That Time I Got My Kid High (On Accident, Y’all)

I hate croup.

I hate it.

Seriously. It’s scary. It’s scary to have it (I get adult croup sometimes, and it’s awful, especially paired up with my asthma), and it’s scary to watch someone else endure it.

But it’s terrifying to watch your child wheeze for breath, especially when you don’t KNOW that’s what it is.

Jo has been miserable with tonsillitis for about two weeks now, and the doctor confirmed it was not strep last week, so we were just pushing through with ibuprofen and frozen GoGurts.

So last night, when I was working on sorting through our pictures from our Disney trip in May and heard a cry from upstairs, followed by gagging and barking sounds, I RAN up to her room.

She was wheezing and gagging, and I thought maybe her tonsils were so swollen that it was causing this. Scared me half to death.

First I grabbed my nebulizer and gave her an albuterol breathing treatment. I didn’t want to get in the car without knowing she could breathe on our drive.

Then I grabbed our stuff and went straight to CHOA (at Egleston) in Atlanta. There was no way I could go back to sleep unaware if she’d be breathing, and since I had given her an adult dosage of albuterol (whoops), the girl was wide awake and…well…high as kite.

I was not prepared, you guys. Now that I’ve gotten past the scare, I cannot quit laughing.

I’ve taken albuterol, and all it has ever done (ya know, besides SAVE MY LIFE) is make me jittery and a little shakey. I have never before experienced what Jo did. But then, I pretty much always take an amount that’s appropriate for my size.

And, as it turns out, when you take a grown up dose at 5 years old, it can have all kinds of wacko side effects. Thankfully, it just made her hyper and chatty. And hilarious.

She spoke in her hoarse voice ALL THE WAY to Atlanta.

Here is a sample:

Jo: Mom, what IS that? Are those fireworks??

Me: There are no fireworks tonight, baby.

Jo: But what are THOSE?

Me: Those? The lights in front of us?

Jo: Yeah!

Me: Those are tail lights from cars and traffic lights.

Jo: Whoooaa, they’re so beautiful!

Jo: But what are THOSE lights?? The purple ones?

Me: Um…there are no purple lights, Jo.

Jo: Yes, there are! There, through the trees, see?

Me: (Looks at trees. See white lights.) I just see white lights from buildings.

Jo: No! It’s purple! LOOK! There’s some!

Me: (looks again. Nope. Realizes suspicion that child is totally high is correct and also that I caused it. Decides to hold onto memory as “something to laugh about later” because, whatever, she’s BREATHING now, and better a little temporary high and ALIVE than wheezing, amiright?)

Me: Sure, Jo. I see the “purple lights.” That’s a McDonald’s. It’s a restaurant.

Jo: (Satisfied. Moves on to next topic about cars and how she can’t believe anyone else is on the road that late (it’s 1AM at this point) and starts making up stories about the people around us.)

~15 minutes of non-stop five year old, medicated discussion later~

Jo: I wonder why I can’t quit talking! (then continues talking)

Just so you know, I did tell every nurse we saw and the doctor (and even the lady at the front desk) that she was “kinda high” on albuterol, and none of THEM hauled me off to the cop in the waiting room, so lest you question my parenting skills, let me say this:

  1. I don’t condone getting your kid high for entertainment.
  2. I do condone giving your child life-saving medication if they need it, even if it has some coo-coo side effects.
  3. I don’t think you’re a bad parent for finding something to laugh about when you’re scared out of your mind racing your precious child to the hospital, unsure of if they have croup or something more serious like asthma or a tonsillectomy ahead of them.
  4. Even the doctor and nurses laughed.

Now that the disclaimer has been covered, feel free to laugh (and not call the authorities on me). That stuff was bananas. The child saw purple lights that weren’t there and said tail lights were “whoa, so beautiful” like a female Keanu Reeves, for crying out loud. HA. Oh Josey.

Waiting to see a doctor. The Pigment app is great for kids her age when you need to pass the time!

All said and done, I am beyond grateful it was such a small issue and not serious. Even before we saw the doctor, she looked SO much better.

And we were back home and in bed by 5:50AM.

Next up, I’ll get to find out what nonsense comes out of MY mouth when trying to do the things and make the words on such little sleep. If you see me, and I sound a little bonkers, feel free to pour some coffee down my throat and send me on my way.


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