My daughter Ana Isabel had a cold last week. She seemed to be getting better but she had this persistent cough. Ana, at three and half, has had these cough before at the tail end of a cold.
But this was different. From one day to the next, the cough seemed to get worse.
At one point, she was coughing almost nonstop. My wife called the pediatricians' office. They told her they couldn't do anything for a cough. Don't bring her in. Give her cough syrup. We had already done that.
When my wife put Ana in the bath, she gasped for air. "Mommy, I can't breathe," Ana said. It hurts just writing that sentence. Her breaths were shallow and short.
We raced her to the doctor's office. They saw her immediately, examined her, took X-rays and put her on a nebulizer treatment. She improved right away. The color came back to her face.
It's too soon to know if the diagnosis is asthma, the doctors said. But we got the drugs and equipment to treat someone with asthma.
It runs in the family. So we're not surprised. Still, it's been my scariest parenting episode so far.