Being a first time parent and knowing when to actually take your kid to the doctor versus wait it out, is like a game of Russian Roulette. I tend to wait until three days have passed. Usually I will Google symptoms, call the advice nurse, and make my "educated" decision.
The last time we had to call the advice nurse, she told us, late on a Friday night, that we really needed to go to the ER. We jumped in the car and waited for hours, only to find out that Carson's ear infection symptoms were NOT an ear infection. We were sent home with a sympathy prescription. The advice nurse should have told us to make an appointment for the next day!
This time, I called the advice nurse at 5:25 pm, the day I had to pick Carson up from his first day at his new school. He seemed to be having trouble breathing. His throat seemed constricted. Sounded like Darth Vader. Advice nurse was kind enough to call back at 5:29 just before the office closed but nonchalantly said, "Yup, sounds like croup. Alternate Motrin & Tylenol every 4 hours and give him steam baths. Call back in 3-5 days if the fever persists."
Now Carson has experienced croup 2-3 times before but this definitely did not sound like that type of croup. I remember our doctor saying there are two kinds. One, the lesser, sounds like a seal barking cough, and runs its course. The other, which I shall call EVIL CROUP, constricts your airway making it difficult to breathe AND requires intervention.
Advice nurse, in her hurry to shut the phones off at 5:30, neglected to give the, "If this, then this" speech. So after three nights of listening to my son struggle to breathe and almost going to the ER twice, I finally called the doctor this morning.
Something is wrong when Carson doesn't sleep. The kid can sleep through colds, ear infections, constipation, scrapes, and most fevers. However, I've been up three nights in a row with him. I've watched Finding Nemo 11 times, Monsters Inc. 5 times, and enough Dora the Explorer to turn a human brain to mush. It's also enough to make me question having a second baby!!
To make my long story end, the doctor walked in, listened to him take one labored breath and said, "This boy has croup and needs a steriod shot right now!" And proceeded to explain that most moms would have taken their kids to the ER by now. I felt awful. Absolutely awful.
I am once again (for the 80th time in the past 2 years) nominated for Worst Mother of the Year.
Coulda, shoulda, woulda taken my kid to the doctor on the first day of labored breathing. Let this be a lesson to other "wait it out" moms. Sometimes you just gotta go!