a child so I know what he and you are going through. It gets better as he gets older :). This is just inspiring. Thank you for sharing this with us

    • Thank you! I’m sorry to hear you suffered from asthma as a child… the only friends I had growing up with asthma were all exercise-induced asthma folks… scary but not the same as a little child. I never knew how scary it could be. He went from a cold to unable to breathe and turning blue. I am glad you are inspired by this post and I want to thank you again for your continued support and comments on my blog! Peace, love to you 🙂

      • It is scarier when you’re a child. But for the most part my mother said she was more scared than me :). So I know how you’re feeling. trust me when I saw it will get better. It took me some time but I kinda grew into my asthma. It’s more controlled and the doctors never thought that would happen. I will be praying for him

  8. I “Liked” this post because he got better, not because he was sick!! It is very upsetting and scary to see your little ones so sick. My older son got pneumonia when he was 3 years old. Luckily, he was able to go home the same day from the hospital after a mega-dose of antibiotics by IV. When he was 4 1/2, I had to take him back to the hospital after his tonsillectomy because he refused to eat or drink, and he ended up staying for 2 days. The most important thing to them is that we stay right there by their side to comfort them – as long as we’re right there, I think they feel like they can get through anything!!

  9. Great post Polly. I am glad that the little one is okay. It is not easy going through such things and to document this with your photos and story was done so very well.

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