This morning, I was awakened by a distinctly familiar sound.
The "little cough, probably caused by a tiny tickle in her throat" that Josh described to me when I got home from school last night had morphed, just like that, into the big bad bark.
BARK! BARK! BARK!
I sleepily nudge Josh and mumble, "Did you hear that? Here we go."
"Mommy! I need my Qvar*! I need more Qv--BARK! BARK!--Qvar!"
Crying. Barking. Me, half-awake, stumbling to her bedroom.
"I need my Qvar, Mommy! That hurts me." BARK! More crying.
She lays still in my lap, while I hold her spacer over her little mouth and nose. She breathes in the Albuterol slowly, as deeply as she can manage.
In between puffs, she says, "I feel sick."
I say, "I know baby, just breathe." and smooth her hair with my free hand. I shush her a little so she doesn't exacerbate it by talking.
"It's too bright in here. My eyes hurt. Make it darker."
"I can't, sweetie, there are no lights on. The sun is coming up outside. Put your blankey on your eyes until they feel better. Shhh."
I remember the date. October 1st. 30 days since the last episode, there's probably another lurking around the corner.
Her eyes begin to adjust, ever so slowly, and I feel a little rush of relief. The episode isn't here yet. That's something, at least.
Saturday, we were free and today we're paying the price.
Absence tally: 8 absences out of 14 school days
*Qvar is her asthma controller medication, but that's what she calls anything that comes through the spacer.