Hearing it again at 3am I ran to her room to see that she was okay. Again, she was gulping as though drowning. With my hand in hers, she calmed down, her breath returned and she fell asleep immediately. The second her head hit the pillow, I felt lightheaded. I went to sit down and fell the rest of the way to the floor as my vision went dark. Apparently moms need to breathe, too.
Her doctor is unconcerned. She's been swabbed for whooping cough, but the symptoms don't match up. He thinks it may be a stress response to the coughing.
I was really angry and ran the length of the harbor to where the Park District runs the tender service. By the way, I never run that far. I'm not really conditioned that well, but in the moment, I felt very strong and purposeful. Instead of bitching to the employees, I calmly explained the pollution and the trapped, dying, dead ducks. One young man explained that there is a disease going around that is killing the ducks. As they're dying, they get pushed, along with the surface garbage, to the edges of the harbor. The water was too choppy today to clean it up. He promised they would take care of it as soon as it was safe.
That didn't make me feel any better, but his explanation was so much better than that it is the cause of the garbage that is bringing them down. Letting my breath return to normal, I felt very tired and walked slowly the rest of the way home.