Breathing with the Panda

Thank you all for your kind words and wishes yesterday, both here and on Facebook, and for all the generous offers of George of the Jungle—I’ll let you know.

Sunny and I are fine now, or at least ambulatory and of normal temperature, and for the most part have stopped coughing mauve and chartreuse.

But, as some of you heard and some deduced, Janie has pneumonia.

Not a mild case, either—by the time the doctor saw her, she was at fifty-percent oxygen and her parents were at an eighty-five percent guilt/worry mix.  A few hours and a breathing treatment later, she and my husband came home with a vast assortment of meds and this guy:

She named him Po and breathed with him  for fifteen minutes every three hours from six yesterday evening to six this morning—thank God for Watson, who took care of the midnight and 3am sessions* so my husband and I wouldn’t be total zombies this morning.

Janie started out with the mouthpiece you can sort of see in the photo, but soon switched to the facemask with the elastic band, since the medicine makes her so jittery, she can’t hold onto the reservoir part—a fact that damn near broke down her mother.**

In fact, all the meds make her jumpy and intense and holy cow awake, which meant that telling her to sleep between Panda visits was a complete joke.  When I checked on her one last time before I went to bed, I could almost hear her buzzing under the covers.  But she was already breathing as if it was a normal activity instead of forced labor, which made up for a lot.

And she was in good humor this morning—for the twenty minutes I watched her through her mask, before she brushed her teeth and fell asleep on the couch, twitching like a dreaming puppy.

Wonder how she’ll feel when I arrive home with a week’s worth of school assignments for her tonight?

Is it wrong to hope that she’s too weak to struggle?


*Seriously, lady:  you, me, the new Russell Crowe movie—or just pick one —and as many concession items as you can stand.  Or the Millenium Falcon bottle opener—your choice.

**Though we soon found that rubbing her back soothed both of us.

16 thoughts on “Breathing with the Panda

    • Thanks, MSB—she has to continue her treatment through to Wednesday night and go back to the doctor on Friday.

      The hugs are much appreciated.

  1. Well, insomnia is a big factor in using me for late night stuff. I am not ashamed to say that I was awake – as was Janie. Seriously, I should have had a cup of coffee and we could have jittered through the late late shows together.

    Meh. Glad to help out. No worries.

    But the scream of “NOOOOOOOoooooooo – wheeze – NOOOOOoooooooo” at the homework pile is all you.

    • And for the record, she is tearing around here like the Road Runner, scheming how to order literally everything from the American Girls catalog.

      I think we have invented a clean energy source. For the last thirty minutes she has read every word out loud, including the order numbers, so fast you almost can’t understand her.

  2. Glad I read your blog. Hope you all are recovering or recovered. Maybe Jane can jitter and twitch through all the home work and have it done in superhuman time before the meds wear off. Hugs to all.

  3. Poor little Janie! Oh, that’s a scary thing for a mama to see. I’m so glad she’s got her panda (who’s buzzing too, by the looks of him) and is on the road to recovery.

    I see a guilt-inspired American Girl shopping spree in her future.


    • The Panda buzzes loudly, yes, at one and four am!

      And a mother’s guilt is infinite, but her budget isn’t. Jane has her eye on a two-doll Volkswagen for $350. I think I can go as far as taping two shoeboxes together . . .

  4. That panda is much cuter than the machines they make the adults use for breathing treatments. Sounds like Janie is improving – yay! And a big yay for Watson.

    On an unrelated note, I found this blog today. All muffin recipes. (I think from an old cookbook.) I thought it might be of interest to you.

    • Janie is improving—in fact, she’s actually doing homework. I think she might be bored . . .

      What a neat website, Odie—I hope the blogger continues!

  5. Sorry to hear about illnesses and such yuckiness. It is rough when kids get sick, particularly for Moms. It doesn’t really change as you get older either (I’ve noticed that first hand recently). I’m amazed that young kids are so resilient and bounce back quickly (as it sounds like has happened) from viruses. Glad to hear that Janie is getting better. Hope everyone stays well!

  6. Yay! I’m so glad to hear she is breathing better. There is something so frightening about knowing your child can’t breathe…truly terrifying. May the panda treatments be done sooner than later and may mom and child eventually get some rest.

    • We may be done with overnight treatments now!

      And to be fair, Watson has done more than her fair share of the midnight visits and my husband took over the last 10pm and 4am ones so I wouldn’t be dead this morning.

      It takes a village. And a nebulizer.

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