Well Mike wouldn't let it drop (Thankfully!), convinced me to call the nurse line, and I was promptly told, "If it's anything over 40 breaths a minute, it's a medical emergency - head to the nearest children's hospital."
Eli was in the high 50's.
Turns out, the poor child has a double ear infection and Bronchiolitis (Apparently not the same as Bronchitius - it's fluid in the small airways of the lungs that affect a child's ability to breathe. I didn't know either - Google for the win.)
We were sent home with lots of meds and a nebulizer. I think I was asked 15 times if we had a neb at home or had ever used one. Apparently it's strange to have a child make it to 18 months without having used it? But I'm glad we did, Eli hates that thing. It takes about 15 minutes to deliver the meds, and he has about five minutes of tolerance for it.
We watch Curious George (he looooves the making monkey sounds during it), and after he looses interest in that a short five minutes later, we play a game where he can turn it on and off, as long has he breaaaaathes deeeeep after he turns it on. He'll usually help me leave it on him for a couple minutes and takes hilariously long deep breaths - but then he's all about turning it off.
Oh well, at least he's getting most of the meds? I think?
Anyone else have tricks for getting their child to use a neb?
Already he's feeling much better and I'm shaking off those feelings of being a lousy mom for not getting him help as soon as I could. I don't know why I do that - I do it with myself too and have paid the price several times. With health stuff, I'd just rather "see where it goes," than cry wolf all the time, you know? But I'm learning that when it comes to my kids, 1) It's always better to be safe than sorry and 2) The peace of mind is always worth taking your child to the doctor.
I am not looking forward to cold season starting back up this winter. Summer has been a great break, we escaped with only a couple of short-lived colds. But winter always seems to be a different story ...
And now with a newborn - oh dear. The only bright side of sickness is all the extra snuggles it brings.
Here's hoping this is the worst we'll face this year.