Croup in a Hurricane

I just wanted to share a bit of what we’ve been through earlier this week. I apologize upfront for the length.
I noticed my youngest son was coming down w/a croupy cough Sunday. I doubt anyone but a child’s own mother would have even detected it. On Monday I could hear the croupiness more and he coughed several times during the day. By evening, it was obvious enough for my husband to notice. Usually the croupy cough stays around for a day or so and then he’s over it. I let him ‘play’ in the shower for about 10 minutes, then he’s off to bed. Several bed checks later; he is sleeping pretty well. At midnight he comes into our room and says, “I need help”. He is having major respiratory distress. He’s sucking in hard to breath and the croup is loud. He’s drooling and hunched over to breath. I shot out of bed and into the steamy shower we go. My DH is looking through our linen closet for an old inhaler leftover from my oldest son’s bout w/bronchitis last fall. The shower has helped enough to get one puff from the inhaler in him. I am really frightened at this point and it takes a tremendous amount of effort to stay calm.

My in-laws live next door, so we called to see if one of them would stay w/my oldest while we go to the hospital. We’ve never lived near either one of our families. What a blessing!
So, off we go. Now, Memphis is getting the worst part of what’s left of Katrina right about this time. The rain is coming down in sheets, there’s stuff blowing across the roads and the streets are full of water. I’m in the backseat w/my son…my hand on his chest, my eyes on the road…I feel like I could puke any moment. I don’t think I have ever prayed so hard.

To shorten the story, we spent the rest of the night in the ER. My son was on oxygen for most our time there and he had the usual array of blood work, xrays and medications. They sent us home in the morning and we saw his pediatrician that afternoon. I’m now fully armed with inhalers and steroids.

My son amazed me several times that night. He gets his own wheelchair and this is the coolest thing about the whole night as far as he’s concerned. We have just settled into the room and he takes a survey of the place, noticing all the stuff. He was impressed with the sprinklers in the ceiling (I was impressed that he knew what they were for). He was sorry his brother was missing out on all the fun. When the nurse told him not to move his arm while she was putting in his IV…he didn’t even so much as flinch, although he scrunched up his face and said, “ow,ow,ow!” He complained about the nasal cannula hurting his nose, but wore it faithfully. They let him wear it in his mouth and he chewed on it a lot….funny looking, but it worked just fine. He followed the xray techs instructions to the T. He never whined or cried and he was respectful and remembered his manners. I’m sorry this sounds like bragging…maybe it is. But, I can remember very few patients that ever acted so well.

My son recently turned 7 and I’ve often thought how much ‘my baby’ is growing and changing. He seemed so small and fragile to me that night. But he also possesses a maturity and a grace that I have failed to recognized before. I can never thank God enough for this little blessing.

I wish I could say I was a woman of strong faith on this night. When my son came to me, barely moving air, I was afraid and unsure. During our drive to the hospital, I worried about making it through the horrible weather. I kept telling myself God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle and He didn’t. I knew God was with me, and I felt God with me. But at the time, I prayed and was still afraid.

My son has rapidly improved and loves telling his story of his night in the hospital. He learned a lot about a hospital that night and his mother learned a lot about her son. Thank you Lord!

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