Croup is crappy

Last week Jake started with some sort of virus.  He had a high fever that came and went with Motrin for about 36 hours and when it finally broke he was left with little more than a stuffy nose and some congestion.  He didn’t go to the doctor’s and I let him rest and recover at home, skipping the last three days of preschool that week.  By last weekend he was back to himself, I took the humidifier out of his room and Monday and Tuesday were really routine.

Tuesday night, at bedtime, I filled a humidifier for Joey who had developed a cold and cough which I assumed he had caught from Jake.  Cecilia was fine and Jake made no complaints so they all went off to bed.  Around 11pm I was awoken by the frantic calls of my husband who was holding Jake in the bathroom.  Jake, being held upright by my husband, was soaking wet on his front, mouth open, drooling, and gasping for air.

I asked him if he ate anything, first worried he may be choking, and he had shook his head no, unable to speak.  Between gasps of air I heard a high pitched squeak, and even though there was no ‘barky cough’ that would confirm croup without a doubt, I ordered my husband downstairs and to put Jake in front of an open freezer door.  Cold air, just as a steamy shower, should help him breathe if it was croup, but still he gasped for breath.  It took me only another 30 seconds of watching him drool and seeing his skin pull in between his ribs to know this was a time to seek immediate medical care.  My fear, was that he was having his first ever case of asthma, and I wasn’t going to wait around to find out.

Within six minutes of calling 911 the paramedics arrived and began assessing Jake.  His lungs sounded clear and they suspected that it was croup as the distress sounded “higher up.”  Thankfully, as I was talking to the dispatcher I was running around opening the door, locking the dog in our bedroom, grabbing Jake’s favorite blanket, my purse, phone, and a couple items for later, so as soon as they gave the word that we were leaving to go to the hospital, I was out the door with Jake.

The medics were awesome and had him sit on my lap on the stretcher and I held his first breathing treatment in his mouth.  At four years old Jake knew enough and was frightened enough to accept the treatment willingly when I told him it would help him breathe.  The fifteen minute ride to the hospital felt like an eternity with Jake grasping my pajama pants with one hand and locking my arm with his other.  I tried to keep my own emotions and panic at bay by talking to him about how cool it was to ride in the back of an ambulance.  His airway and voice box were still too swollen to allow him to speak, and every once in a while a few tears would run down his face.  I can honestly say it was one of the most frightening times of my whole life.

When we arrived at the hospital there were patients lining the hallway, and I prayed for a room without waiting.  Since he was so sick they did take us right back, and we immediately had medical staff assessing and hooking him up.  The brought in a portable X-ray, respiratory therapist who gave him a second (and different) breathing treatment along with an oral steroid.

Around 2am Jake finally began to breathe without effort and started to talk again.  He told me, “I tried to talk to you Mom, but my words couldn’t come out. Did you know when you can’t breathe that you can’t talk?”  There can’t be a worse feeling than seeing your child suffering and not being able to immediately alleviate it.

Thanks to the quick work from the EMT’s, nurses, doctors and staff, Jake was quickly bouncing back.  I knew he felt better when he asked for his Nintendo DS that I had thrown in my purse.  So there we were, at 3am, sitting in a hospital bed together playing Mario Cart.  After a while he got bored with the DS and asked for alternate entertainment.  I whipped out a handful of markers from my bag, but had forgotten paper, so my calendar (which runs through June 2012), is now full of Jake’s art work.  Undoubtedly, and not just from the drawings on every page of my planner, this will be a night I’ll remember for a while.

After filling the calendar, I asked Jake to try to close his eyes and get some rest while we were there. The night’s hours seemed to be ticking away much faster now that he was feeling better.  He cuddled up, told me he loved me, and said he was “so happy that Mommies are soft.”  It times like this I’m glad I never did commit to having a rock hard body, and I just shushed him before he totally ruined the moment.  Snickers and a separate giggle then followed from the other side of the curtain next to us.

Apparently the epinephrine must have still been keeping Jake awake, or maybe it was the excitement and buzz from the halls, but there would be no napping in the ER from either of us that night.  I could tell by 3:30am that Jake was feeling much better because he started getting antsy.  The staff was having a busy night and Jake was really amused when I found a bedpan for him to stand on the bed and pee in because I didn’t want to bother the staff.  He says that was his favorite part.

As we waited for final clearance to go home, Jake was uninterested in playing DS or using the markers, so I whispered songs to him, did silly dances and made funny faces.  After the doctor came and gave me discharge instructions and gave Jake a final check, we waited patiently (as possible) for the paperwork so we could leave.  Jake was exhausted and started whining about leaving.  Surrounded by other patients, and trying to keep him as quiet as possible, I took his blankie which I brought and wrapped it around my neck like a cape.  Jake giggled and I quietly flew around his bed. Arms stretched in front, only raising my finger to my lips to signal for him to be quiet, he sat on the bed covering his mouth with his hands, laughing almost silently.  I pretended to hit the TV (that didn’t work), flew over the bed, and then as I became worried he was losing interest, grabbed his attention once again as I stood on the chair, arms extended, balancing on one leg, when a nurse walked in.

It’s moments like that…standing on a chair at 4am, wearing a child’s blankie as a cape, in my PJ’s, braless and wearing an old sweatshirt I bought on the boardwalk a 100 years ago, I know motherhood has taken me to places I never dreamed that I would go.

I know Ive been sporadic in posting, but I’ve been keeping a close eye on Jake (and the other two are sick of course), I’ve been beginning to feel better myself, and I’ve got some things in the works for this site.  Oh, and since my laptop died a few months ago and all I have is this awful iPad2 (that’s right, I said it, I hate this thing for everyday/blogger use), I find it difficult to type and do what I need to do.  This is why I ordered a new laptop that will be coming this week.  God willing, I’ll be resuming a normal schedule and be back to more frequent posts.  Thanks for hanging with me over the last couple months.  They’ve been a real pain in the ass!

Have you had any scary ER trips with your kids?  Croup ever get crazy like this in your house?  Leave me a comment!

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  1. Kim says

    My son had asthma when he was young, and I would spend late nights at the hospital with him, with a nebulizer mask on his face. The one they used had two cut-outs on the sides, so every time he breathed out, “puffs” of mist would blow out of the holes. So, there I would be, in the ER at 3:00 am with a 2-yr old, singing “Puff The Magic Dragon”, harmonizing with the echoes! I would get some strange looks from the nurses walking past… lol

    Oh, and, yes, Mommies are soft for a reason! :) <3

    • says

      I think God made us soft for a reason…hope your son’s asthma has improved with age. My husband had it as a child and still suffers as an adult. I was so afraid that’s what might be happening (and it, as you know, is nothing to mess with)!

      And who doesn’t love “Puff the Magic Dragon!” :)

  2. kadyelle says

    My daughter was sick with “just a virus” a week or so ago; there was one night when her throat was so sore & her cough hurt so badly, she told us she wanted to go to the hospital! Thankfully, she didn’t need an ER trip, and my awesome hubs took her to the doc the next day & scored some codeine cough syrup. Now I’m sick. crap.

    I did have a ride in an ambulance with my first daughter, when she was only one week old! Paramedics, the works! She spent five days in the hospital, came home on oxygen & an apnea monitor (stayed on those at night til she was 8 months old), and reflux meds (til 2 years old). Can’t describe the ER visit to you; still too traumatic eleven years later. Loo-oo-ng story, part of which includes my c-section incision coming open. Egads.

    • says

      Ah, the joys of motherhood…I was caught whatever funk we’ve got here too. ‘Tis the season! Hope your daughter is feeling better by now (and you too)!

      And I can’t imagine how scary a trip in an ambulance with your first born- and just born- must have been….and c-section *shudders* coming open….actually makes my story of losing a few (of my 17) stitches seem mild! We women are tougher than we give ourselves credit for!

  3. says

    My little girl has been in and out of hospital recently and has had two ambulance trips. First time was for a febrile convulsion, second for croup. Then she started having episodes of going blue, which she’s still having and we haven’t got an answer for yet. She’s had all the tests on her heart as they did find a couple of abnormalities, but that’s not the cause so we’re still looking for answers. It’s so awful when they’re like that. The worst part is how paranoid you become when you’re home with them. I haven’t had a decent nights sleep in so long because I’m either worrying about her or checking on her. Hope that’s the one and only time for Jake. Big hugs to everyone who has to go through this.

    PS I wrote some tips on my blog for anyone who might have to go to hospital with their children. I’m sure others have some funny stories to add

    • says

      I really hope you get some answers and a quick fix…soon! That must be so scary, and I can’t imagine I’d get much rest either. I know croup is usually only bad at night and I’ve been sleeping lightly waking at every cough and noise coming from the hallway (and all three kids are sick, only Jake had croup so it’s like every hour I’m checking on them).

      Again, I hope you get answers soon and thanks for sharing your tips. I hope you don’t need to worry about it anymore.

  4. Joy says

    I’m so sorry this happened to you all! You’re amazing in that you were able to grab a few things and keep it all together for everyone! What an awesome Mom!!!! I love the photos and also knowing I’m not the only one willing to embarrass the snot out of myself just to see a sick kiddo a little bit happier.

    Croup is a staple of our household from October to April – one of the four always seems to get it! We spent my 11 yr old’s first birthday in the hospital with croup! Yucky. He still gets it which is unusual – usually after age 5-6 it subsides…..My 6 yr old is prone to it and within a week of her having it – the 3 yr old gets it. My 8 yr old seems to have escaped the yearly (sometimes 3/year) cycle the others endure. I feel like an expert in nebs and all the different med. And the tubing. And how to sterilize the tubing. And how to store it all. And how to take it from dogs that thing it looks like fun! (Just a note – keep the tubing from the pup – and the medicine – steroids to a puppy equal massive massive destruction – and a very very loud grumpy Joy.)

    Feel better little buddies and Mama and Papa – hope you all get some good sleep soon! I love each and every one of your posts – whenever they come!

    • says

      Thanks, Joy! We’re all on the mend, and just a little tired and with some residual coughing but no worse (thank God). Jake has actually had croup before too, just like your kids, throughout the Fall through Spring, but never needed medical attention. The steamy shower, cold air (we’ve even bundled up and gone outside), has always done the trick. This time, the really weird part was there was no coughing until a couple hours after we got to the hospital. That was always my first clue before. Ugh…took years off my life I think!

      And although the tubing sounds like a pain to keep and manage, I was wishing we had one sent home so we could avoid another ER trip. The oral steroids seemed to do their job though, so hopefully we’re well on our way to recovery.

      Hope your gang is spared this cold/flu/croup season!

      • Joy says

        Too funny – not. We ended up at the clinic today with croup in the 6 year old! Lovely. They didn’t give her a neb med but offered a shot they didn’t really think was necessary. WTH!?!?!? So…home we went and I gave her the neb our normal doc always says to after I found some meds for her in the pile we have. I didn’t think there were any in there but of course after digging (and spending a ton of money at the hospital – don’t get me started on insurance) we had some after all.

        I’m surprised they haven’t given you a neb machine. However, after today, the doc was insistent they don’t help that much. Not sure about that. Maybe it was a situational thing. Grrrrr…..

        Anywho – I’m so glad you’re feeling on the mend – and he is too!!!

  5. wendy says

    3am. something is wrong. she was about 2 years old then. my husband went to check and yelled and came running back holding her, gasping and sounding like she was breathing through a button. i was already on phone with dispatcher and calling for help and the person on phone asked if she had swallowed a button — i said no, she was asleep, she woke up like this. they sent ambulance but while we were waiting, i had to find a way to show her that i was fine and she was going to be fine and to trust me (none of which is the way i felt, by the way – i had no idea what was wrong). so i smiled and i told her i was going to put her against my chest and she could listen to my heart and hear how calm i was. so i slowed my breathing and put her against me and let her listen and her breathing eased. the ambulance got there. the guys were fantastic and gave her a mask because bythen she had started to bark with her cough… they made balloon animals from the gloves, complete with faces. the hospital was fantastic – it was croup and the meds they gave her in the mask worked so fast -one minute she was breathing through a button (stridor is what it is called when the airway is squeezed on way in and well as out) and then BAM she was happily trotting around, bouncing off the walls, breathing SO much better. terrifying. to this day, i listen during the night. she is 14 years old and she STILL gets episodes of croup but because her airway is bigger, the virus squeezes but doesn’t close off and she can still move air so no barking. cold night or steamy bathroom or nebulizer with albuterol is what we used until she got bigger and now when i start seeing signs (high fever, sore throat), i start motrin and keep it up for three days during the bad time. going outside if it is cool really does help but motrin has been great. the nebulizer is really helpful and will open it up for them but the meds make them wide awake and bouncing off walls for awhile. 200 different kinds of croup virus. Her doctor was fantastic and said that boys tend to grow out of it when they hit puberty but girls still have episodes… less severe as hormones do open airways but they still get episodes with squeezed airway, raspy voice, fever, and cough (no barking though). he totally called exactly what has happened. i really understand the terror and i hope you and the little one are doing better. they don’t tell you about this in the books, do they? yeah… well, a big hug to you and thanks for sharing your story. <3 <3 <3

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your story and your tips too! I may ask the doctor about getting a nebulizer for home in case we get a bad case like this again. Seems like a much cheaper and less stressful means of alleviating their symptoms. Jake has had croup in the Fall and Spring a few times over the last couple years, but never needed medicine and we’ve done the steamy shower and bundled up and gone outside which always worked. This time scared all of us, and I think I’ll be much more aware the next “ordinary cold” we get. It’s still crazy to me that he was fine at 8pm and in crisis by 11pm. Whew. And you’re right…they don’t put this stuff in the “manual!” lol

  6. says

    Wow, I teared up just reading that. I haven’t experienced something like this (yet) but I can imagine. You are an awesome mom for making yourself look like a fool to make him laugh.

    • says

      I’m packing a bag, like an old diaper bag, with a change of clothes for each kid and me, along with some toys “just in case” we ever have a next time. And it helps that I am a fool (and have no shame). May turn out to be a curse for the kids when their teens, but for now it’s been a blessing!

  7. Ashli says

    I hope everyone is all better soon at your home. I had to bring my little guy in for intussusception. It was horrible but treated fairly quickly. Unfortunately it recurred the following evening so we had to go back and they treated it again. He was admitted that morning and had to be kept over the next night for observation. The worst part was that he had to sleep in the baby cage bed and he was still cosleeping so he wasn’t happy that I had to sleep on the fold out chair next to him.

    • says

      Sorry to hear about your little one, and I hope he’s doing better now…I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds terrible! And especially sorry about the sleeping arrangements you both had. Can’t imagine you got much sleep on a folding chair :( I’m hoping we never have any overnight stays!

  8. says

    I’m so glad Jake is okay. That must have been horribly scary. I love that you were on the chair when the nurse came in! She must have loved seeing that at 4am. :)

    My husband got me an iPad thinking I could work on my book on it/blog on it….uh? No. It’s my Scrabble toy, the thing I entertain the kids on airplanes with. You must be thrilled to get a new laptop!

    As for ER trips…a month before Miss A’s 1st birthday, we were in a new town for just 3 months, only saw the kids’ new pediatrician once…she started barfing and pooping her brains out. There was something about the smell of it that was just…wrong. She was limp and glazed. My gut told me to call a doctor.

    I got the on-call Ped on the phone who told me, because of her naturally petite size on top of being so young, that if she puked/pooped one more time, then off to the Pediatric ER we go. She did, I wrapped her carseat in crib mattress pads, packed an overnight bag since it was getting late, and off we went.

    She ended up having Rotavirus, got hospitalized for 3 days – two of them on Quarantine. Living in that hospital room with a baby so sick for 3 days that she had to always be on IV drip, every poop measures, every bite of food/drop of formula measured, people needing to be masked & gloved to go near her? Crazy.

    The 3rd day I was sitting in my hospital bed in her room, with her on my lap, when someone came in to give her a couple gifts (a service the hospital provides). She chose a little brown stuffed dog. When she went down for her nap afterwards, I sat in the quiet room looking at that dog and bawled my eyes out: MY KID WAS QUARANTINED. She went from happy/healthy to dangerously dehydrated in under an hour. This was serious and scary and I had been in Happy It’s Okay Mommy Mode since we arrived, taking notes and being involved in her care and calmness. Then she woke up, and we danced our silly ballroom dance in the hospital room, the one that makes her giggle. The attached IV, our 3rd partner.

    • says

      I hope you never have a 3rd dance partner again. I actually spent a week in the hospital when I was 18 months old with the same thing. My Mom tells a similar story. Thankfully my kids are all relatively healthy, no ongoing issues other than allergies, and thank God no overnight stays. Sounds like you held it together longer than I would have, but it is amazing how quickly some innate Mom thing kicks in and you are able to do what needs to be done, take care of your child, and keep your own fears and emotions in check. Thank God it’s innate too, because it’s one I wouldn’t want to have to learn.

      And MY husband also was the driving force behind the purchase of the iPad2. I fucking hate it. There, I said it again. I think it’s awesome for Scrabble (which I pay too :) and Angry Birds, but I call it little more than a $600 toy. The laptop, thank God, is arriving Thursday. I’ll be waiting for it at the door when he pulls up. I can’t work like this!

  9. says

    I am so glad to hear that your son is alright! I can’t imagine that feeling of being hopeless, but you are an amazing mom for keeping him amused the way you did. This is definitely something he will look back on and remember how awesome you are.

    • says

      I’m glad I have this story in writing…when he’s a teenager and hates me, his punishment will be to read my old blogs :) Thanks for the well-wishes, he’s doing so much better.

  10. says

    Thankfully we’ve never had croup around our house. But we have been to the ER a few times. Twice for broken bones and that was bad enough. It was extra bad the second time because our daughter had broken her arm in almost the exact same spot and we were told that they might have to do surgery to repair the damage. Thank goodness they didn’t, but it was scary enough!

  11. says

    When my 15-year old was about 5, she had her first asthma attack, and your story brought me right back to our ambulance ride to the hospital. The thing I remember most was Emily’s eyes. They seemed to be pleading with me with so much fear because like Jake, she couldn’t breathe enough to speak.

    When we went in for Emily’s routine 3-year checkup,
    she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I have yet to meet another person who was diagnosed that early (not in age, but at the stage of the disease), but since it doesn’t run in our family, we had no clue what to expect. Emily had just received a Belle costume (from “Beauty and the Beast”) for her birthday and wore it all three days in the hospital. The nurses gave her an IV and made another IV for her dolly. She seemed so little, and it was so heart-breaking to realize that she was suddenly doomed to a lifetime of insulin injections, finger pricks, and the early loss of kidneys, limbs and eyesight. Her new nickname became “Our little pincushion.”

    She’s had only one seizure due to low blood sugar and that was really scary. It reminded me of Linda Blair flopping in her bed in “The Exorcist.” Thank God she doesn’t remember it.

    As I write this, it’s after 11:00 pm and I can hear Emily coughing in her room. Her allergies are acting up, and I can already tell that she is not going to be well enough to go to school tomorrow. Total bummer since we just got her report card which said “excessive absences.”

    I didn’t mean for this reply to be so long, but it seems unfair that my beautiful little (now big) girl should have so many ailments.

    By the way, do you think you’ll be having a followup blog entitled “Crap is croupy?”

    • Stacey McDonald says

      So sad for your daughter and terribly scary for you, even today. I hope that as she’s grown older, it’s been a little easier to help her since she can actually tell you what’s wrong. Breaks my heart, no matter how young or old they are. :(

  12. Shell says

    Thankfully Jake is okay-I teared up too when I first started reading because that is the scariest & most helpless feeling in the world when you see your child that way and you can’t help them. Luckily we’ve never had croup or bad asthma attacks (knock on wood), but our youngest who is 15 months old recently had an allergic reaction to medicine they put him on for a double ear infection. First he broke out in hives the size of 50 cent pieces (first trip to ER), then he started to swell badly everywhere (trip to doctor office)…he looked like the stay puff marshmallow man from Ghostbusters. When he refused to eat and started running a temp we rushed him back to the ER thinking his throat was swelling shut…which thankfully it wasn’t. I’ve never been so scared in my life! Needless to say we had two ER trips and one trip to the doctor in two days time…that’s how bad it was…scared us to death! And still the swelling/hives didn’t go away for another two days!!! It was horrible!!! I never want to go through that again! I have to say the whole cape and chair thing…oh yeah what we do as mothers to entertain our children :)

  13. says

    Sounds absolutely terrifying and I’m so glad Jake is okay! I’m almost afraid to write that I haven’t had any really scary hospital trips with my boys. I feel like I’m going to jinx myself. Does a scary trip to the hospital with hubby for kidney stones count? I just blogged about that one. Scary and then funny. Ok, possibly only funny because I’m one sick bitch, but funny nonetheless. Don’t worry…hubby thought it was funny too. Or maybe that was just the morphine drip. Whatevs.

  14. says

    I’m so sorry to hear about your recent experience. My daughter, now 9, had terrible bouts of croup as a baby through her toddlerhood. MANY is the time we had to take her to the ER in the middle of the night to get things under control. And there was one time in particular that driving her to the ER just wouldn’t be fast enough so we had to call an ambulance to bring her there. She was only two years old and still remembers riding “in the back of a big truck in her Elmo footie pajamas.” It’s a very scary to see a child literally go from sleeping to respiratory distress in 60 seconds. I can remember seeing my husband race through the house in the middle of the night to retrieve her meds, get the shower running, call the hospital, etc. with tears streaming down his seemingly-calm face. That’s a foundation-shaking thing for a woman to see.

    Anyway, all of that said, know this …. your child WILL grow out of this problem. It won’t recur forever. Until then, be sure to keep a nebulizer and its accompanying meds on hand at all times (it was the FIRST thing we replaced from our flooded home after Hurricane Katrina) and remember the steaming shower, the freezer’s interior and even just cool outside air can help get things under control quickly. Always stay calm. It’s your best defense for your child.

  15. says

    Croup is the cough of nightmares. In NY we are in full cold-mode all winter and croup breaks my heart. humidify and liquids is what we do, and of course always wear SOCKS. Thank G-d it never turned into the episode u describe! Glad he’s ok!

  16. says

    My kids never had croup (lucky!) but my brother ended up with that terrible barking cough at the drop of every little virus. My mom spent nights in the bathroom, thick with steam, so that he could breath.

  17. says

    We just had our THIRD round of croup at our house, so I can empathize. Our poor little kiddos are so brave in dealing with that kind of crap, aren’t they? It’s so hard to just sit and watch your child fight to breathe. Each time, I held my babies close and prayed to anything or anyone that they would make it through the night. I’m so glad Jake got through it. What a brave little man!

  18. Casey says

    sounds about like when we thought my daughter broke her arm! we were moving and she fell and landed on her elbow, i thought she was jest being dramatic till i realized that she hadnt lifted her arm for 30 minutes and i rushed her to the er. she was too little to talk but when i got there the dr’s accused me of hurting her arm myself. i spent 6 hours in a hallway holding her and trying to keep her from screaming. i had to hold her wiggly little body for x-rays and that for me was the worst. they had to twist her arm literally to get the right angle and i had to be the bad guy and hold it while she screamed some more. when that was done they let her fall asleep (nothing says cranky like a 1 year old whos tired, in pain and nt allowed to eat well past dinner and bed time) luckly by friend came up to keep me compay while the guys finished all the moving. she was in a cast for 6 weeks but when they took it off they told me her arm had not really been broken…thanks…

  19. Deidra says

    My 6 year old daughter likes to climb (sneak)!in bed with us at night. She usually snuggles in the middle of the bed. About 2 years ago, sthis one particular night she decides to squeeze in on my side of the bed, making me be the one in the middle. The problem is, when she sleeps with you it’s more like her sleeping ON you. So I woke up with her on me, and realizing where she was, I tried to quietly roll out from under her, but carefully so she wouldn’t room off the bed. No such luck… She rolled off, and I heard the crack of the nightstand, the plopp onto the floor and the scr ram all in one instant. I knew she was hurt. I picked her up and felt the wet blood on her face and as I was turning the light on was saying omg at the same time. That’s when my husband woke up… :/ if only I could sleep through armaggedon too! Well, I went into high gear, looking back I was like a pin ball machine going to the bathroom to get my clothes, running to the cabinet to get her a towel to stop the bleeding, getting my glasses on, not panicking, (Never!) just being productive so that I can take her to the ER, my husband would stay home with our son who was sleeping. As soon as I was ready to go, husband tells me – you’re NOT going, I am- ???? Oh, Hell No!!! How could I not be taking my daughter to the ER ??? He told me I was too panicked and will make her more freaked out? Sigh, hating to admit he was probably right, he took her and thankfully no stitches just butterflied. And I stayed home with my son, who by now was awake, and we ate cereal waiting for them to get home. I was told she was calm the whole time and didn’t cry.

  20. Michelle (Mom and Respiratory Therapist!) says

    I am really glad he ended up okay and not with something called epiglottitis which can be fatal in children. I’m sure that is why you were rushed in passed a busy waiting room. Adults can get it, but in children who’s throat anatomy is not as large, the swelling can cause complete blockage of air and become fatal. The crazy wheezing you heard is called “stridor” and is when the air is moving past very inflamed vocal cords. Poor guy. I am a mom as well and my boys have both had croup when they were younger. Unfortunately there is not much that can be done for it. The drooling is a hallmark of epiglottitis (and not usually seen with croup) so you were very smart to call the paramedics! I’m not sure if the docs told you, but now that he has had this experience, it is likely other respiratory infections will settle in him and cause croup like symptoms. It seems some kids are more predisposed to it than others. One of my boys got croup almost every time he got a cold and we ended up with a home nebulizer which was a lifesaver – you can talk to your pediatrician about it if it becomes chronic. Sometimes a steamy shower or going outside to the chilly air at night can help. Glad he is feeling better and sounds like he is a trooper as is Mom and will be experts if it ever happens again! : )

  21. Ria says

    Thankfully my three kids are older now, 16, 13, and 11. But we have had our fair share of emergency trips, especially with my now 11 yr old DS. The girls haven ‘t really been too much trouble. The 13 year has viral asthma, and chronic ear infections with tubes. Lots of sick days and trips to the Dr. for ear infections etc. Our son has been a whole other story.

    When he was 13 months old, he came down with hand foot and mouth. Dr. told us to make sure he didn’t get any colds or other viruses for about a month. Oldest DD brought a cold home within the first 2 weeks of school. His cold turned into croup, trip to emerg, xrays, nebulizer treatments and oral steroids for about a month. His airway was down to the size of pencil. Fast forward to him being two years old, broke his arm at the wrist two weeks before halloween, a simple fall while walking down the street. He seemed fine after a few mins of crying, that evening when he fell again while running around getting ready for bed he stumbled, and started to cry, I knew something was up so I took him to the Dr. the next day. Dr. didn’t believe me, my son was playing and happy, took some xrays and sure enough wrist was broken. Cast for six weeks, trying keeping a 2 year old boy and his cast clean. LOL

    Fast forward to when he was 3 yrs old, stung by a bee on his forward, but had a mild reaction which caused swelling down to this own eye. Off we go to emerg again. LOL Now he is 4 years old in Junior Kindergarten, the principal calls, “your son had an accident in the classroom and cut his head open, it appears he is going to need stitches, can you please come and get him” Of to emerg we go again and this time get the hole in his head glued.

    Then comes last year, October, I am at massage therapy for a chronic neck issue I have, my phone is on vibrate and it keeps going off, I am on the table I assume it is my husband and friends texting me, then the therapists phone starts to ring, a few mins later there is urgent knocking on her door. Turns out DS broke his other arm playing at recess at school, and my husband was trying to reach me for my son’s health card to give to the ambulance drivers when they arrived at the school. Luckily I had a friend who was volunteering at the school who ran out to the RMT’s office where I was (small town) and get my son’s health card. Met my husband and son at the hospital where they were taken. Both bones broken mid-lower arm. Nothing has made my heart drop so low as when the ER Dr. takes the splint and bandages off to have a look, and I see the odd angle of the arm and THEN she tells me what has to be done to set the bones for healing. Thanks goodness the orthopaedic surgeon made us leave the room while they traction set his arm. Cast for 8 weeks, restricted activity for 3 months. Regular follow up appoints every week for the first few weeks, then every two weeks until the cast came off. Three months of restricted activity was hard. We leave in Ontario Canada, and it was halfway through winter before he could play normal again. No skating, no tobogganing, no gym, no running, no playing outside. Poor kid. And I should mention, two days week after his cast came off I dropped him off at school, AFTER I tell him to please be careful on the ice and snow, he jumps off a snow bank and wipes out on a patch of ice. He hops up, and yells “DON”T WORRRY!!! I AM FINE!!!” Ugh, boys.

    Its amazing what we go through as parents. I am surprised my hair isn’t completely white. LOL

    • Stacey McDonald says

      Good heavens! Bless you for going through that all of these years! And crossing my fingers that our years ahead are less “eventful!”

  22. Julie says

    We ended up in the ER with our daughter when she was a few months shy of turning 3. We were sitting at the kitchen table on a Sunday afternoon just finishing up lunch and I undid the straps on my daughter’s booster seat and went to pull the chair back. Big mistake! Our kitchen has a tile floor and the legs of the chair got stuck in the grooves/grout line of the tile so I jerked the chair back a little and at the same time my daughter was leaning forward to try to climb out. She fell head first on the hard tile foor and landed on her forehead. She immediately had a big bump right in the middle of her forehead and she was screaming and I couldn’t get her to calm down. We immediately left for the hospital and by the time we got there she had calmed down and seemed fine (she was talking to us and telling us the colors of cars) so we decided that we would just go back home and keep a close eye on her. After we got half way home she started screaming again so we turned right around and went back. She was taken back right away and checked out. The ER doctor gave her some crayons and told her that she could color on the sheets as she sat on the bed while he checked her out. She was a little unsure at first because coloring on the sheets is not something that mommy encourages at home but she ended up scribbling all over the place.

    Luckily, she was completely fine but I still feel horrible about her falling because I feel like it was all my fault. I can still hear the noise her head made when it it the tile floor and it makes me sick to my stomach to think about it. Ugh.

  23. says

    How scary! I’m so glad everything is OK. Last January my (then 2.5 year old) had RSV which turned into pneumonia…he woke up with a 104.5 degree fever which took hours to lower even with advil and tylenol. He was so sick, coughing and miserable. It was very scary and makes you feel kind of helpless…so I definitely like the supermom to the rescue idea :)

  24. Stacey McDonald says

    Don’t know how the hell I missed this one! And we’ve had a week from hell, too. It all started when 4 yr old Katie, who’s never even put a crayon in her mouth, snorted eggs up her nose the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Couldn’t get them out & she was screaming bloody murder so I took her to the local (shit-town) ER. After Katie’s continuous yelling at him to “Get that thing (scooper) out of my nose!” he pulled out one of those little pea-sized, plastic, googly eyeballs. Good grief.

    Next on our list, a quick shopping trip (bought The Elf on the Shelf!) & a visit with Santa at Bass Pro. Katie loved it and, of course, my 14-month-old was mesmerized only until I took my hands off of him in Santa’s lap & the screaming ensued. Memorable picture. Ok, check that off of my list.

    Grandfather’s wife of 30 years died unexpectedly in her sleep in the wee hours of the morning Thanksgiving day. My mother left my house & went to stay the weekend with him. So, with my husband overseas, I was on my own here. Spent Friday there with both of my kids visiting with relatives.

    By the time we got home Friday night, 4 yr old had nearly 105 fever. Got some of it down & 1 yr old (Kellan) woke during the night with fever & …you guessed it. Croup so bad that he couldn’t even cough, much less breathe. Started the usual home remedies. At 7:30am, called pedi (in my hometown an hr & a half away) & he said to take both kids to ER. Shit-town ER Dr gave Kellan antibiotic for an ear infection, ruled out RSV, flu & pneumonia for both kids and sent us home. WTF? Saturday night, same thing all over. Of my own accord, I started Kellan on an oral steriod leftover from last month. Made it through Sunday and took kids to pediatrician on Monday morning. Guess what a QUALIFIED doctor found? BOTH kids had a severe virus, BOTH kids have croup and BOTH kids have an ear infection. Steriods, nebulizer and antibiotics for both kids. And instructions to drive them an hr & a half to my hometown ER if the need arises again b/c obviously the local ER SUCKS. Stupid Dr could have killed my baby. I’m so furious I’m thinking out a letter in my head to submit to the Board of Directors for this hospital. I shouldn’t even have to pay for that and they shouldn’t be allowed to submit to insurance for it.

    In addition, the steroids have turned my already temperamental, strong-willed 4 yr old into a Jeckyll & Hyde, demon-child. I asked the pediatrician if he’d write ME a Rx for Prozac. He laughed & said no. He also laughed when I asked if he’d just take Katie home with him until she was feeling better. He laughed his butt off at the ER discharge papers with the eyeball taped on them. I love our pediatrician. My kids love him, too. It’s great that he has such an incredible bedside manner with kids and parents and such a great sense of humor…his kids are now teenagers and older so he sympathizes. :)

    I threatened to call Santa yesterday and cancel Christmas!

    I’m on the hunt for a house in my hometown, to say the least. I just can’t live in a town where there’s no 24-hr pharmacy or “super” store of some kind within reasonable driving distance or a decent ER or pediatrician. Especially since I live by myself with 2 little ones most of the time. That’s where my dearest friends live and a lot of my family. I need some support…and adult conversation.

    Oh, did I mention that my Mom just flew to spend the holidays with my sister in Florida. Won’t be back until January some time. Hubby won’t be home for his 2-week R&R until Dec 18. So much going on the next few weeks that I’m paying my girlfriend’s college daughter to spend the next two weekends with me. If I can just make it through the Nutcracker Ballet and Katie’s first dance recital, I’m all good.

    That’s my last 10 days. And Christmas is right around the corner. I’m considering hanging a wreath on the front door as the whole of my Christmas decorations.

    I needed to vent. This looked as good a place as any. ;P How’s your shopping going?