It’s been a day ya’ll.
So croup is very typically a one – two time thing for most kids when they are two or so. I’ve seen dozens of kids in the ER over the years with croup. Very typical pattern is a high fever, associated with a virus, with the classic barking cough, sometimes stridor, one dose of steroids in the ER usually takes care of it or sometimes they need a breathing treatment of racemic epinephrine in the emergency department and in rare cases they need to be observed in the hospital. The parents usually put to bed a perfectly healthy kiddo and are shocked when they wake up to such a harsh cough. They usually sound much better after being in the car in the cold air. Sometimes steamy showers can help too. Typically it only flares at night.
NONE OF THESE RULES APPLY TO MY CHILDREN.
My boys get croup year round, for no rhyme or reason. Steamy showers don’t help. Sitting in the cold doesn’t help. One dose of steroids is not enough and they need to be on steroids for several days. They have several bouts of croup per year. They have croup ALL DAY long – not just at night. They also have stridor all day long.
When Carver was 7 months old he was hospitalized with croup which is pretty young – his first bout was only at 4 months old. Year round – I remember one ER trip in July – about every other month we would wake up to that AWFUL barking croup cough. We took him to an allergist, an ENT specialist, our diagnosis: spasmodic croup. Which pretty much means he gets croup really easily.
I remember being embarrassed to take him in public or send him to daycare because he was just constantly barking and sounding like he was having trouble breathing. A stranger even said something to me in public once about how I shouldn’t bring him in a store when he’s so sick – but that was just Carver for sometimes weeks at a time.
They kept telling me “he’ll grow out of it” – when he was 2.5 years old, he was going in for his THIRD set of tubes in his ears and they happened to check out his adenoids as well – our ENT specialist came out and sincerely apologized – it seems that every time Carver was having croup or ear infection, based on the scarring in his sinuses and on his adenoids, he was having sinus infections as well.
After the adenoids came out, Carver only had croup about once or twice a year, most recently when we all had COVID and before that last Fall – still much more than the average kid.
Along came Gannon….same story. Gannon isn’t *as bad* as Carver was but in hindsight has had a bout of croup that brought us to the ER at least twice already this year. Gannon hasn’t had as many ear troubles as Carver but he has already had a set of tubes because he had significant hearing loss at one year old.
So last night was no different – Gannon started coughing at nap time – progressing last night as soon as he went to bed and he. Coughed. All. Night. Long. I sat with him outside for about 45 minutes two separate times, I tried to give him ibuprofen to help with the inflammation, I tried to give him cough medicine and he puked it up, (Gannon WILL NOT take oral meds) and by 4 am I was sick of it and he was struggling and I sent him to the ER with Craig. The steroids really didn’t do ANYTHING. He was really bad when he woke up this morning. I sat outside with him again and picked up his taper dose of steroids from the pharmacy today (that he won’t take!) as I’m laying here typing this, he’s FINALLY drinking his sippy that I hid the meds in it after we’ve argued all night. He knows the meds are in there.
I’m an ER nurse. I’m not stupid when it comes to getting kids to take meds. I have NEVER met a kid who is worse at taking medications than Gannon. At least now he will take chewable pills but steroids aren’t chewable pills.
So NOW I think Gannon might need his adenoids out. Which is complicated. I *think* kids are typically intubated for adenoids procedures – correct me if I’m wrong – and if that’s the case, Gannon has EXTREME upper airway swelling after any manipulation of his vocal cords or intubation. He’s been hospitalized after every procedure because of breathing problems post op. In which case, he needs to be at University of Iowa for this procedure… we aren’t established patients with the ENT department there. So it’s just a lot of hoops to jump through but this is getting ridiculous. And maybe I’m wrong and he will just grow out of it but at this rate, let’s look for permanent solutions. Especially based on Carver’s history.
Anyway, that’s my rant of the day. These two…I just can’t make upper airways correctly. UGH!