On Monday morning, Georgie woke up with a croup-y cough. It was tight and bark-like, which is the croup giveaway. Also, since she had it once before, I recognized the sound immediately. Croup is easy to treat and best to get treated quickly, since the cause of the cough is an infection in the airway, which can swell and lead to trouble breathing. So we went to the pediatrician who confirmed that it was croup and prescribed an oral steroid twice a day, for three days. I picked it up at the pharmacy and tried giving it to Georgie twice, but it tasted terrible and she just couldn’t keep it down. So, back to the doctors office we went for the shot (which apparently isn’t as effective, so they always recommend trying the oral steroid first). Georgie’s cough loosened and she seemed a lot better throughout the day, so I assumed the worst was over, and that she would be even better after a good nights sleep.
Then last night around bathtime Georgie started to get really upset, crying and sounding so stuffed up and congested, which was making it tough for her to breathe. I assumed this was just a head cold coming on, so put some breathe easy rub on her and ran out to buy a new humidifier (Tom is away, but luckily my mom is staying with us). When I came home, Georgie was really struggling to get to sleep. She sucks on her fingers as she falls asleep, and she couldn’t because she was so stuffed up. But I also sensed that something else was going on. She has had colds before, but this sounded different. She was really working hard to get her breath. So I pulled her into my bed and we laid together for awhile, then she asked to go back into her crib. At about 10pm, she woke up (she had hardly slept at all at this point) and was struggling so hard to catch her breath. She was crying and scared and could not calm herself down. The noises she was making as she tried to breathe in were so scary. She just wasn’t getting the air she needed. We threw clothes on and drove to the ER. They rushed us through the paperwork since Georgie’s heart rate was so high, confirmed it was the croup again, gave her a nebulizer and another steroid shot, observed her for another two hours and then cleared us to come home.
Being in the hospital with your sick child is of course heart breaking, but it helped that Georgie was such a champ through it all – she had five different monitors attached to her chest, tummy and foot which meant she couldn’t get off the bed, but she cuddled with me and my mom and watched Bubble Guppies and Sesame Street and looked at baby pictures of herself. It also helped knowing that my sweet girl was getting the best care possible. We live in a part of the world where it’s not even a question that the local ER and hospital is well-equipped and full of kind, knowledgeable doctors and nurses. I knew she was in good hands, which put me at ease (or at least as much as possible in those situations!).
As I lay with Georgie in the ER bed in the middle of the night, I couldn’t help but think of what’s happening in Aleppo. Of those poor, sweet babies and children who are sick and hurt and can’t get the help that they need, and of their parents who must be in pieces because of it. It’s a feeling that no parent should ever, ever have to feel, and it makes me so incredibly sad to think that it’s the reality for so many. So this morning I made a donation here (100% of the funds go here) and hugged Georgie extra, extra tight, feeling sad that she is sick, but so grateful that she will get better.