I can handle a few coughs, but this was BAD. It sounded like he had croup for half of it, and the other half was this loud, wet-sounding cough-cough-WHEEZE, cough-cough-WHEEZE we'd been hearing a few days back. I wasn't sure if he needed albuterol or Dimetapp, but I figured since albuterol would actually help him breathe, while Dimetapp is purely prophylactic, I'd try the albuterol first. And it worked. The poor little dude went back to sleep after that.
I was on the fence about sending him back to school. If it were just daycare, I would definitely keep him home. But Ig is PDD-NOS (high-functioning autistic) and in a special preschool program in the morning where he gets speech therapy and OT. I hate for him to miss it! But I know how the school nurse gets when you give her that kind of responsibility. If I called her and said, "He had pneumonia last week, but is still coughing. If he breaks into a fit of spasmodic, coughing or sounds like he has croup, can you please call me?" she would tell me to keep him home. After all, the woman's got 500 other kids to worry about.
Anyway, my choice was made for me: This morning, Oz woke up coughing and running 101. He was coughing yesterday, so I did start him on the albuterol MDI, but we definitely breaking out the neb today, kids.
I wasn't worried about pneumonia - I didn't think pneumonia could be spread AS pneumonia. I thought it was like strep, which doesn't always strike the throat - we've seen it fester as an infected hangnail!
But, horrifyingly, I was mistaken. I asked my dad - a pharmacist who almost died from antibiotic-resistant pneumonia as a teen. Dad said, "Theoretically, it is contagious. I got a lot of nurses sick in the hospital."
I confirmed Dad's assessment on KidsHealth.org:
The bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia can be contagious. But once your son is taking the proper antibiotics for his bacterial infection, there is a minimal risk of passing the organism on. Check with the doctor about your son’s specific case.
Ugh. Guess we're going back to the doctor today...
I'll keep you posted.