About a month ago, I went out and sat near someone who was hacking and coughing into her hand. When I politely pointed out that coughing into your hands spreads germs instead of stopping them, I got given the evil eye like I was crazy. "Oh, I've had this for a month... I'm not contagious!" she told me. Um... Sorry. You are contagious from one day before you show any symptoms of being sick to a full EIGHT DAYS after. This means, if you're still coughing, you're still contagious! I'm sorry if you get stir crazy at home, but please don't spread your germs that way! Pregnant women don't have the luxury of taking cold meds to help with symptoms. They just have to deal if they get sick, and it sucks.
And of course, ten days (the average incubation period for the common cold is 7-10 days) later, guess who was sick? Since I don't leave the house very often, it's not a terribly big jump to assume that I know exactly how I got sick. Even worse, my husband and my son had it too! All because someone was "stir crazy" at home. Ugh.
It took about a week for us to all be better, except one thing - Bubba was still coughing. That stupid cough lingered for almost three freaking weeks. It did seem to be getting better near the end of that period though. It was just a dry cough that was around in the morning when he first got up, at night (of course) and when he did any hard playing, like riding his bike. It was annoying, but not a big deal.
Well, in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, that cough decided to ramp up and get seriously worse. I actually Googled to see what croup sounded like because honestly, I'd never heard it before. Thankfully, Bubba's cough just sounded like a really bad cough, and by morning, it sounded like a really bad HOARSE cough. I wasn't too worried.
I did feel bad for him though because obviously it was bad enough that it was bothering him. I know you're not supposed to give kids under six cough medicine, and cough drops are still a choking hazard, so we've been giving him lollipops when the coughing got really bad. He didn't seem interested them in them any more though, so I called the pediatrician's office for some suggestions. I had to leave a message for the nurse to call me back.
Well, by the time she called me back, guess who's cough had started to get worse? Also, he was now running a slight fever of 99 degrees. She could hear him in the background and so since he had been coughing so long she told us they could squeeze us in... in twenty five minutes! Luckily they're pretty close, so we all scrambled to get dressed and get down there.
By the time we got there and were seen, 40 minutes later, his fever had gone up to 101.7 and he was obviously sick. His cough had also started to get that barky sound, although only slightly. I could not believe how fast this was progressing!!! Usually when we go to the pediatrician I let him draw on the paper on the bed (hey, they have to toss it anyway!) but he was not interested at all. He just wanted to be held, so I did. He promptly fell asleep, which was nice because the doctor was able to listen to his lungs without him crying.
She said it was definitely croup. She told us that it was probably something separate from the first illness and at this age, during this time of year, it's not uncommon for kids to get a cold a month.
Holy crap! I guess we've been lucky up until this point! She also said we got lucky to catch it so early so it didn't have a chance to get too bad. He did wake up toward the end of the visit so that she got to hear the cough and confirm her diagnosis. He got a dose of steroid in the office and a prescription. We also stopped to pick up a humidifier on the way home.
He did seem better after the medicine, but of course, nights have been rough around here the past few days. There was a bit of a freak out moment the second day when he vomited up his medicine about ten seconds after taking it. I called the pharmacy and of course they were out to lunch so I didn't know if I should give him another dose, what was going to happen because of now being short a dose, and did I need to give him more Tylenol or had that been in there long enough. Ugh. Luckily I have a good friend who is a pharmacist (YAY! Thank the good Lord for that!) who I was able to text and she called me and talked me through it.
This morning he actually seemed worse than ever, but by evening he was joking around, making annoying noises, and demanding food again. I am so glad! Hopefully he (and we, let's be honest here) can finally get some sleep tonight and he'll still seem okay in the morning. This is probably one of the few, if not only, time that he's been really sick like this so it kinda freaked me out.
Being a mom is stressful, yo.