…To Be A Dad.

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Truly scary

April 30th, 2010 · 5 Comments · asthma, croup, health, illness, lucy, medical, sleep

Last night I was busily updating Hayley’s business website when I heard Lucy cry out from her bedroom next door. I listened after the first cry to see if she would settle or wake. After the second cry I went in to her. Immediately I heard her coughing a very dry cough, but more alarmingly she was making a terrible rasping noise when she breathed in. I took her into the next room and tried to settle her. Every breath in was a terrible strained noise and every breath out was a cry. Her distress was clear. My blood suddenly felt like nine parts adrenalyn.

In light of her stay overnight in hospital a few weeks ago, I quickly gave her some ventolin, thinking this was a terrible asthamtic wheeze and that this was confirmation that her previous symptoms had indeed been down to asthma. The inhaler had little effect. By now Hayley was just coming in after a trip to the shop. Within seconds we agreed we should call 999.

At this point I have to admit I was outwardly calm and focussed on settling Lucy who I was carrying around. Inwardly however I was terrified, in that way where you can’t and don’t want to believe what is happening, but in the back of your mind you know you could be on the brink of the most terrible of experiences.

By the time the ambulance arrived (in fact two came), she was more calm and was breathing a little better. The paramedic checked her over and diagnosed croup, which is a constriction of the upper airway brought on by a viral infection.

Lucy and Hayley went to hospital in an ambulance while I gathered a few things to follow, as by now our friend Sara had come up to babysit Oliver while we dashed out. I’m not sure whether Lucy was given anything in the ambulance, but Hayley did say they didn’t put on the flashing lights and sirens.

Once at the hospital it was clear Lucy was quite content and the worst had passed. She was given Calpol and a steroidal medicine which we were told would be effective long enough to see her through the first two nights which are usually the worst with croup. I asked what I could do as first aid if it happened again. I was basically told that we had done the right thing in calling 999. I did find some advice on the web, including the use of a steamy room to alleviate the symptoms, but it’s quite unsettling to to think that we could be faced with the same traumatic scene again, as it can recur and only tends to pass by the age of five.

When we first saw the doctor in the Emergency Department she recognised us from our visit earlier in the month. I fear we may yet become even better acquainted.


5 Comments so far ↓

  • Bess

    SO GLAD that Lucy's doing OK!

  • Jessi

    Maren had croup a couple of months ago. It's not fun. It's pretty hard for them to sleep when they have it so, there's lots of rocking and crying and stuff. My advice is to invest in a humidifier and get used to surviving on very little sleep.

    I'm so sorry that she's feeling bad and that you had such a fright. There is no feeling more miserable than being helpless in the face of your child's pain.

  • Steve

    Thanks Jessi. The humidifier sounds a good idea. I hadn't thought of that. I'd been thinking a steamed up bathroom was my only weapon. Have you found the humidifier effective? Thanks for the advice.

  • Steve

    Thanks Bess. I knew we were out of the woods and she was feeling like herself again when she started demanding to explore the cubicles of the Emergency Department.

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