Well, kids, this vacation is certainly having some ups and downs. I’m taking that as a good thing, by the way, since without variation things can get a little dry. That’s also a joke, incidentally — “dry” isn’t a concern around here. It’s rained every day so far (we have thunderstorms as I’m writing this), and not far away, flooding is so bad that highways are being washed out.
Yesterday started looking like it might rain, though it didn’t. That allowed us to bolt up the side of the mountain for a chance for you two to go in the bouncy castles. Sadly, only one of the three was set up, as they were all very wet (the one you were in was still a bit damp). It was so wet, and the clouds threatening a downpour so badly that we couldn’t decide whether or not to buy a day pass. Thankfully, the two attendants decided to let you two bounce anyway, as they didn’t get the other two castles set up until much later.
We went for a snack afterwards: hot chocolate for both of you, along with (shared) slices of banana bread and devil’s food chocolate cake. After our snack, we all headed back to the S7 house for our lunch: Grandpa’s chili.
Choo Choo went for a nap, Monkey went out with Mommy and Tia Nicole. It was quiet around the house for a little while.
I attempted to make dinner. With a mostly-frozen chicken. The stupid heat-proof dish shattered, the chicken hadn’t thawed as expected, and I was thoroughly disgusted with my lousy attempt. We ended up having to order from a new restaurant nearby (that happens to make a fire roasted chicken with fries that is strongly reminiscent of those from a chain named for Alps-bound edifices).
Post-dinner was our hot springs soak. Monkey, you’re getting better at swimming, but you’re still somewhat hopeless without a floatation device. We need to practice on your doggy paddle. And, I should also add, you finally took to the hot pool (which was significantly hotter than when Mommy and I had gone the night before). Choo Choo, on the other hand, could have just stayed there for hours.
Sadly, that trip also put both of you well past your bedtimes; Monkey, you didn’t get to bed until nearly 22:00, which is dangerous for your overnight rest (as it stands, it wasn’t that good). But I can safely say Choo Choo had it worse.
Laryngotracheobronchitis, to be exact. You picked it up yesterday morning, the wheezing very prominent. We had hoped it would pass, but it just got worse. So bad that a couple of times you woke up screaming — which wasn’t actually screaming, as you couldn’t really do much other than gasp and emit a raspy squeak. At 4:00, Mommy and I packed you into the car, and we were off to the hospital … nearly 30 kilometres away.
The trip to Invermere was a bit difficult. I was anxious to get you there quickly, Choo Choo, but with dawn only just starting to dawn, it was still very dark, and light patches of fog randomly appeared. In any urban setting, I might not think twice about it — on Highway 93/95, which has a constant animal warning, I was more than a little worried about going too quickly.
Ironically, I nearly hit the damn deer sitting in the middle of an Invermere street, less than 100 metres from the hospital, because I’d stopped watching for them.
Invermere Hospital is small. Really small. The outer doors were locked, and we had to get buzzed in. Then we were met by the entire hospital night staff: Two Registered Nurses and a Practicing Nurse. A grand total of 12 emergency beds, and 8 overnight beds. We were the only ones there, so we had the entire hospital focused on you, Choo Choo. A far cry from the busy-ness of the Calgary hospitals.
The Practicing Nurse almost immediately said “croup”, which is a nasty condition that stems from an infection of your vocal chords. Sadly, in small kids, it causes a tight constriction, leading to the wheezing and barking cough. That led to a phone call to the admitting desk — at some other remote location — and another call to the on-call doctor.
In the meantime, we were whisked away to Bed #4 — as unoccupied as every other bed — where you got to lay down with a warm blanket. You were scared, Choo Choo, and I don’t blame you. There were two very nice ladies fawning over you, and you were somewhere you didn’t recognise at all. Then, to make things worse, you had some drops to drink (an oral steroid to help with your larynx), and then they put a mask over your face to help give you some ventalin to help you breathe.
You really didn’t like that mask. It didn’t matter that it was painted to look a bit like a doggy, you just didn’t want it there, you didn’t want the mist, you just wanted it off. You cried. And I don’t blame you one bit. You were given a box of apple juice and two Digestive cookies for when you got it off, and stickers to put on while the mist did its work.
When the doctor arrived, a very nice man I might add, he proceeded to do a quick check, and then took you and Mommy for a quick stroll outside to let the cool air help you breathe.
I asked the nurses about the hospital, and learned how small it was, that we were in the “shoulder” season, between the high points of winter (dislocated shoulders and broken bones from the ski hills) and summer (not detailed, but I presume similar given the tendency for people to switch from one seasonal downhill activity to another).
Finally, we left, thanking everyone for all their help. You munched on ice chips and your other cookie until we were back in Fairy-mont. We all went right back to bed — I curled up with you until you were asleep again — and managed to get some more rest.
Breakfast was late, activities were (sadly) largely aborted. We managed to get in a short swim before eating lunch. Choo Choo went back down for a nap (in an effort to try get back to regular sleep patterns), and Monkey and I went for a (short) craft session, making Wiggly Worms.
Monkey, you’ve been making cupcakes with Granny, and watching Wall-E. That’s where we are right now. Mommy just got back from a much-needed massage. Grandpa and Tia Nicole are in Invermere. The afternoon and evening are ahead of us; we shall see what comes.