Ben woke up at 1 am this morning, yelling and sobbing for us. I went up there to hug him, thinking it was just a nightmare, but as I held him close to me, I heard it... The bark. Between wails, every breath was louder than his actual voice. I know what croup sounds like, and this was it... but what does croup mean for an asthmatic toddler?
Even the common cold makes us shudder. If he has a runny nose? We get out the nebulizer. It's part of our asthma action plan. Hearing that horrible bark and wheeze? Holy crap, we tried not to panic.
After we got an albuterol treatment over with and spent five minutes on the porch in the cold damp air, we waited another 10. Then Chris got dressed, and I bundled my boys off to the ER.
"It's just croup." Well, duh, doctor. I know it's croup... but my baby, he can't breathe very deeply, and he sounds awful, and he's crying and scared, and I can't do anything more for him, and I'm scared. *deep breath (lucky I can take one)*
When Ben woke up again this morning at the crack of 5:30, he was upset and scared again. I tried to calm him down as I spoke enthusiastically about how much fun it would be to go for a walk before anybody wakes up.
I'll cover you in blankets, and we'll walk all over the neighborhood, looking at everything to see if it looks different in the rain and before breakfast.
And so we did. Around and around the block, then around the next block over, then around our block again. I walked through the misty light rain, grateful that it wasn't pouring, contemplating the fact that I hadn't brushed my teeth yet and maybe I should have put on socks before I slipped into my shoes. I meditated on my little boy's lungs and throat, praying for them to loosen and open up, praying for him to start coughing up some phlegm, to feel some relief.
He's quietly watching Curious George right now, fidgeting and kicking off his blankets. Rest, fluids and albuterol were prescribed. I'm going to add to that a healthy dose of love, attention, tenderness and perhaps some painting and coloring.