Saturday, February 25, 2012

Deep Breaths

So here I am, days after starting Madoc on a steroid inhaler, and I have to say I am relieved that she is better. That she is not coughing.

During this time I have been of two minds (1) I really don't want her on meds, and (2) I really need to figure out a way to gain some control over this situation. Because I get absolutely panicked when Mads starts to cough. I envy the other mums who can let their kids run around with snot hanging down to their knees and just say "he's building his immune system." For me, I never know how long it will take before Mads needs respiratory support or how serious it will be. And that feeling is a terrible, terrible feeling. And I realized that the steroids may offer a level of support I haven't had before - support that would keep Mads from going over the edge and needing antibiotics so frequently, or going to the hospital and needing lots of ventolin. So maybe that's better? At least it makes me feel a little better about our upcoming trips, because for someone who used to travel so easily, having a child with potential breathing issues certainly makes things more complicated. (I admit, I always know exactly how far away the closest hospital is when we travel)

Last night Mads came into our room and I swear her breathing was slightly shallow and faster than usual. And so, of course, I couldn't sleep. I just lay in bed listening to her breath. Trying to figure out if I should get her some Ventolin. Or if it was just in my head. Counting each inhalation. And then finally falling asleep next to her, when I had convinced myself she was alright and there was no need to panic. And of course this morning she is fine. And I'm weaning her off Ventolin so I can wean her off the steroids.

So what's the next step? We are going to have her tested for allergies. The way I see it, it will be giving us more information so we can be smarter. I am also going to enroll her in swimming to help strengthen her lungs. I am also researching diet as it relates to Asthma and airways. Reading up on medications. Researching allergy desensitization. And hoping above all else that she grows out of this soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I am writing this after two years of stress and aggravation over Madoc's breathing issues. I don't know what to do. I don't know if it is because the air in Hong Kong, or if it is dust mites, or if it is viruses. I don't know what her triggers are.... All I know is every winter she gets sick at least 6 times, and it always causes breathing/respiratory issues within 12 hours of onset. I met with the doctor today and she recommended a steroid inhaler, to "manage" the problem. I feel totally sick to my stomach. I feel like surely I must be able to feed her more fish, or more green veg, more vitamin C? I think there's a time and place for meds, but surely, I must be missing something. Some small something in her diet that could make this all better. Or make her stronger, somehow, someway.

I also feel like my parenting manual (you know, the one I never got), is missing this page. I feel like I am totally at a loss when the doctor says, "okay, you can give her this drug, or this drug, or this drug," oh and yes, they all have side effects. Like Singulair, and how it was recommended to me - and yes, I used it with madoc, and I only later did research and found out that the FDA in 2009 tried to put a label on it that warned parents of a potential side effect - suicidal thinking - yah, to me that's a big one. Oh and then there's Aspertime (or however you spell it), and how dreadful it is for the body. And how Singulair goes into the bloodstream. And how Ventolin is better because it goes directly to the airways. Oh, but don't forget to brush after because it decays teeth quickly.

ARE YOU SERIOUS? Why do I see so many blazee parents running around, giving kids antibiotics like candy? I was actually at a new ballet class for Mads, one of the girls comes out and her mom is MIXING ANTIBIOTICS in front of me. Doses her child. I ask (innocently), "is she okay?" and the mom says, "oh yes." And that's it. Like she doesn't frickin care that her sick-enough-to-need-antibiotics daughter has just taken a class that involves holding other children's hands. What am I supposed to do? There is no way out. There is no right turn. Is there no supplement that can curtail this?

Is it because of the air? Is it due to dust mites? (our house is clean!) Is it change in season? Is it the pillow she uses? I am at a loss. And it makes me feel like a sucky parent not to be able to fix this without meds. And the kicker is I don't know if it would be better outside of HK. I believe at my very core that it would be better, but she had pneumonia in Denver before she was 1. She had bronchitis or pneumonia in Portland (which I believe she caught from our plane ride) ...

Or maybe she is prone and will grow out of it? It all makes me sick inside. every cough shreds me to the core. I literally feel ill when she starts to cough, like I'm going to puke everywhere. And people tell me to take it easy, not to stress .... how can I? She is a part of me. She is me. And I love her more than I can ever describe ... and it makes me tear up just thinking about it. What do I do?