We arrived in EL after spending a week in Cape Town and on touch down Aliyah had a temperature. Every time we come here one of the kids get sick I couldn’t believe that it was happening again.
After dosing her for the day with meds, she was fine again the next day. She was coughing already but nothing really to worry about.
On the Thursday morning, she again woke with a temperature so I decided to take her up to the doctors. After an hour, her temp had gone again and I even questioned taking her. We went anyways and I was glad we did as she had an ear and chest infection. After receiving antibiotics, I thought we were on the way to recovery and I was relieved we went.
Friday afternoon arrived and I was treated by my parents to a facial and full body massage. I came home to 2 sleeping children in the afternoon but I was so relaxed that I didn’t care they were sleeping super late. Lil’s was coughing in her bed when I arrived home and it seemed to be going on and on but because she was on antibiotics already I didn’t think anything bad of it.
After dinner, she was still coughing so I gave her some cough medicine. We hit 8pm and she was still coughing so I gave her a different cough medicine before putting her to bed where she continued to cough.
I jumped into bed at 9:30 but because we’re staying at my moms house on holiday, Lil’s and I are in the same room so there was no ways I was sleeping with all her coughing. At 10:30pm I got her up to see if being up right would help her. Her cough was getting worse and worse. I still googled croup to see if that’s what we were facing. She then got sick all over me but was struggling to breathe. There was so much phlegm that she couldn’t catch her breath. I was feeling a little panicked and hoped we weren’t facing a night in hospital. After getting sick, she seemed to settle down for a bit and fell back to sleep.
At 12:30, her coughing was uncontrollable. It was going on and on and the sound of it had changed completely to what sounded like a dog barking. The poor child was in so much pain every time she coughed and she couldn’t catch her breath between each cough she had. My mom came in and said we need to get her to the doctor. We quickly changed, jumped in the car and headed for the hospital. I was running on adrenaline by now as he amount she was coughing was quite concerning.
The first hospital we got to was closed so we went to the next one which luckily, was near by. Upon arriving at the reception desk, the guy took one look at us, heard Lil’s and said, ‘I’m calling the nurse’. The nurse fetched us to take us through within minutes and immediately said, ‘this is croup!’ The next nurse arrived and confirmed the same thing. The doctor arrived and took one look at us and confirmed the now obvious – croup. My poor child was red in the face, her eyes were watering so much from the amount she was coughing, she was vomiting up phlegm, struggling to catch her breath between coughs and the cough just continued.
I sat with her, embraced in my arms, on the bed as the nurses hooked her up to the heart rate monitor and put a nebuliser on her. The scary mask made a very loud noise and she cried a little bit didn’t even try to remove it. I sang to her the whole time which helped to calm her down. After 15 minutes, the coughing had subsided. She had it on for about 30 minutes before all the meds were finished. She sat limply on my lap whilst we waited again for the doctor to return. She then fell asleep as we sat there for 3 hours. My mom and I were exhausted. We needed some sleep but we had to wait for our script and to be discharged. By now, Lils hadn’t coughed again at all and we thought we were out of the woods, especially since the doctor had said it would last at least 6 hours.
After arriving back home just after 3am, I sent Jon a message to tell him what was going on and was just falling asleep when Caleb came into the room. He had heard noises so jumped into bed with me. Lil’s breathing was so noisy that there was no ways I was going to ever fall asleep. At 3:50, I jumped into Calebs bed in the room next door. I wasn’t there for 5 minutes when I heard the dreaded barking noise again. At first, I thought it was Caleb and couldn’t believe our luck but as I ran into the room, I saw it was Lil’s again. I picked her up in panic and realised again that she couldn’t breathe. I was shaking, I was so scared that we could lose her from a cough! I ran into my moms room and said ‘we need to go back to the hospital, she can’t breathe!’ My mom said she had been reading on google and that I must sit in the bathroom with a steaming shower running. I did that but after 30 mins it didn’t seem to be working.
I walked out and said to my parents. ‘I’m taking her up to the hospital, it’s going on too long’. I gave her to my mom whilst I ran to get dressed again but in those few minutes she calmed down and fell asleep. We thought we would let her sleep and see how it goes. I jumped into my moms bed with the 2 of them and my dad went and jumped in with Caleb. It was a real bed swopping night and Caleb was surprised to see my dad next to him when he woke at 6am.
Lils then woke again at 6:30 coughing but it wasn’t bad and I again sat in the bathroom with her for a while before going back to sleep until 8:30am.
Wow! What a scary night! We got through it! My dad headed to the chemist in the morning to get us our meds which proved to help loads. We had a day spent at home, relaxing and Ipad watching which we all needed. Thankfully there has been no more attacks and we seem to be out of the woods but I wouldn’t wish croup on anyone. As it turns out, it seems so many children have had it in East London and Cape Town so it must be doing its rounds and we clearly picked it up somewhere in the first few days we were here. It’s so hard seeing your little ones like that especially when they look at you and say ‘mommy can you make me better!’ Eek! Heart wrenching!
I’m so thankful to my mom for standing by my side the whole night through it all. I’m so grateful I was with her when it happened and not at home on my own or travelling in Germany with Jon. Thanks for being my support mom. So privileged to have my dad to hold up the fort the next morning too. He did our medicine runs and doctor runs and looked after Caleb from early in the morning. I’m so blessed to have such awesome parents. Thanks mom and dad