Monday, September 3, 2012

It's Back...

Croup. Ugh. It reared its head again last night. We'd been croup-free for more than eight months, then last night at 1:00 am Sean and I both heard the stryder.

Within seconds we sprung into action. While I located and assembled the nebulizer, Sean filled the bathroom with steam. We don't use anything medicated in the neb, only saline, but since our shower heats up slowly, the added moisture helps to clear Max's airway more quickly.

Five minutes later, we all headed outside to shock Max's airways with the cold night-time air. Sean, in his perpetual mission to lighten the mood, stood in the road under the street light and juggled. Max loved it.

With his Down syndrome, Max has a narrow throat, so cold viruses that cause inflammation usually lead to croup. Those same narrow passages make it take a little bit longer for the croup to clear, so last night we repeated the steamy bathroom and nebulizer, followed by a few minutes outside.

By then, Max's airway had cleared enough for him to breath normally, so the next step was a dose of prednisone.  Max tends to spit out meds, so we usually put them in his milk.

It's incredible what a year's worth of experience can do. Last night we were all calm and collected. It was more like a middle of the night family reunion than a medical crisis.

But a exactly a year ago, it was a totally different story.

We'd never experienced croup, so when Max woke in the middle of the night with stryder we all panicked. We piled into the car to go to the hospital, but the twenty-minute drive was more than I was willing to tolerate. I kept having visions of my baby passing out in the back of the car, so I made Sean stop at the fire station a mile and a half from our house. The firemen were great and took us to the hospital by ambulance.

Our first croup episode on Labor Day weekend 2011. A huge contrast to last night's calm adventure.
As you can guess, Max was fine, but as new parents all we could do was what we thought was right. Max's pediatrician commended us for our quick action, but assured us it would have taken a long time for Max to reach critical condition. That wasn't very reassuring at the time, but a whole year and a dozen croup episodes later, that assurance helps.

So now, to quote Sean, "We got this."


  1. Too scarey. Mainly the small passages. You're becoming pros at something you rather not be pros at.

  2. Really nice picture of Max and Daddy!