The Croup

I am so completely exhausted today. To the point that I actually dozed off earlier, while my daughter was still awake. My very destructive, very sneaky daughter. I would never do that under normal circumstances. But I only managed to sleep maybe two hours before resigning myself to spending the rest of the night on the couch, listening to my daughter’s breathing.

I got up to check on her at midnight. She was sleeping, and she was fine. A little congested, but not bad. I went to sleep. I woke up around 3 am, and even though I had left both of our bedroom doors open, I couldn’t hear any noise at all from her room. So I got up to check on her. She felt warm, and her temp was 99.7. I went ahead and gave her some Motrin. I wanted to give her a breathing treatment, but she said she didn’t want to do it…and when that girl doesn’t want to do something, most of the time, she ain’t gonna do it. So I went back to bed. I laid there for almost a half hour, listening. The only thing I can compare the sound to is Darth Vader! Oh, it was so awful. I got up, carried her, the pillow, and her monkey blanket to the living room. She didn’t want to go, and I told her we needed to do a treatment. So I set her up, she dozed off while breathing the medicine in, and then she went back to sleep.

Between the hours of 4 and 6, I just sat there on the other end of the couch. Three things were were leading me away from thinking bronchitis. Number 1, she didn’t cough excessively when she laid down to sleep. She was congested, and rattling, but not coughing much. Number 2, the 3 am Xopenex I gave her did absolutely zip to help her. I remember Dr. W. telling me once that Xopenex helped bronchitis, but didn’t do much for croup. Number 3, the cough sounded so much different this morning than last night. I can’t say it was the classic Barking cough, but it was close. Even B. said it sounded like croup when he got up after 6 am.

The thing is, she was diagnosed with asthma as a baby, after multiple bouts with RSV and bronchiolitis that scarred her lungs. Her first pediatrician, and her beloved Dr. W. always believed it was something she would eventually grow out of. And I do believe she is doing that. My son had croup two times as a baby/toddler. The first time scared the living daylights out of me…I put my happy, healthy baby down for a nap one day, and when he woke up he was struggling to breathe! Okay, I exaggerate a tiny bit, he was struggling but boy, did it sure sound like he was! The next time he got croup, I heard the BARK! and knew right away what it was and what to do for it. That cough isn’t one you’re likely to forget. But my daughter’s asthma complicates it a little…she doesn’t always have the telltale BARK! cough. She throws me for a loop every time. I could take the kid in for what I thought was a really bad cold and walk out with a diagnosis of bronchitis. Or walk in, thinking it’s bronchitis and walk out with freaking pneumonia. With my son, I usually just knew. With my daughter, it’s anybody’s guess.

I called the ped’s office we had chosen soon after it opened at 8:30 am. They asked if I could be there by 9 am, and I was happy to say YES. The office is actually like 5 minutes from the house! We saw Dr. M… I keep wanting to call him Dr. Blahnik (if you are a shoe lover, perhaps you know why.) And he’s not Dr. W…but he’s nice, even my daughter said so on the way out. And if you know about her fear of all things hospital and doctor, you know that’s saying a lot. This morning, she begged me to drive her to Dr. W’s office. Trust me, if that was possible I would have done it! Then she told me that I was a doctor and I could give her medicine to make her better…she still doesn’t differentiate between doctor and nurse, haha.

The verdict is that she does, in fact, have croup. Not fun, but not the worst thing she could have either. We’ve been through this before, multiple times with Diva! The doctor mentioned giving her the oral steroids (OMG) and I said that I had discussed the Pulmicort option (since it has a steroid in it) with Dr. W. after our last horrible experience with Ora-Pred (anybody remember her not sleeping for 36 hours straight, and hitting, kicking, biting the teacher, and essentially being kicked out of Pre-K for the rest of the day because they couldn’t handle her? I sure do.) Dr. M agreed to give her Pulmicort, and he also gave her cough medicine. I’m sure he walked out thinking, “Who the heck is this crazy lady telling me what to give her kid?” I don’t remember ever telling anybody that I’m a nurse, and I know there’s nothing on her chart to tell them that either.  😉 I don’t tend to make it widely known because sometimes people change their attitudes completely, and I hate that.

We really only have to give her the Pulmicort before bedtime…but I went ahead and gave her one after lunch. Wow. What a difference it made in her breathing, cough, and her mood! Now, let’s just see if she sleeps tonight…lol

Oh, and I have a habit of being all country and saying, “She’s got the croup.” or “She’s got the pneumonia.” I never realize I’ve said it until I get ‘the look’.

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