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Seat belts are buckled. My hands tightly grip the arm rests. The plane starts building speed down the runway. I am not crazy about take-offs. Just get this ginormous air boat in the sky and I can relax. A little. But 3-year old Dylan diverts my attention.

Dylan: I have to poop.

Me: Dylan, really?! Are you serious? You can’t poop now.

Dylan: But I have to poop.

Me: Honey, you have to wait – just a few minutes – until we reach a comfortable cruising altitude. It will be the perfect altitude for pooping. (Dylan has just learned that sometimes you have to wait to do your business. Thankfully, she does).

As soon as we arrive in Boca Raton, Florida, I’m immediately conscious of two things. First, I’m freezing. The indoor temperature in this state is completely ridiculous. Everyone saunters around in a t-shirt and shorts (they are apparently oblivious to the 45 degree indoor weather), while I’m desperately searching my bags for more layers.

Second, after a long day of traveling, I need coffee. I convince my husband to return to the airport (after we’ve rented our car) because I know there is a Starbucks somewhere in that airport. I leave the poor guy endlessly looping around the passenger drop-off area, with our two girls buckled in the back, while I go in search of a cafe mocha in the main terminal. I approach an information desk.

Me: Hi. Is there a Starbucks in here?

Information Desk Lady: Why yes, there is.

Silence. Now I don’t want to come off as some impatient New Yorker so I wait. More silence. It’s like a staring contest at this point. I blink.

Me: Could you tell me where?

Information Desk Lady: Right down there by terminal C. But it’s kind of far.

Me: That’s ok. Thanks.

So I begin my journey. And I’ll wager that Information Desk Lady is not a long distance runner. Because 20 yards later (yes, I just happened to be carrying my yardstick), I’m standing in front of a Starbucks. Suddenly Boca is the land where your dreams really do come true. I’m clearly inappropriately euphoric over a cup of coffee.

That night we leave Dylan and Summer with Ricky’s parents and we dine at Sal’s Italian Ristorante where we are greatly relieved to learn they still have the buffalo wings on the menu. Because what’s fine Italian dining without wings?

Then comes sleep. For about 46 minutes.

Dylan starts coughing and wheezing. Her breathing is labored. Is it Croup (a virus that causes inflammation of the airway)? She’s sobbing. I’m getting nervous. She’s shaking. This is the most distress I’ve ever seen my little girl experience. She’s had Croup before but never like this.

We rush to the hospital. These are the words that seize my whole body. The nurse says, “We have a 3 year-old who is having trouble breathing.” I keep telling Dylan that everything is going to be fine. My arms are wrapped around her. But I’ve lost all faith. Inside I’m hysterical.

We quickly learn there is no pediatrics department at this hospital. But they begin treating her. A nurse nebulizes her with adrenaline and another gives her a dose of steroids through an IV. She screams, vomits and shakes.

Slowly, way too slowly, her normal breath begins to return. She stops quivering. Her body starts to calm. My faith returns. Ricky and I start smiling. We can laugh again.

We start to wonder why no one looks like McDreamy, McSteamy or Katherine Heigl here. It seems doubtful that any of these residents are sleeping together. We catch no one hooking up in the examining rooms. We are a bit disappointed.

3 hours later, at almost 4 am, with the diagnosis of Croup confirmed, we check out of the hospital and bring her home to my in-law’s. Dylan gets a gigantic Hershey’s bar as a special treat for her bravery. Needles = chocolate. She is starting to see the upside of a trip to the ER. I am so drained. So tired. So grateful. I fall asleep. One night of Boca under my belt.

24 Responses to one night in boca

  • sam says:

    there is nothing more scary, so sorry to hear this harrowing tale. i'm just sooo glad that doodles is ok! give her the BIGGEST smooches from pao + i. xoxo

    p.s. i also do not get the arctic psycho AC situation down there. didn't everyone move down there to get AWAY from the cold?

  • wendi says:

    We saw Dylan last night – she has rebounded quite well and seems to be enjoying Florida. Please ask me before you go out to eat – Sals?!! We may not be city slick, but we have more to offer than that!

  • wendi says:

    And as for McDreamy, if you picked a hospital where the average age was under 90, you may have had some entertainment πŸ™‚

  • Definitely not fair for you to have to log an er trip on day one of your “vacation.” I am so so sorry. At least Acadia’s surgeon was so incredibly hot that I wondered whether he was truly an MD, or just played one on TV.

  • rachel says:

    That was so upsetting to read- I'm so relieved dylan's ok and so sorry you and ricky had to go through that- on vacay or otherwise. Xoxo

  • Shannon says:

    Oh poor Dylan…IVs and little arms just don’t mix well..we’ve been there and it’s the scariest most awful experience. For you – more coffee. And for Dylan, more chocolate! Hope the rest of your days are filled with relaxation and sunshine – you deserve a break!

  • Jordana says:

    So happy to hear Dylan is okay – so sorry you had to go through all that. Did you get a treat as well for being so brave?? ( :

  • JoLynn says:

    Poor, sweet little Dylan!!! How scary for both of you!!! We are leaving in a couple wks. for Florida too!! It alway's seem's sooo cold there in the winter!!!Try to stay warm!! Sneak a couple hour's in the sun from 1-3pm. That's what I do to de-stress!!

  • Alex says:

    Oh no! I can't believe little Miss D has the croup! I totally know what you mean about the instant inner hysteria. Noa fell off our bed the other night and smacked her head on the floor. When I picked her up I could have sworn I saw blood on her forehead. My heart rate soared and I felt like I was going to pass out from sheer "mommy panic". Turns out it wasn't blood…just some of her hair stuck to her forehead. I've never been so relieved in my life to see a sticky wad of her hair glued to her head, probably with the banana that she'd had for dessert. Hope D is feeling better soon! And hope Summer is enjoying the clothes…not the goodman sweaters.

  • WA says:

    I've been through the frantic ER/nebulizer trip a couple of times with my boys. No fun. But at least now you know exactly how creative those "Grey's Anatomy" writers are…

    Glad to hear she's feeling better.

  • Kimberly says:

    so sorry you had to go through that! glad dylan is feeling better.. i spoke to her today and she was having a ball at the playground with bubbie and zaydie while you were hopefully getting some rest;) it's freezing here, so atleast you are in 75 degree weather! and i am sure you've made mom mom so happy that she gets to see the girls! think positive thoughts!!! enjoy!

  • mommywindow says:

    Mallory had the Croup for the first time ever a few months ago and I agree it was horrible and extremely scary. We ended up in the ER too. I'm sorry but I'm glad she is getting better.

    Oh and as a Floridian myself who has been out west for five years… I had forgotten about those dead serious blank stares… and no she wasn’t kidding she really just thought you were satisfied knowing the star bucks was IN the airport.

    You can survive…. One day down πŸ™‚

  • Tommy-Tom says:

    NPR this AM told me (rushing toward 65) that at my next physical, I should request to be vaccinated against . . . that's right . . . the croup! Egads.

  • Kerry says:

    how scary for you all. hope dylan is feeling better. those night-time trips to the ER are so surreal. enjoy boca, my friend.

  • Oh, hon. That must have been so frightening. I'm so glad that Dylan is OK!

    And my husband would laugh, because looking for a Starbucks would be just what I'd be doing after getting off of an airplane.

  • Lanie says:

    Glad that Dylan is feeling better! I hope that the rest of your trip was not as exciting and at least a little relaxing. . .

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kelcey kintner