Thanksgiving at the lake…
This Canadian Thanksgiving, my husband and I packed up our four year old Olivia, our dog, AJ, and headed to my mom’s cabin in the Cariboo of BC. For the first time ever, our nine year old son opted to stay home for the long weekend so he could attend a sleepover at his best friend’s house. (Fortunately, Susan was able to have him stay with her for the rest of the weekend.)
The weather was incredible and every day and night we got to enjoy this unbelievable view. Pretty darn hard to not be thankful in such a beautiful place!
Olivia came down with a bad croup cough on Sunday, but I wasn’t worried. Neither of my kids have ever required medical intervention with their croup. That night, when her cough woke her up, Olivia and I had a midnight cuddle out on the deck breathing in the cool air to try and help her breathe. And I thought that would be the extent of our croup remedies.
But this morning, about twenty minutes in to our six hour drive home, Olivia threw up all over herself, her booster seat, etc. Lovely. Cleaning up vomit with hand sanitizing gel and kleenex, and stripping off your preschooler’s puke-soaked clothes on the side of the road is definitely a low point in parenting.
When we got back on the road, Olivia was pale and weak, fading in and out of a restless sleep. Her breathing sounded bad and I started to get more concerned. Soon, the wheezing was serious and she was crying that she couldn’t breathe. I could see her sucking in for air that wasn’t reaching her lungs.
We were on a country highway, one hour from the nearest city. Phil tried to searched his phone to locate a hospital but our connection was too weak. So I phoned Susan for her to Google as we continued to drive. There was a very small “town” about ten minutes away and we hoped they could direct us to a hospital.
As soon as we pulled into the cafe/gas station, I ran in and asked the cashier where the nearest hospital was. Miraculously, there was a small hospital in a nearby town ten minutes off the highway!
At this point, I was not picky about what kind of a facility we would take. I was straight up scared.
But this small town hospital was even better than a crammed city hospital. We walked in and spoke to the doctor right at the triage station. We were immediately taken into a room, Olivia was assessed and receiving treatment within ten minutes of arriving. It was fantastic.
Thank you small town hospital for being there when we needed you — when driving an hour with our wheezing, breathless daughter was unbearable.
Sure, a tiny hospital can only treat simple cases. In fact, a helicopter arrived while we were there to transport another emergency patient to the city hospital.
But today, that hospital in the middle of nowhere was perfect for us. It was there and they had everything we needed — Ventolin, prednisone, epinephrine and a very kind nurse.
Yes, I am thankful this year for sunsets and small town hospitals and my little girl, breathing.
P.S. Has your child ever had to have emergency treatment for asthma or croup? How close is your nearest hospital? Where have you had to seek medical help when on vacation?