Katherine's breathing has improved a good deal, although she still wheezes if we go too long between breathing treatments. Given that she is better, I suppose it's inevitable that Claire began to cough yesterday morning.
It was just barely there at first, but by the end of the day, she was coughing frequently. She coughed throughout the night, waking herself up a couple times; I would hear her cough, then cry once, and then settle down and go right back to sleep. About 5:45, she had a particularly bad coughing fit, and the subsequent quiet scared me enough that I had to go check that she was still breathing. She was, and slept without further incident until 8:15, but now she is wheezing and bubbling just like Katherine.
Other than the wheezing and coughing, she is not acting particularly sick, so I think we can probably wait for the morning to go see the doctor. The only advantage to Katherine's having been sick is that I think we can be a little more proactive with Claire -- it won't take three visits to get to the bottom of it. On the other hand, I'm not all that sure she actually has the same thing Katherine does, because Katherine began to come down with it a month ago. Claire showed some mild cold symptoms at the same time, but then seemed to get over it quickly.
All told, I think they've been exposed to as many as three separate infections since February: 1) the one that G and I caught in early March and required steroids to get over, when Claire showed mild symptoms and Katherine first began to cough; 2) the upper-respiratory infection that G got in late March, that neither Claire nor I caught (Katherine was still sick from the first one); and 3) the upper-respiratory infection that my sister and niece came down with last week, right after visiting with the babies over Easter. It's possible that all of these could be a single infection getting passed back and forth, or that they are all separate -- I am starting to come down with another upper-respiratory thing myself, and since I already had infection #1, it argues that #3 at least is discrete. Really, though, this is splitting hairs, because the bottom line is that we all sound like a convention of elderly former-coal-miner pack-a-day-smokers.
So Claire goes to the doctor tomorrow, where I will be asking if I should start her on breathing treatments too. I go to the pulmonary lab on Tuesday, for a workup to find out why I start wheezing and need steroids every time I catch a cold, and to the pulmonologist on Thursday to discuss the findings. This will surpass the previous week's doctor record, where I went to the orthopedic surgeon for a follow-up and Katherine went for to the pediatrician for her cough.
I said previously that I'm dreaming of a month without a doctor's visit. Scratch that, because at this point, I'd settle for a week.