Gangrene and Croup

Update: The picture isn’t terrific, but it’s the only one we got that night!


Christian’s parents have a Halloween party every year, and we thought long and hard about our costumes. We wanted to do something as a family. We also wanted to do something simple, so the kids would be comfortable in their costumes and keep them on for more than thirty seconds. This year’s party was Saturday night. Our big idea was to go as gangrene, or “Gang Green.” Christian had a green shirt, a green bandana, a big fake gold necklace, and sunglasses. I wore a green shirt with big fake gold earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Noah had a green shirt with a green bandana tied around his leg, and a fake gold necklace. Zoe wore green track pants with a white and green raglan shirt and a green bow.

It turned out to be a little anticlimactic. Noah started coming down with something Friday night and it got worse as the day went on Saturday. Still, we thought we would go and that it would be a good distraction for him, but we were only there a short time before it became painfully obvious we needed to leave. So, the costumes that we thought about and planned for weeks got about 30 minutes of use. Christian’s mom took one photo, but we’ll have to wait to see how it turned out.


On the way home from the party we phoned the pediatrician on call. When I told her Noah was wheezing, she told us to go to the emergency room. I dropped Christian and Zoe off at home and Noah and I headed to the ER. They immediately gave him a breathing treatment, which was not pleasant for either of us. The noise and the mask scared him and I had to hold him in my lap, wrestling him to keep his arms down while the nurse held the mask on his face.

He still hadn’t calmed down from the trauma of the first breathing treatment when the doctor ordered another breathing treatment, two steroid shots, and neck and chest x-rays. Lots of screaming and wrestling were involved in these procedures as well.

I think the most pathetic part was the x-ray. I was wondering how they planned to keep him still. I found out when they put him on something that looked like a bicycle seat, had me hold his arms above his head, and then strapped this plastic shell thing tightly around him. Of course they had to take his puppy and his pacifier away from him for the x-ray, and I had to leave the room. Looking through the window, I really didn’t know whether to laugh or cry watching his little dangling legs kick as he screamed, “Ma ma ma ma ma ma…..”

The diagnosis was croup, which is basically an infection in the throat under the vocal cords. It causes a barking cough and wheezing because the airways are restricted. It’s more serious in kids under two years because their airways are narrow to begin with. They told me to keep Noah and Zoe from sharing cups, toys, and pacifiers. I had two things to say to that: “Yeah right” and “Too late.” Her nose started running Sunday and she started coughing yesterday. So far she doesn’t seem to have it as bad as Noah, though, so I guess we just watch and wait.


3 thoughts on “Gangrene and Croup

  1. I love how she said “we thought about and planned for weeks.” I think that the idea was great and I deserve none of the credit.

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