What a week. On Sunday, Lentil was wheezing when I nursed her
at 11 o’clock, but within a few
hours, it had worsened. She had a bark and cough. She sounded like a seal pup.
We talked about taking her to Children's, hut by the time we took stock of our
situation, we opted to wait until our pediatrician's office opened for drop in.
Mister took her in. They didn't see our regular pedi, but
saw the doctor who helped us out in January when Lentil was so sick. Based on
what Mister told her, she thought Juniper was having an allergic reaction to
something that triggered asthma. She prescribed albuterol and a spacer (a
device to help babies inhale the albuterol since they can't hold their
breaths). She slept in our bed last night (I washed everything in her bed) so
we could listen to her breathing. Same as Sunday. At 3:10 or so, we tried the
albuterol – a total nightmare — but she was hysterical and no better so we
decided to take her to Children's.
Imagine this scenario: dark room, baby who coughs herself
awake because she can’t breathe, then back to sleep again. Mister and I fumbled with the albuterol
and spacer, snapped at each other in our fear. A little voice in my head kept
saying, he can’t see anything, because it was so dark and Mister is so very
blind without his glasses. I held her for the first round of albuterol, Lentil hiccupping
and pushing against the mask and me. Mister held her for the second round. It
left her angry and more frightened then before. I said, “Let’s take her now.”
Here’s the thing. When you have a sick child, you want to
protect her at all costs. Then there’s the other voice, which asks if you aren’t
over-reacting and silly. I suspect a lot of parents do this, second-guess
themselves for fear of being regarded as foolish by doctors. Since we’ve had a
couple of good scares with Lentil this year, I hope that I become more
comfortable with looking foolish.
At Children's Hospital, the nurse immediately diagnosed her as having croup. The
resident and the attending confirmed croup with possible stridor. Croup is the
cough and husky voice. It is gnarly sounding. Whoa, doggy. We didn't see it
coming, and neither will you.
Croup is a viral infection that settles on the voice box, in
the throat. Stridor is difficulty breathing. They are related but not the same. Of the two, stridor is the more serious as croup is loud and scary sounding, but stridor means the child can't breath.
She was given two different kinds of medicine, a steroid liquid (oral) and
epinephrine for the breathing. We're on day 3 which is supposed to be the
worst. [Note: we’re on Day 5 today.] It's lousy since she's also teething.
Wednesday night was a humdinger: Tylenol for teething, humidifier for
breathing, Mama sleeping in the fold-a-way.
I posted an update to FB about her croup to FB. Immediately,
friends commented about their own experiences — most of their kids had more
than one instance of croup. A few were surprised (and indignant), as we were,
that the doctor misdiagnosed her
croup since it should be obvious.
Note: the hospital paperwork says its highly contagious
until the child starts feeling better.
Anyway. We're fine. She'll be fine.We didn't have any experience with croup and didn't identify it
ourselves (nor did the pediatrician). It always gets worse at night. If you
think your child has it, take him/her in for assessment. Lentil was
mild/moderate so they sent her home. Moderate/severe gets you a bed.
And … I don't think I've noted before about the care at Children's Hospital, but it's outstanding. In the picture, Lentil's looking at Dr. Erin's beads and duck on her stethoscope. The nurses and doctors are gentle with the children. When Dr. Erin came to check on us before we left, she played peek-a-boo with Lentil before coming in the room. Make your child feel better emotionally and physically? Yay!