Last night started out very badly. Shortly after I posted the last update, Tehilla's cough got even worse and her fever returned. She couldn't keep anything down and even her diapers were not very wet. I gave up on talking to the pediatrician and called our cardiac nurse. She called Dr. Erez, Tehilla's surgeon, and updated him. The nurse and I discussed whether she should go to the ER. There was a concern whether she had contracted RSV and needed oxygen.
I got off the phone and came to the realization, amidst sleep deprived tears, that there was no point in us going to the ER. Every time that we have gone to the ER, they have not done a single thing for her. While her cough was horrible and her lips were even purple, I did not think she needed oxygen. I have more ways to calm her and help her at home. If I went to the ER, I would have spent another sleepless night with a screaming, unhappy baby, who would have to endure pointless blood tests and I would spend the entire time advocating for her. The ER poses too serious of a threat for her. Last time we went, she caught that stomach bug.
So instead, I gave her an inhalation treatment. I, then gave her only 30cc of formula and gave her Gaviscon right away. Gaviscon was the medication that they prescribed to us for her reflux. It acts as a seal for the food in the stomach. We haven't been using it on her, because she hated the taste of it and her reflux had eased up a little bit. I then moved her swing into our room, dimmed the lights and she calmed somewhat and did not throw up her food. Her cough was still very out of control.
I told the nurse all this and she agreed that it was a better plan than going to the ER. Of course, there was the precaution of if she got any worse, to go to the ER and give her a call.
My friend, Netanya, made a suggestion on the previous update: to cut an onion in half and put it next to her crib. Under normal circumstances, I would have dismissed this immediately. I mean, an onion, really? But last night, I was very desperate. I was adamant to keep Tehilla out of the ER. So, we cut an onion in half and put it on the swing with Tehilla.
It worked. Like, it really really worked. Within a few minutes, her cough wasn't as strong. We, literally, sat there watching her cough progressively stop. It took about 30 minutes, but she stopped coughing almost entirely. And when she did cough, it would dispel quickly and she could catch her breath. And then she slept for the next hour. I woke her to give her another 30cc of formula and held her with the onion next to me. She went back to sleep. We got to relax for some time and then I nursed her about half of a feeding and gave her more Gaviscon. She slept (and so did we!) for another 4.5 hours. I put her to sleep in her stroller so she could sleep very upright. She woke up in middle of the night, and I nursed her, gave her Gaviscon. She was very irritable and started crying. So I took her and started walking her in our living room. She started having coughing fits again. I was so tired, that it took me some time to realize- the onion! So, I quickly put her into her stroller, and put the onion on the stroller tray. She stopped coughing. I walked her around in the stroller and she finally calmed and went back to sleep.
This morning, I have kept the onion (about midday, I cut her a new onion) next to her. She has barely coughed and has been keeping her food down nicely, with the help of the Gaviscon. So, she is safely on the mend, at home and we are all getting some more sleep.
Honestly...onions, who knew?!?