Monday, August 26, 2013
Vick's Vapo What?!?
Croup. That seemingly evil thief in the night that steals the very breath from your child. If you've heard it, you know. The sound of that cough, the sound of their breath squeezing through the ever tightening space in their throat. I have a child that is prone to it. He is never sick except for that. Gets it a few times a year. This weekend we ended up in the ER after trying the trusted tricks at home. We sat in the bathroom while the shower steamed around us and steamed and steamed. I am a 40 year old overweight claustrophobic momma. Sitting in that room holding a child is a lot like I imagine a person with a peanut allergy feels walking in to Logan's Roadhouse..GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!! Then we sat in the cool night air. Some relief but still struggling for breath. After an hour of trying to get it under control we end up at the ER and require a breathing treatment and steroids. A few hours later we are home. Just in time for everyone else to wake and the day to begin.
The week before was spent with another child and a mysterious all over body rash, high fever and bouts of intense itching throughout the night. Couple that with the first emergency room run of the week for breathing problems due to a reaction to a medication. The prior month the same child spent fighting a weird skin infection and another allergic reaction to a medication. Bizarro. So when last night, my 13 year old woke gasping for air, you'll understand my reaction of "are you flipping kidding me?!" Can a teenager get croup? Google says they can. So if you think holding a 7 year old in a steaming bathroom gave me a hot sweaty anxiety filled someone has a giant size fist around my neck type of feel, you can imagine what it was like holding my 5'9'' 13 year old. Did I mention our bathroom is the size of a port a pot?
The course of action is hot steamy air followed by cool night air......only last night it felt a bit like a sauna outside so we did the most rational thing....stuck her head in the freezer. If you've ever had a 13 year old you know how smart they think moms are anyway. The fear of dying helped my argument and shortened the need for an explanation. No relief. Hot steamy room again. And let's be honest, this time mom sat outside the door and kept sticking my head in to check on her. No relief. Scared 13 year old. Scared mom.
I could not believe I was going to be making my 3rd ER trip with a 3rd child for breathing issues in 5 days. I was certain it would start a DCS investigation or at the very least the nurses would start to think of that episode of 48 hours with the whacko mom that made her kids sick for attention. That's what lack of sleep does to you folks. So in my desperation, I did it....the old wives tale...the backwoods treatment....I lathered Vick's VapoRub all over her feet and slapped some socks on her. The 13 year old looked at this old worn momma, whose hair was going in every direction thanks to the sauna, with total confidence this would work. *said with sarcasm for those first time readers*
I told her she has 20 minutes for this to work or we are going to the ER. 5 minutes later I thought I could tell a difference but thought it might be wishful thinking. 10 minutes later she no longer had stridor and was not as agitated. 15 minutes later I awoke to total silence thinking she must be dead next to me. There she was peacefully sleeping. No gasping, no noises, no cough. No flipping way. Waaaaay. It worked. Totally worked. I don't know how and I don't really care because we slept and my child could breathe again. I know there is only anecdotal evidence to support this claim but when you haven't slept in days and you're looking at your 3rd ER run of the week, anecdotes'll do.
Momma's will try anything to help their babies. If rubbing VapoRub on their feet makes me a hillbilly well move the couch to the front porch and sign me up!