Last night while  lounging around with Abe and Sara, we suddenly heard one of their little boys begin coughing and crying, clearly audible through the air vent in the ceiling.

Abe knew instantly what was wrong by the sound.   “That’s the croup,” he decided, a bit glumly, and stood with his wife to go attend to the children.  It was past ten o’clock already and I think they knew what lay in store.

The poor little guy was up half the night with a deep, barking cough alternated with bouts of crying.  The cough sounded so different from his ‘crying voice’ that listening from the other room it actually seemed like two different children.  Additionally his younger brother acquired a cough of his own (not croup) but one which kept him up half the night as well.

The two parents were a bit frazzled this morning and naps were in order later in the day.  I picked up a steam vaporizer at Wal-Mart—Abe being quick to mention (as he usually does) that he doesn’t like shopping at Wal-Mart, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  I think the vaporizer helped.

I was a bit confused on exactly what the ailment was, thinking that croup and whooping cough are synonymous.  I also recalled running into whooping cough in an Amish settlement in Indiana a few years ago, and being asked by the mother of an ill child if I’d been vaccinated for it.  Overall, Amish vaccinate their children at rates lower than the general public

Turns out they are not the same, as a quick internet search today revealed.  Whooping cough seems the more serious of the two, however.  Though you wouldn’t have known it by the rough night at Abe’s place yesterday.

Not always easy being parents but the rewards must far outweigh the occasional tough evenings.

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