Just Breathe

The days after our speech therapy evaluation were hectic much like everything had been since we’d set out on this new adventure. Before leaving the appointment we got Caleb on a schedule that would start immediately, twice a week he’d go play with Miss Tina to work on his speech. We also left with a card for a pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat doctor and we weren’t 10 minutes down the road before I’d gotten him an appointment…another appointment in the next 48 hours.

In his speech evaluation Miss Tiny noticed instantly that Caleb was what she called a “mouth breather” and she was concerned that his tonsils and adenoids being enlarged could be the cause. Ok but what does that mean??

She went on to explain that enlarged tonsils and adenoids restrict the oxygen flow to your brain and can cause ADHD because your brain isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to function properly. As I sat wide-eyed, she tried to comfort me by saying that this would be easily resolved by getting them removed and at Caleb’s age the procedure is no big deal. To her maybe! Because surgery on MY baby was a BIG DEAL! I still have my tonsils so I don’t know anything about that life. She gave us a card to the doctor who had treated her own children and whom she trusted and before we left she went as far as to say that this is most probably Caleb’s biggest reason for not sleeping peacefully.

Yet another “concern” that had me feeling scared but hopeful. The emotional Mom roller coaster was moving faster than ever. I just wanted to know what was going on with my child! At every turn there was something else. Did this mean my baby had been deprived the right amount of oxygen to his brain for his entire little life? How didn’t I know this? Would his brain be able to recover? Or was damage done and irreversible? I was flooded with questions and my mind was racing. My mind instantly went back to a few weeks prior when we had first arrived in Tampa and ended up in the ER. I had washed Caleb’s hair which is always a struggle. His reaction almost always is that of someone drowning so it’s hard to watch and it’s hard to calm him. Any way we made it through another hair wash and he went to bed that night. 2 hours in as we lay in bed I realized he was struggling to breathe, it was off and on, he would doze off and then he’d be gasping again. This went on for a few minutes before I called out for my mom. As we both watched him to see if it would subside, trying to position him on his stomach and side, we both remembered this article we read about dry drowning and small children. I panicked immediately and worried that Caleb had taken in too much water in the shower while I washed his hair. FUCK! My baby could be drowning in his sleep!

We all got dressed and got in the car around midnight to the ER, in and out of sleep Caleb struggled to breathe off and on but was mostly irritated that we’d gotten him out of bed and was now in the hospital. The staff was great, I explained my concern and what I was seeing and Caleb was seen immediately and set up for a chest X-ray.

After an hour or so the doctor came in and said his chest was clear. She also explained that since he was standing in the shower and was never submerged there was no way he could’ve taken in enough water to cause dry drowning.

Of course there wasn’t you crazy frantic paranoid first time Mama…thank you news article and 20/20 for scaring me stupid!!!

Anyway, she then asked me “is he getting a cold?” LOL, umm No doctor! If he was just getting a cold I wouldn’t be in the ER, I’m not that insane. Caleb had no usual cold symptoms that day, only the hair washing drowning by shower head incident. The doctor casually mentioned that there were a lot of cold and flu symptoms going around and that we should just be mindful but other than that we were free to go.

The next morning this child woke up with a head full of snot! O M G! I had just wasted my time at the ER for a freaking head cold. I was THAT Mom! Caleb had never done that breathing thing before when he was sick though. And he hasn’t since but hearing Miss Tina talk about the tonsils and adenoids and lack of oxygen brought me straight back to that night. I wasn’t crazy at all, my baby was really struggling to breathe. It just wasn’t related to his hair being washed.

We learned a lot from our visit to the ENT. He confirmed the breathing issue AND that Calebs tonsils and adenoids were enlarged. He didn’t want to do surgery though Thank God. He recommended that we put Caleb on an allergy nasal spray for a few weeks. He felt like that would shrink his tonsils and adenoids and once that happened Caleb would get some relief and he was confident that surgery wasn’t necessary.

This was a win for mama. No surgery AND symptom relief! He diagnosed Caleb with allergies and he diagnosed me with the same!! He diagnosed Caleb with a tongue tie as well….oh and me too!! It turns out these things were hereditary…..this was all my fault?!

The mama win felt short lived and faded fast.

2 thoughts on “Just Breathe”

  1. As a psychologist let me be the one to tell you that none of this is your fault. The words make sense, but the feeling is still there. I know. Most of the parents I work with go through this especially during what we call the assessment phase. Take each assessment one at a time. There will come a day when you will look back and know it was worth it. Great way to cope by sharing, educating, and advocating!

    Liked by 1 person

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