Friday, 19 June 2009

Young Mary Joe isn't so bad

"Oh, Anne, do come quick," implored Diana nervously. "Minnie May is awful sick - she's got croup. Young Mary Joe says - and Father and Mother are away to town and there's nobody to go for the doctor. Minnie May is awful bad and Young Mary Joe doesn't know what to do - and oh, Anne, I'm so scared!" (this part of "Anne of Green Gables" is found here)

Up until last year, Anne of Green Gables had been my only experience with croup. And what a romantic experience. Matter of fact Anne, after being shunned by Mrs Barry for the currant wine debacle, is able to win back the favour of Mrs Barry by single handedly saving Minnie May by tending to her through the night.

If you had asked me three years ago if croup was even around now, I would have told you with with 100% certainty that it was a virus long gone from first world countries.

Imagine my alarm when LQ woke late one night last year struggling to breathe and freaking us both out with her barking cough. It mustn't have been as bad as Minnie May because once LQ calmed down her wheezing was much abated and she seemed to still have plenty of colour in her face. It only lasted one night, so Dal and I didn't worry too much about it.

Until last night. Old Wheezy came back with a vengeance and this time I was debating whether we should rush to the emergency room or not. Again, once Old Wheezy had calmed down her condition seemed much better, so I diligently searched the internet for a reason for this occurance. "Croup" is what the internet spewed back at me.

And instead of being worried, I immediately felt a special bond with Anne of Green Gables. Except I guess if I were in the story (and I was honest) I would be more like the stupid Young Mary Joe character. So paralysed with panic I don't even think to make the room warmer. I guess next time LQ wakes up with an inflamed larynx, I'll have Dal trudge through the snow to summon my estranged bosom friend.

Some facts about Croup:
  • It is characterised by a cough that sounds like a barking seal and inflamed airways that usually occur during the night.
  • The inflamed airways are different to an asthmatics wheezing by the laboured breathing sound that occurs when the child breathes out.
  • It is mostly children aged three and under that suffer from croup
  • The cold night air actually HELPS the inflamed airways
  • Alternatively you can place a humidifier in the sufferer's room and that can also help
  • Calling your child "Old Wheezy" at three in the morning makes everything funny


fifi said...

Hmmm sounds like I had a bit of the old wheezy. Although The cold night air did NOT help. THe end. I can't wait to see little ishy-bel in LESS THAN A WEEK!!!!

Misty said...

I'd make sure that it's not bronchiolitis. Piper had a similar cough and that's what it turned out to be. Watch for listlessness too.

Melanie said...

Oh, bless her. Is she feeling better this morning? There is nothing scarier sounding that a wee one trying to breathe through the wheezes.

DeNae said...

My sibs had this, but never my kids. Glad you've weathered it with such literary heroism!

Anonymous said...

oh man.

All seven of my kids had this at least once and nothing is scarier.

As you say, the husband always bundled them up and took them out for a long walk, to breathe the cold air.