Croup Is An Evil Sleep Stealing Sickness
I can remember when my children were babies and I was trying to decipher their coughs. Â Is this an upper respiratory infection? Â Is he air-hungry? Â Is he wheezing? Â On the phone with my doctor, she described â€œstridorâ€ (croupâ€™s cough) as a barking noise.
â€œAre you asking if my kid is barking?â€ I repeated back. Â â€œYou mean like a dog?â€
â€œNo, actually, more like a seal,â€ the doctor responded.
My son got away without having croup for years. Â It was my second child who first showed me what that barking sounds like about a year ago. Â As soon as I heard her cough, I knew exactly what it was. Â And the funny thing is, I never understood what they were asking, but as soon as I experienced it first-hand, I knew barking like a seal was the perfect description.
My daughter had a terrible case of croup and had to get an emergency injection of steroids to help open her airway. Â For two nights I slept on the floor outside her crib, listening to her breathe. Â I didnâ€™t sleep until she was completely better and I hoped my brush with croup was over. After all, at this point I thought my kids were too old to have it. Â Apparently not.
Last Thursday, my 4-year-old was sent home from school with a low-grade fever. Â The next day he looked piqued but had no real symptoms to mention. Â We hoped with one day to rest at home, he would feel better and go back to school the next day.
Saturday he was worse than ever. Â Thatâ€™s how you know they arenâ€™t faking it, by the way. Â If they are sick on a weekend, they are really sick. Â He would be fine one minute and then the next minute his fever would spike to 102. Â I assumed his body was just fighting something that needed to run its course. Â But we still had no idea what that â€œsomethingâ€ was since there were no other symptoms. Â Then Sunday night just before midnight as I was heading to bed, the tell-tale cough revealed itself. Â It was croup.
Since heâ€™s a little older (and his airway a little bigger) it didnâ€™t get as scary as the first time I experienced croup with my daughter. Â It was enough to hold him in the steamed up bathroom for 15 minutes. Â Every two hours. Â It was like the newborn phase all over again.
Every baby book and doctor website will tell you that croup gets worse at night, but no one explains why. Croup is a viral infection that attacks the vocal chords. Why would that get worse at night? Â Maybe because croup is anÂ evil sleep stealing sickness. Â A torture device for parents. Isnâ€™t it every parentsâ€™ worst nightmare that their child stops breathing in the night? Â It kept me up for hours while they were infants, even when they were healthy. Â Then croup actually threatens to mess with their breathing at night. Â Itâ€™s just wrong. Â Iâ€™m going to start a foundation to eradicate croup from the face of the earth. Thatâ€™s what I need to do.
Or maybe I just need a good nightâ€™s sleep.