coughy drama

Jude is still coughing. Perhaps not as often as he was prior to his regimine of Augmentin and nebuliser*. But not a whole hellova lot less either. The coughing comes in horrible fits, with him rasping out 5 or 6 trio’s of wet-sounding hacks, with the last trio ending in what can only be described as a full-body gag. By this time, he is red in the face and watering from the eyes. He is short of breath. Ever seen a small child gasping for breath? It breaks OUR hearts too.

These fits almost always occur after he has been running around unhindered, like on a playground or open turf. But they also happen in the middle of the night, and when they do, are usually more severe. These fits almost always end with him lungeing for the sippy.cup anna or i try to have on hand for him these days. We now call it the “coughy cup.” We just KNOW its been a productive cough because he ends up chewing & swallowing after the gag at the end of the coughing fit. “Would you like some coughy with that phlegm, sir?”

He just finished his 10-day cycle on the augmentin. He never missed a dose. Simply put, he f’ing LOVED taking his medication. The nebuliser is a wee different story.

The nebuliser, if you dont already know, is a devices that uses compressed air to turn a liquid medication into a mist that is then inhaled by the patient. Most often it seems, the medication is a steroid of some sort, and is most commonly prescribed to those with asthma who need to bring the medication straight to the lungs.

The device consists of a compressor feeding a tube where at the end there is a contraption that ‘nebulises’ the air and channels it out into a stream. We pour the contents of .5ml capsules of “The Goods” into the contraption, close it up, fire the compressor and do our best to keep the stream of mist flowing straight into Jude’s nostrils. To keep him from TOTALLY bugging out, we give him a pacifier and an episode of The Teletubbies. It takes about 6-7 minutes for one of the capsules to be completely used.

now, we’ve been giving him the nebuliser for almost a week now, once a day in the mornings. Again, there has been tragically little progress in his coughing. We’re not sure how long we are supposed to be giving this treatment to our lil man. We will most certainly be making another appointment with Dr Dow before we leave for Orange County for the holidays.

This time last year, Jude was a wreck and mess with ear infections. He managed to rack up 6 discreet ear infections, sometimes with simultaneous infections in both ears, or more often back to back no more then 2 weeks apart. Dr Dow once confided in me that 5 was the most he had seen in one season for a child (then) Jude’s age. So, 6 was way more then average. But this season, he’s had NONE. This could be due to at least two factors: An increase in the width/development of his ear canals [a] or [b] A lack of chronic colds which cause and/or exacerbate ear infections.

Personally, i feel Jude to be a FAR healthier child once he left the infectious environment of The Kids Place in Corte Madera. Despite their Gestapo-like efforts to keep their daycare healthy, Jude was sicker there then Dr Dow has ever seen from a daycare center. “Daycare Crud” is simply a fact of life for children his age. Contageous? Yes. Manageable? Completely. To have a child spend a stretch of 6 continuous months leapfrogging from one cold to the next? Unacceptible. So while the season IS young, Jude has not had a single cold at his current daycare.

This cough is something unique. No runny nose or other symptoms to report. It has now been almost 3 months since he’s had what Anna and i would consider a ‘chronic’ and ‘productive’ cough.

facefulla augmentin

so, can we talk for a bit here about how good Jude is with a syringe? aw hell, i knew that would come out wrong. lemme rephrase that:

can we talk for a bit here about how easily we are able to administer meds to Jude via oral plunger?

he’s no stranger to the 1.875ml plunger that comes with the infants motrin. i mean, we must have 13 of them lying around the house. when we must hit him up with the juice – you know, for teething or after a particularly nasty collision with planet earth – when he sees the plunger coming, he stops whatever he’s doing and opens wide. ok, nice as that is, it gets better. he sucks the plunger in. swiftly. we dont even touch the plunger anymore, we just stick the rig in his mouth and he does the rest. every time. its really is a joy.

but recently, crazy doctor dow prescribed for him the antibiotic augmentin. 4ml twice daily. its to take care of a persistent cough he’s had that has finally gone on long enough.

ok, this junk tastes like ass and has a thick consistency of elmers glue. how the hell am i going to get this up him twice daily? there’s no WAY he’ll take it stand-alone orally. so, i’ve been cutting it with an ounce of applejuice and mixing it all up into a more viscous solution. but now there’s far more to administer. so, here comes the proverbial big guns.

i broke out the old 10cc plunger we used when we were trying to jumpstart him on the boob when he was in his first weeks. it’s much larger, about the width of a nickle. and when this thing is packed with the aforementioned solution, it looks like something out of doctor strangelove. but when our hero see’s it coming, all he see’s is yummy goodness to suck up. the mixture ends up being 2 whole big plungers full. and he just drinks it up, sucking the plunger as he goes.

but, note to self: keep the plunger super squeaky clean before every admistration of medicine. because if that plunger should happen to stick, and he keeps on sucking, and it finally gives-way, Jude’ll (joodle?) have a facefulla augmentin.