Seems like the cold season is early this year. We usually get a month or two into the school year before our oldest boy gets a cold. He has asthma, and his trigger is viral, so usually a head cold is a bigger deal for him.
He started having breathing troubles as early as 4 months old. I can’t recall, but maybe his first respiratory struggles were triggered by his first head cold. At first, his pediatrician thought it may be a food allergy and had us try a different formula. Instant Care clinics kept throwing out the term “reactive airway disease”. By 6 months of age, he had his own nebulizer machine. At the baby stage, treatments were fairly easy. A little purposeful cuddle time between mommy and babe. I can still hear the hiss of the air compressor and recall the taste and smell of the medicated mist that swirled around us during treatments.
At some point, when he was a toddler, he decided he had much more enjoyable things to do than sit through a 20-30 minute medicated mist cloud and treatments became a bit of a wrestling match. In fact, when he was hospitalized – and officially diagnosed with asthma a few months before his 3rd birthday – it took one nurse to hold him and one to hold the air mask. They commented on his strength after they finished up with his treatment.
And then came a time when he realized how much they helped him and he would ask for them. He still does (he’s 12 now). He takes his treatments primarily from an inhaler coupled with an aero-chamber now. When his attacks are at their worst, he asks for them before we can give another 😦 If we do them too soon, we can risk overdose and heart palpitations. So we have to be careful.
Thankfully, we have a fall back option – steroids. I don’t entirely love the idea of resorting to steroids, especially when he was just a little tyke. But sometimes they become necessary. Like now. 2 days before labor day, our boy caught a head cold. At first, it wasn’t too serious. But his coughing got harder and his treatments stopped lasting long enough. A package of cough drops disappeared in a couple of days time. And he was coughing until he gagged. At it’s worst, he’ll cough until he throws up. Not very fun.
It was obvious he wasn’t getting better. In fact, I think he was getting worse. Yesterday, we piled into the car and trooped off to the doctor. We came away with a prescription for an antibiotic and an oral steroid. And none too soon. When we arrived home from the doctor’s office, he headed into the house and I lingered in the garage to gather up papers that needed to come in. I could hear him coughing and gagging. I hollered to him to go take another treatment. He stepped into the garage, said “Mom…” and promptly leaned over and… Bleh! Hubby keeps kitty litter in the garage for when he changes the oil. I stole a bit 😉
The steroid medication is a five day regimen. He took his first dose last night and already seems much improved. Yesterday, it was cough drop after cough drop and needing another treatment within an hour and a half. I have to be mean and make him wait at least 2 hours. Preferred duration between treatments is 4 hours. So, he wasn’t doing so good. But today, he seems to be doing a lot better. He’s only had to have 2 treatments so far. His coughing isn’t as harsh and no gagging today. He still sounds a bit like he’s been running a race (breathless) but the whistle and rasp isn’t as bad. Thank goodness!
He should be well enough to return to school tomorrow. I imagine there is an impressive stack of work waiting for him there. I think we’ll be busy this weekend :p
Hope you all have a great weekend!