I'm behind on the second part of our Halloween update, but when you read this post, you'll know why.
One word: croup.
Yep, not one but both of the boys have come down with croup in the last week, in addition to fevers that have come and gone (very briefly) and then come again for over 10 DAYS. Ever been around a bunch of sickly tween gerbils? No? Well, neither have I, but I can only imagine that it's pretty much like my last week and a half: odd smells, lots of biting, violent mood swings, way too much urine, middle of the night hysteria, faintly damp environment (courtesy of the humidifiers and hot showers), barking coughs, etc., etc., etc. Wash, rinse, repeat. Again and again and again.
When I finally did take J to the doctor, when the cough first surfaced, and I was pretty sure we were into some new and dangerous territory, she immediately diagnosed croup and sent me home with some of the most vile tasting liquid (steroids for the lungs) I have ever been prescribed. The boys only had to take it once a day for three days each, but by the night of J's third day, he came to me in tears asking if he could "please oh please not drink the red medicine again in the morning, Mommy!" It was pathetic. The doctor prescribed a double dose of the medicine and told me to give it to Baby E as soon as his cough surfaced, IF it surfaced. I now think she was just making me feel better with that "if" since I'm pretty sure she knew it was only a matter of time.
Baby E had his first dose Sunday morning, after the tell-tale cough was heard on the way to church. Nothing like getting two small boys and yourself all dressed up and prepared for church only to get to the parking lot and turn around and go home to cap off a particularly AWESOME week! After I gave the medicine to Baby E, which I accomplished by holding his arms down with my leg across his chest and holding his nose while injecting the stuff into his mouth, basically water boarding my baby, he wouldn't come near me for 30 minutes and kept spitting for long after that. Again, pathetic. Monday night, he began coughing so violently we ended up going to the ER where they said, "He has croup. And he's already on steroids. Tonight and tomorrow night are going to be bad. Thanks for dropping by." GREAT! Monday night was awful, as promised, with Baby E not sleeping for very long at all unless sitting upright with one of us holding him. No one but J got any sleep that night.
Today, Wednesday, both boys have coughs and, surprise, surprise, fevers, but the croupy cough seems to have left us, for now. J is feeling almost well, but Baby E continues to sleep with great difficulty and breathe very shallowly and laboriously. The medicine trauma is all behind us now, but both children will never forgive us, I'm pretty sure!
For some reason, I think (thought?) croup was one of those diseases like scarlet fever that we've got a handle on or a Victorian disease like consumption, that we now know is something we can treat. I mean, obviously this is not true at all in the case of croup, but I still felt so silly telling people what was going on, like I was saying the boys had come down with a case of bad blood or bilious fever or chilblain or something equally obscure.