Here's a Cliff Notes version of what the pediatrician had to say after listening to the list of E's symptoms (coughing, sore throat, nasal congestion, coughing, coughing, coughing) and checking her out:
1. After struggling for so long to bounce back from her cold/ear infection/cough, E's suffering from reactive airways, which in layman's terms means she's experiencing asthma-like symptoms and attacks.
2. Our last-ditch effort at 4 am to give E a nebulizer treatment for her hack-up-a lung coughing attack was the right course of action.
3. Round-the-clock nebulizer treatments should help reduce the swelling in her airways, which in turn should reduce the frequency and intensity of the attacks.
4. If treatments don't help after 24-48 hours, we bring in the big guns: a course of steroids.
5. In the meantime the usual: keep hydrated, keep up the heavy-duty cough medicine (the kind the pharmacist keeps under lock and key). And prepare for a few more nights of little or no sleep until the treatments have time to work. Or not.
Even if I convince my muse to sit down with me at my computer (assuming I find the uninterrupted time to do so) I doubt that anything she says will make sense in the morning.
Then again, my muse has been known to work under intense and surprising conditions. Perhaps sleep deprivation and a quarantine at our house will work in my favor...