Lovely name for an illness, isn't it? Croup. We have gone through it with every child so far and it is always worrisome. The tell-tale barking cough in the middle of the night. Sitting in a hot, steamy bathroom with your child trying to make it easier for him to breathe. Standing in the cold night air with your little one wrapped in a blanket to open up his tiny little airway. Listening for the stridor, that harsh, raspy sound. Looking for retractions in his little chest when he breathes. Ready to dash to the emergency room at the first sign that your baby is having difficulty breathing. Lack of sleep. For everyone.
Croup has been visiting us this week and we are ready for it to leave. The two youngest have had the croup cough for a few days now. When any of the little ones are sick, Papa Bear and I take turns sleeping near them so we will be able to hear them if they need us. Yesterday morning, I awoke to the sound of LJ's labored breathing. I roused him and asked if he was having a hard time breathing and he nodded. I scooped him up and called my oldest, who was sleeping upstairs, to come down in case the baby woke up. Then I headed to the kitchen. I had two things on my mind: get the phone to call Papa Bear, who was working a double, and get LJ outside into the cold air. On the way, LJ said he wanted a drink of water, so I gave him a small drink before heading out the door. As soon as we got outside, Papa Bear answered the phone and Levi threw up the water. Needless to say, Papa Bear was en route. We went back in, started the hot shower, and sat in the steamy bathroom until Paul got home a few minutes later. LJ was still having trouble breathing, so Papa Bear and M1 took him to the ER. Fortunately, the ER was empty and they got him right in. LJ had to have an Xray and a shot (which LJ didn't acknowledge with even the slightest flinch), then he received a breathing treatment and had to be observed for a couple of hours. He left with a prescription for a nebulizer to use at home.
Normally, I try to avoid pharmaceuticals but there are times when they are necessary. When your precious child can't breathe, that's one of those times. We have been running the humidifier at night, staying home and running off visitors, sitting on the couch, watching a lot of TV, and since M2 also has the croup, I have been nursing A LOT. LJ has been very whiny and M2 has been clingy, which is understandable. And sleep...well, we'll sleep when they are all better.