Eric and I had just wrapped up an episode from Season 6 of The Sopranos--which I am watching now solely for narrative closure, and not because I'm really enjoying it anymore--and I was doing dishes while Eric turned out lights and locked doors. All of a sudden, over Addie's monitor, came the clarion call of croup: hoarse, whooping sobs and asthmatic wheezes. Eric ran upstairs to get Addie and brought her down. I took her into the airplane-sized bathroom on our first floor, ran the hot shower full blast, and read her stories from her favorite book until her breathing had regularized, then Eric took her outside for a few minutes. The hot and cold blasts broke the stridor somewhat, and I was able to put her back to bed, still wheezy and coughing but calm enough to rest.
Addie had croup for the first time a year ago, and because we didn't know what was going on and it was a really bad spell, we took her to the E.R. This was a huge mistake, not because the croup wasn't serious, but because it's worsened by panic and upset, and Addie did not take kindly to being looked at by all sorts of strange doctors and nurses in the middle of the night. The x-rays of her chest were also extremely traumatic for her (and the rest of us, actually). She's had two croup spells since, and both times we decided to just ride it out at home, trusting the steam from the shower and the cold night air to break the stridor, and using light touch massage, reading books, and singing songs to keep her calm. Both times it has worked. Having some confidence and experience has helped us not to over-react.
At the same time, after I put her to bed I'm always a little terrified. What if she stops breathing in her sleep? What if it worsens quickly, too quickly for us to react, and we couldn't help her in time? Croup is terrifying in this way--Addie's lips turn blue because she's not getting enough oxygen, and she gets really disoriented. Addie is a very verbal kid, and last night when I asked her what kind of juice she wanted--orange or apple--she responded "ABC." This sounds kind of funny, but it's so out of character for her that it just ends up being scary. So, even though she was in bed, calmly sleeping, her rattly breathing finally a little more even, I wasn't able to sleep for some time, listening through the monitor for her breath, her coughs, her stirrings.
We have no doubt all of this is related--the drool, the snot, the croup, the snoring, the stumbling. I hope the CAT scan results take us a step closer to understanding how we can help Addie get better, feel better. I just want her to be a healthy, happy kid.