2 or 3 weeks ago Suzanne and Amia were at the beach. A nice little boy came up to Amia to say hi. Amia said hi. It must have been very sweet. But then the little boy coughed. Right in Amia's face. And so began a week of worry, sleeplessness, and a wee bit of frustration (at least for me) with this little boy.
Turns out what this little boy had, and what he shared with Amia, was croup. I don't know if you've ever heard a baby with this, but it's not fun. The main symptom is a dry, barking cough that sounds like a seal. It's worse at night, can often wake up the baby, ensuring that no one within 20 feet gets much sleep as baby is usually crying from being woken up. And the cough, frankly, sounds a little scary. Even with minor symptoms. What happens is that the throat becomes inflamed and the baby can have trouble breathing, and begins this raspy, wheezy breathing that can, by itself, keep you up trying to listen for any irregularities. At worst, the throat can start closing and the baby can't get any oxygen, lips turning blue, things like that, which is apparently what happened to me when I was little, which gave me a 2-day visit to the hospital. All I can say is thank God Amia got Suzanne's immune system instead. It took her about a week to get better and we were able to treat the symptoms at home. Mostly what we did is turn the shower on so the bathroom steamed up and read books for about 10 minutes. Also taking her for walks, because the cold air can bring the swelling down.
But now if I ever see that little boy coming our way you can be sure we're all crossing the street.