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Croup — How Can it Be?

I was nodding off on the couch about four hours ago when I realized my husband was calling to me urgently. “Call 911. Little Girl is having trouble breathing!”

I staggered out of the den and ran upstairs. There, my usually calm and collected non-panicking husband was holding my youngest who was indeed having trouble breathing. I grabbed the phone and dialed 911. The operator answered quickly, got my information, and stayed on the phone with me until the police arrived.

They arrived in 3 minutes and 38 seconds. Or less, really. (I know this because I looked at my cell phone log on the way home and that was the call duration.) I waved them in and they ran upstairs to assess my little girl. The paramedics arrived soon after. The first one into the room called it: “She’s got croup.” He told us she would be okay, but that since she was having problems breathing we’d be taking a ride in the ambulance to the local hospital.

My husband grabbed my socks and sneakers. I put slippers on the baby, and we went to the hospital. I went with the baby in the rig. My husband followed in the car once my sister got to our house to stay with Big Girl. Throughout the entire process, the entire ride, all the questions and answers and during the time I held the oxygen mask over my poor sweetheart’s face, I kept praying. Hoping it was croup, while at the same time sitting there in disbelief. How could this be happening? Babies get croup. Toddlers get croup. Children who are going on four do not get croup. Not unless they’ve been getting it since they were babies or toddlers. And yet as soon as we got to the hospital the doctor made the same diagnosis as the EMT. Croup.

Once they got us in a room the doctor continued the moist oxygen treatment and gave her an oral dose of steroids. We stayed at the hospital until her breathing was stable and she could talk. (When my husband went in to check on her, he told me on the way home, he got hysterical not only because she couldn’t breathe, but because she couldn’t speak, either.)

She’s sleeping in our bed right now. My husband, who has never, ever allowed our children to sleep in our bed, was the one to suggest it. I’m exhausted so I am going to join them. But I still can’t believe it. Little Girl has croup. Thank goodness. I hope she sleeps better than I do tonight.

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