Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Croup

I did something last Tuesday that I almost never do. I took Jonathan to the doctor. It doesn't seem so unusual - people do it all the time, right? Well, this was Jonathan's first ever sick visit. In fact, the last time I have had any of my children on a sick visit was when Aaron was 18 months old.
I was not shooting for any sort of record or anything and I am certainly not bragging about our lack of sick visits. We've had plenty of sickness in our home ... and more in the last year than ever! I just prefer to treat illnesses at home with natural remedies.
This time was different, though. I woke up to hearing Jonathan gasping for air and hearing a horrible barky cough. The barky cough is no stranger to Jonathan. Jonathan gets croup every single time he gets an upper respiratory virus/cold. The reason it was different this time is that he did not have any symptoms of a virus along with the labored breathing and horrible barky cough.
I immediately started thinking that maybe I had been wrong all those times I sat up with him at night treating him for croup. Perhaps they were all asthma attacks and I had just missed it in my attempt to diagnose.
Instead of trying to do all of the guessing that I normally do when I have a sick child, I decided that I would take him to the doctor. I made an appointment and took him in.
The doctor listened to him breathe for quite some time and told me that it was indeed croup. I had no idea that he could have croup without having all the other symptoms with it. I also learned that some children do not outgrow croup tendencies until they are 9. He also said that he is not ruling out the potential that Jonathan may be asthmatic considering the frequency in which he gets the croup, and given the family history of asthma. 

The first couple of nights of the virus, croup symptoms develop and I usually spend the entire night sitting with him, trying to keep him calm, so that the croup symptoms don't worsen. I also try to stay with him, so that I can make sure that he is breathing properly. Usually by the 3rd day, the labored breathing is over, but an incessant cough develops. It is, in some ways, worse than the barky croup cough. Then by the 4th day it is mostly over with just a mild lingering cough. I am hoping that Jonathan outgrows croup long before 9 years old! I also hope that asthma is not something that is in his future.
On a side note: I have been treating him appropriately all those times he has had the croup in the past. That's always nice to hear! Sometimes a trip to the doctor is worth the peace of mind that it brings.

To learn more about how to treat Croup naturally, I would encourage you to read The Healing Power of Herbs for Croup.  


  1. I know the doctor is a big deal for you but how encouraging to know that when you haven't taken him, you were correct treating him at home. Please tell him we will be praying for him and hope he's better soon. At least in this heat he isn't missing any fun times outside. :)

    1. I will tell him that, Amy! Thanks for your prayers! When he first got sick everyone was outside playing ... and he was so sad watching them out the window. He's doing much better now, though.

  2. Yes, a trip to the doctor is worth the peace of mind :) My mother in law once told me that a copay is always worth not second-guessing yourself :) Glad to hear he's doing better!

  3. I didn't realize that Jonathan has been having this problem. I'm so sorry. I will pray he outgrows it and it doesn't turn into asthma.