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    The Darndest Things: Sleep Coughing

    February 3, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    This story is at least a week old, but it’s worth telling nonetheless. Or remembering, as the case may be. Rarely does a night go by that we {Si and I} both sleep uninterrupted. Usually someone wakes us up. Last night, for instance, I woke up to O. sucking his thumb so loudly he sounded like he was inside of my head. Si, on the other hand, had to actually get out of bed because he woke up to E. calling him loudly and repeatedly. {He was scared.}

    So last week, E. was also calling Si loudly and repeatedly. But I woke up first, so I ran in there to see what was the matter. He quieted as I entered the room and then said calmly, “I can’t stop coughing.”

    I was baffled. I hadn’t heard him cough at all since I’d been awakened by his calls. However, he walks/talks/plays/etc. in his sleep, so I was trying to keep in mind that he might actually be sleeping through this conversation.

    “Ummm,” I said as I searched for words, “well, maybe you should try sleeping on your side. Sometimes that helps me when I’m coughing.”

    Keep in mind that I still haven’t heard any actual coughing.

    “Really?”

    “Yes, really.”

    “Well, will you stay here while I run to the bathroom? I don’t like to do it alone.”

    “Okay,” I said, thinking I had discovered the true motive for his call. He did just as he said, running to the bathroom and back.

    Hallways sure are scary when you are little.

    As he snuggled back down in bed he repeated his initial complaint: “I don’t know what to do. I just can’t stop coughing.”

    Still I haven’t heard any. I don’t give out cough syrup, but I toyed with the idea of betting this was a dream and giving him imaginary cough syrup.

    “Well, just try side-sleeping like I said,” I replied lamely.

    “Okay.”

    And as I left the room I heard the tiniest, weakest little cough, barely more than a clearing of the throat.

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