Still Battling Asthma. Still Winning.

standard March 26, 2009 4 responses

Our battle with asthma gets weaved into blog posts about sleep, about germs, about the never ending hunt for affordable medication. It’s such a part of our lives, a part of our daily routine, that I never think to stop and write up an update.

Uh, well, that’s because there really isn’t an update to give.

C has had a spectacular winter with minimal use of big guns. She gets her daily dose of Singulair every day and has had very few flare-ups all winter. Knock wood, but her doctor and I are even toying with the thought of taking her off the Singulair this summer to see how she does without it.

Little L is another story. When she’s healthy she gets a daily dose of Pulmicort, the only medicine that seems to keep her symptoms under control. At the first sign of a sniffle or a sneeze I double that daily dose and do a hasty please-no-asthma-flair-ups dance. A cold can mean one or two asthma attacks in a single night and the destruction of our very tenuous sleeping through the night habit. (Cut me some slack, OK? She only started sleeping through the night a couple months ago. The nightmare of no sleep is still very fresh in our minds.)

But even though I hold my breath when I hear coughing from their room, I’m still awed by how commonplace all of this seems to us. Yeah, our kids have asthma, so what? They’re active, happy, normal kids. So what if they get a bit winded after dancing around the room? So what if I have to double check that I’m carrying their inhaler when we go for a family walk? We’ve never had to run to the hospital in the middle of the night. And they sure don’t act like they’re any different. As long as I don’t forget to order their medicine on time we’re a regular normal family. (Mental note: Order more medicine tomorrow morning.)

Even as I make light of all this, I know that 20 years ago our life wouldn’t have been the same. If Little L didn’t have her control meds she’d probably be having breakthrough episodes nightly and we would, for sure, have made many late night trips to the ER. The same is true for C, even if her asthma isn’t quite as severe as her sister’s. Fact is, even as we take our evening nebulizing treatments for granted or chuckle when we see Little L strap on her mask before turning on the machine by herself, a small part of me says a quiet little thank you for the medicine that allows us to pretend we are a normal, healthy family.

(Dear Karma, please ignore this post. K? Thanks.)

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4 responses

  • My son had his first asthma attack 20 years ago next month, and we were in the hospital for three days.

    However, drugs managed it once I knew he had asthma. Still, he missed 5-6 days of school in first grade each time he had a cold. It would follow a scary (why always at night?) pattern.

    He’s outgrown it somewhat, but he still gets “tight” at times…high school track practice, when he gets cold, if there’s something weird in the air.

    He’s a man, but it still has the power to frighten his mom.

  • Asthma is something we have never had to deal with (at least not yet) but it sounds so scary.

  • Whenever I hear someone is living with asthma, I remember the actress Marilu Henner appearing on a talk show and talking about an old wives’ tale about having a chihuahua in the house and its effect on asthmatic symptoms. Her young son had severe symptoms and she thought what the hell, what’ve we got to lose? and went out and adopted a chihuahua.
    Although she couldn’t explain why, she said, it worked.

    I don’t know anyone personally who’s had the same experience, but wanted to pass that along in case it’s useful to you.

  • We’ve got asthma at our house and we’re constant trying to figure it out too. One thing we’ve done to help is make sure we’re drinking enough water. While it won’t take care of all the asthma symptoms, it will help when they aren’t severe. The bare minimum amount of water is your body weight divide by two and then in ounces (if you weighed 100 pounds, you should drink 50 oz. of water). That’s at least. Heat, exercise or other circumstances mean you need more.

    My son can sometimes need an albuterol treatment and by drinking a glass of water, he won’t need it any more!

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