Monday, May 08, 2006

A Midnight Stroll in London

Last night, Nicholas-- who will be 3 a week from today-- and I had a rare opportunity to stroll the streets of Greenwich at midnight. I'm sure we were quite a sight: he in his Superman pajamas and me in my red trench coat.

We were, in fact, not admiring shop windows or counting stars, but making our way to the car, so I could drive him to the local hospital.

Our Sunday had been lovely. We had a wonderful (read: slightly boozy) Sunday lunch with our friends, and then, much to the delight of our family, the new season of "Top Gear" started last night. Nicholas, filled to the brim with fun and laughs, fell asleep on Tim's chest during the show (alas, he missed "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car).

At midnight, I was awoken with the most horrible sound-- coughing crossed with wheezing and a little bit of barking thrown in. It sounded as if he was choking on something, but we couldn't think what he could have found in his bed. We asked him, "Did you put something in your mouth?" He replied, "Yes. Blueberries!" (that had been six hours earlier).

We decided, finally, we (read: the person who knows where the pediatric A&E is) should take him to the hospital. My one comforting thought at the time was at least there wouldn't be a wait at 1 a.m. My heart sank, though, when we arrived and I saw two other families in the waiting area. At least I didn't have to pay for parking.

While the nurse looked at him, he didn't cough once, and that's when I started to feel a little silly for bringing him in. But she said the symptoms sounded like croup, which improves once the night air hits the throat, opening up the air passageway. She said she would listen out to hear the cough while we waited for the doctor.

Now it's 1 a.m. and Nicholas is in great spirits. He's playing with the Nintendo Game Cube, putting together some Lego cities and even playing Foozball. At one point, he and I are laughing with another Mom at the Foozball table and I thought to myself, "Is this right? Should I be laughing at 1 a.m. in the emergency room? Shouldn't I be on the chairs with a concerned look on my face?"

Once I do sit down, I realize that the Phillies are playing the Giants. So I've got that going for me, at the A&E at 1 a.m. I can show Nicholas some American sports! It reminded me of the time I was in labour with Andrew and I got to watch Monday Night Football. It's the little things that keep you going at that hour, believe me.

Finally, the nurse hears his terrible cough/wheeze and deduces that it is croup. So while Barry Bonds*, who may or may not have taken performance-enhancing steroids, plays in Philadelphia, Nicholas gets his own dose of steroids, so he can breathe better.
(*the American baseball player chasing Babe Ruth's homerun record who has been accused of taking steroids)


Anonymous said...

What I have learned from this is when my child has croup, we should go for a walk at midnight because the night air will do him/her some good. This is useful. Oh and it seems like Superman pajamas help.


Anonymous said...

Will had croup last year. It's one of those things that seems beats your motherly instincts: you panic over a fever that the doctor scoffs at, but figure a little cough will go away until you hear your son barking like a seal, always in the middle of the night when the only option is the ER. And then you say, "Croup! That sounds like some horrid Victorian chimney sweep disease," and berate yourself for not knowing.