Another week had passed with Adam's cough so I called the pediatrician again on Monday to update him. His cough is still as bad but it seems to be more of a dry, hacking cough now. Still no fever, which is good because that rules out many things. Dr. Neese had us come in yesterday morning for a breathing treatment with a nebulizer. A small hose is attached to a machine, the other end attached to a container holding the medicine and a mouthpiece device. The machine converts the medicine to a vapor, which is inhaled through the nose or if Adam chooses, he can put his mouth on the mouthpiece and breathe it in directly. The process takes about 10 minutes. He was very good for his first administration - a new toy to a 20 month old is so very intriguing! He put his mouth on it quite a bit and I think it made him feel better. When we were done and he had a coughing fit, he pointed to the machine like he wanted to do it again.
Dr. Neese was still perplexed. I told him I don't want to be one of those nagging moms but on the other hand, I want to call at the appropriate times. He assured me that I was doing fine and he wasn't happy with Adam not getting better. All signs indicate he should be improving by now. He called in another doctor to trade opinions on the situation. He even paid me a really nice compliment when she entered by saying, "Now let her tell you what's been going on--she's the calmest mom of twins you'll ever meet." The doctors decided to err on the side of caution and send Adam for a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia or something else more serious. With the holiday coming up and his office being closed Thursday and Friday, they felt like they couldn't monitor him as closely.
So off we went to Saint Francis. We arrived just before 11:30 and took advantage of their valet parking. For over an hour we went through the process of being passed from waiting room to waiting room. The last one we sat in by ourselves for 40 minutes with no one to update us on how long it would be. I was very thankful Shannon stayed home with Sara but I also had a boy who was tired and hungry and running low on patience. They finally took us back and were amazed at how still he laid on the table for the first shot. She had a hard time figuring out when he was breathing so she could push the button for the x-ray. Usually kids are screaming so it's easy to tell. That was short-lived, though, as the novelty had worn off and he was tired of being messed with. I had to come out of the protective booth for the 2nd film and wear the heavy apron to help hold him down. We waited a bit longer while a pediatric technician made sure the films were readable. Another 15 minutes of waiting for our car to be retrieved from valet parking and we were on our way. Adam was asleep before we hit the interstate. I wondered how long it would last with skipping a meal but I guess we wore him out as it was quiet in the nursery from 1:30 when I laid him down to 5:15 when I woke him for dinner. Even Sara took a long 3 hour nap.
I spoke with Dr. Neese last night and the x-ray results are clear. I borrowed a nebulizer machine from a friend to use at home. We are to administer treatments every 4-6 hours for a few days and then we should be able to skip some. He only woke once last night with a coughing fit. It was a little hard getting him to sleep because the medicine makes him shaky and his heart race. In hindsight, we should have done it a little earlier so it gave him time to calm down. This morning was more of a challenge. Shannon wasn't home so I'm trying to hold Adam, hold the device, keep him from pulling on the hose, keep him from sliding off my lap when he's saying 'down', and keep Sara from pulling on the hose, too!
I think at this point I am in agreement with Madelon's mom--preemie lungs. Madelon has the same thing in the winter and they have to do breathing treatments when she gets a cough. While the kids look perfectly fine at this point and are developmentally nearly caught up, their lungs are still quite behind. Anything related to the chest just hits them harder.
We are all just ready for Adam's cough to be gone. Soon, I hope, before the week is over.