Croup or whooping cough?

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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    1. Judy Duer-Waloski

      I have one question, how did they use the vaporizer? with no electricity. Great idea on your part to go out and get on but I’m confused. My daughter had the croup when she was three yrs. old. I was up for days. Running a very hot shower and letting the bathroom fill with steam also helps. Hope all is going well there. – Judy

    2. Katie Troyer

      The vaporizer was probably run on a generator or battery.

    3. Neal Anderson

      Hey Erik,
      Gosh your blog brings back memories of that 1999 summer on the border of Ohio and PA. I’m looking forward to catching up when you return to Raleigh.

      FYI, Erin uses some really awesome essential oils that help with everything from colds, to scratches, to coughs, to tooth aches. Spencer had croup and she used something that helped a ton. Our kids are always getting some of her “Dr. Mom” treatments. You can also put the oils in a diffuser (like a vaporizer). We use them for everything. My 2 year old attempted to draw us a nice picture on the carpet…using a “Sharpie” marker! We used the pure lemon oil and it was gone:) May be helpful on the farm…who knows.

      See you soon,


    4. Judy, good question, Katie is right. The diesel generator ran all night last night, and the vaporizer was powered using a 110 converter.

    5. Neal thanks for sharing that–and looking forward to catching up as well. I am curious about those oils! I think something like that was in play as well, there are so many home remedies flying about over here that I have trouble keeping it all straight (:

    6. Whooping cough (pertussis) went through the Mennonite/Amish communities here in Christian Co., KY, several years ago. One neighbor lady coughed so hard that she broke several ribs. “English” folks are generally immunized against the disease — pertussis is the P in a DPT shot.

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