Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Croup! Crap!

Yeah that's the best title I can come up with after being up all night with poor Jakey.  Sorry. 

I should have known it was coming when he sounded so froggy this afternoon, as laryngitis is related to croup.  But it had been so many years since he'd had it that I was hoping he'd outgrown his tendency toward it.  Apparently not.

There is a nasty cold making the rounds in our family and now it's his turn, apparently.  On vacation week. Of course.

The thing is he hasn't been sick in so long, I'd kind of forgotten the drill.  Yeah, I know how strange that sounds.  He goes to school, he goes to therapy groups, goes to Ethan's school to pick him up; he rides a school bus, city buses and at least once a week he takes the subway with me.

Jake is exposed to a thousand germs every week. But he has gotten sick about once, maybe twice a year for the past 4 years or so.  Go figure.

I am guessing that the thousand vitamins and supplements we give him to strengthen and balance his immune system have something to do with this. Or maybe he's just naturally resilient.

When he was 2 and 3 years old he had the requisite 7 or 8 yearly colds/bugs/flus that they say are necessary to teach the immune system how to recognize and fight invasions properly, priming the pump, as it were, to function well.

And when he did get sick, well, at 13 months he had his first case of croup. On vacation, of course, the first summer vacation we ever took with the boys.  And it was a doozy.  I was flat out panicked, it being our first experience with the boys ever being that dreadfully ill.

There is that awful barking cough, that if you've ever heard it?  Sounds like nothing else on earth.  It sends icicle shards of fear down every nerve fiber of a mother's being when you hear it.  It sounds BAD.  Because your kid, when you hear it?  Is struggling to breathe.

And then tonight poor Jake was really panicking himself.  Fearing that he can't breathe, sobbing and barking and making it all so worse.  Because the panic also constricts the airways.  Add in autism and his language processing disorder and calming him down is a tough, tough task.  Crap!

And at 80 pounds, it's not so easy anymore to sit on the closed toilet and hold him on my lap while the steam does its magic in the bathroom.  That was followed by holding him in my bed with the windows wide open in my bedroom (steam followed by cold air being the best way to open up the passages) chilled down to a nice 55 degrees or so with arctic blasts coming in from the river.   Whatever it takes.

Tomorrow we will go to the doctor, get Jake some prednisone so that tomorrow night we can both truly sleep. (And why, oh, why is it always the worst at night?)

But for now, I have crept away from my child-tossed, fever-sweat-soaked bed to steal a few minutes to myself, knowing that this is all I will have.

For tomorrow will also bring Jacob wanting all mommy all the time, as every ill child wants and needs to have; the full on glow of his mother's attention and tender ministrations being the comfort thing.

That and lollipops and ginger ale and (gluten-free) pretzels.  And lots of TV.

Not what I was picturing for "How I spent my winter vacation."  But somehow, for this crap year?  I shouldn't have been so surprised.

So I spend tomorrow snuggling my Jacob, curled up on the sofa watching WALL-E for the hundredth time, with non-stop Jakey commentary.  It could be worse.  Ethan could have it, too (spitting over left shoulder as I type this).

Because my lap?  While ample?  No longer big enough for two.

Looking for Comments? I still haven't fixed my "Intense Debate disappearing comment link on home page problem" yet, so if you are viewing this on my home page and want to read my comments or make one of your own, click on the post's title to bring you to the post's page view. Voila!