Talk to me about Asthma - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 07-24-2010, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Conner scared the heck out of me again on Thursday afternoon. I gave him his inhaler and he got better. We have been having to give it to him 6 or more nights a week because of coughing (hard coughing) during the night.

I called the Peds office because I didn't know how to tell if the thing is empty or not. They had to Ped call me and after telling him what has been going on he wanted to see him. Since the inhaler is a temporary/emergency thing.

Yesterday we had him at the Ped and he was wheezing. They did a breathing treatment and was wheezing a little after, but much better with the treatment.

The Ped says he is almost positive Conner has Asthma. Doesn't surprise me since that term has been out on the table for a while now.

Anyhow, advice? Experience on kids with Asthma? What am I looking at here?

The Ped said we might end up with a breathing treatment machine at home. But we will cross that bridge later he said. Right now he is changing some meds around first. Which we will pick up today.

First Excema, then ADHD inattentive type, now Asthma. Poor kid.

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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#2 of 17 Old 07-24-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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I have asthma, since I was age 3. I also had horrible allergies and eczema. And I mean horrible. I'm sure they are all related but they are all almost completely gone now that I'm 32.

What worked for me as a child was a dependable preventative medication, and a portable nebulizer to keep at home to prevent unnecessary doctor and ER trips. I took Intal, which had been around for a while and had almost no side effects, and then had an albuterol inhaler for acute attacks and Albuterol liquid to use in the nebulizer in case the inhaler wasn't stopping the attacks.

I also took inhaler steroids for a while to prevent inflammation. I went to an asthma specialist who argued, successfully, that given that the steroids only go in your lungs via the inhaler method, you take way less steroids by inhaling them every day than you would if you had to go on oral steroids even for one course each year.

I found that my asthma was usually worse at night as a child, and having the nebulizer at home meant much better treatment since I hated going to the ER and would often try to pretend that my breathing was better than it was to avoid a trip.

Now I take Singulair as a preventative, and although I still carry my inhaler everywhere and have a nebulizer, I almost never use either.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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#3 of 17 Old 07-24-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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Both my DDs have mild asthma---most likely due to being preemies, history of RSV, and frequent pneumonia/broncitis/croup.


For routine maintenance we do a daily inhaler (steroid) all fall/winter/spring with a rescue inhaler for when they are sick or wheezy. Summer is our good season so we try to do as few meds as possible. later winter/early spring is the worst and one if not both DDs get pneumonia or bronchitis (or both).


We did a nebulizer at home, but one DD has auditory sensitivies and the noise of the machine *really* bothered her and she got more wheezy the more upset she was.....so we went to inhalers when they turned 4 (last fall). It has been GREAT!! We use a spacer (plastic device between child & inhaler) and that also lessens the sensory 'ick' factor of the inhaled spray.


For us, it is not bad----we have only had one severe asthma attack, the rest were mild/moderate and taken care of at home or at the Dr.

I carry a rescue inhaler around for them, but we rarely need it. The inhalers have a 'counter' on the bottom that tells you how much is left (at least ours do)

Our Pedi treats us, but since the girls also have allergies- we see an allergy/asthma specialist (they get allergy shots and we have seen GREAT improvement with the asthma as the seasonal allergies have gotten better). One DD also has excema (the Dr calls it the patient trifecta---allergies, asthma, excema). They take Zyrtec for allergies and the Dr said it would help prevent the asthma that is aggrivated by allergies as well.
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#4 of 17 Old 07-25-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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DS appears to have outgrown his "reactive airway disease," but we were involved with a lot of meds, docs and hospitals during his younger years.

Has your son been tested for allergies? DS has multiple allergies (food and environmental) which have all improved with age and avoidance. The airway stuff was likely very tied to this. He used to have eczema (sp? - I can never spell this one!). He meets the criteria for ADHD some of the time (ped diagnosed it but he's not 8 yet and it's not in all contexts, so I'm not convinced that it's "ADHD" as much as it's behaviour secondary to other issues).

This spring we noticed a serious upswing in the ADHD behaviours and I noticed allergy eyes (dark circles) and a rash. Put him on antihistamine and he mellowed out.

When he used to be on a lot of asthma meds he was really hyper.

We own the nebulizer and it's great. DS and I prefered it to puffers with a spacer.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#5 of 17 Old 07-25-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post
We did a nebulizer at home, but one DD has auditory sensitivies and the noise of the machine *really* bothered her and she got more wheezy the more upset she was.....so we went to inhalers when they turned 4 (last fall). It has been GREAT!! We use a spacer (plastic device between child & inhaler) and that also lessens the sensory 'ick' factor of the inhaled spray.
My older nebulizer is one of those noisy ones. The ones when I was a child at the ER were REALLY noisy.

However, the new ones use water and are kind of like a hookah or bong. They are almost totally quiet! They are also portable and very light. You might want to look into them. We even got our insurance company to give us one on a long-term loan.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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#6 of 17 Old 07-26-2010, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PikkuMyy View Post
My older nebulizer is one of those noisy ones. The ones when I was a child at the ER were REALLY noisy.

However, the new ones use water and are kind of like a hookah or bong. They are almost totally quiet! They are also portable and very light. You might want to look into them. We even got our insurance company to give us one on a long-term loan.
The one at the Ped wasn't noisy at all. Just like you said.

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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#7 of 17 Old 07-27-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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Subbing for info. My youngest hasn't been diagnosed yet (she's young, almost 2), but ever since she had RSV as a newborn she's had bronchial issues that are just getting worse. They seem to be viral-induced. Generally when she first starts wheezing we end up at the doctors or the ER, which sucks. The last time, we were nearly admitted but they were able to stabilize her after 4 treatments and an oral steroid (which she has had far, far too many of in her life).

Right now she's on Pulmicort twice a day with Xopenex when she has coughing/wheezing. We've also used Duo-neb in the past. Albuterol gives her the shakes. We use a home nebulizer, one of the older style ones, but luckily the noise doesn't bother her.

Her older sister has a much milder version of this, but hers seem to be environmental allergy induced and Singulair has been AWESOME for her... no sicknesses in over a year. It didn't work for the younger one though.

Liz, mommy to DD1 (June 2006) and DD2 (August 2008) :
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#8 of 17 Old 07-27-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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My DSS 15 has had asthma for about 5 years now and DSS 9 was diagnosed with it this past winter. DSS 15 also has pretty severe seasonal allergies. Originally he was just had his rescue Albuterol inhaler. He would get bronchitis or pneumonia every winter and his asthma would get worse. Usually his attacks are just coughing that gets worse if he doesn't use his inhaler. When he woke up in the middle of the night one winter gasping for air, I had DH take him to the dr and they started on the schedule that he's on now. He does two puffs of his inhaled steriod every night as well as taking Singulair. He carries his rescue inhaler but if he stays on top of taking his other meds every day, he doesn't need to use it that much. He started running track this year at school so he does need to use it then. For a couple of winters, his mom took him off his preventative meds because she said he didn't need them but last winter, we had to take him to urgent care because he sounded awful and his blood ox levels were terrible. Had to do a round of steroids to get him back straight. Now he takes his preventative year round. I also started all the kids on 1000 IU of Vitamin D this winter and we had ZERO lung infections. Yay!

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#9 of 17 Old 07-28-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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Don't have much advice on dealing with children with asthma but I've had severe asthma since I was 2. I was hospitalized 8 times as a child. Now as an adult I was taking 3 heavy duty meds (including on for COPD). Now I am on NOTHING. What changed was I stopped eating wheat. The allergy tests did not come back as my having this, but anecdotal (ie I don't have attacks when I don't eat it and do when I accidentally do) Its proven it for me.

I don't know if this will help your son, but its worth a try right? plus it might not be wheat for him it could be other food allergies. I would also test him for the delayed reaction blood test as well as the immediate reaction test, not just the one.

Someone else on here could tell you the names I can't remember IGE or something.

Hope this can provide some help!!

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#10 of 17 Old 07-28-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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Kat - not all asthmas are serious. My DS was diagnosed at a year old. He was on inhalers daily for a while and they sent us home with a nebulizer that we'd use when the wheezing got bad. He has never been hospitalized (thank Gd) for it and he appears to have outgrown it (he's 5 now).

I hope your son is feeling better.

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#11 of 17 Old 07-28-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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I also had asthma as a kid - what type of inhaler do you use? If you have one that's the metal canister in the plastic thing-y (technical, I know LOL), take the metal canister out and drop it in a cup of water. If it floats on it's side, it's empty. If it sinks, it's full, if it floats upright and sort of 'hovers' it's about halfway or so full. Not technical, but that's how I learned. Also, eventually, you'll get used to hearing it when you shake it and be able to tell that way.

ADHD, asthma, autism and allergies are all suspected to be semi-related according to a book I read by a dr - they're all suspected to be an autoimmune reaction.

A nebulizer is basically like a more efficient inhaler, not as portable. Maintainence meds are available and will reduce the dependency on emergency meds. It is worse overnight when there are attacks and if one gets really, really bad, steroids are used to reduce the inflammation.

It's overall one of the easier things to manage, IMO, but it can be frustrating. It's never stopped me from doing anything.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#12 of 17 Old 07-28-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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I have mild asthma for which I have an inhaler. My trigger is a cold or a virus. I can go months without needing my inhaler, but if I get a bad cold, I need the inhaler for a few days. Once the cold or flu goes away, I'm back to normal.

I don't know about not treating asthma. When I got asthma at age 18, I let it go without treating it and I ended up getting bronchitis. I was on steroids for a while. Boy those steroids helped a lot. I know they aren't ideal, but it was such a relief to go from feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest to breathing freely.

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Originally Posted by shelbean91 View Post

ADHD, asthma, autism and allergies are all suspected to be semi-related according to a book I read by a dr - they're all suspected to be an autoimmune reaction.
Maybe you're thinking of Dr. Kenneth Bock's book "Healing The New Childhood Epidemics: Asthma, Allergies, Autism, ADHD."

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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#13 of 17 Old 07-28-2010, 04:51 PM
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DS1 and I both have mild asthma. We don't wheeze. We just cough. Some doctors do not recognize cough-variant asthma as true asthma, but neither can they give any other diagnosis.

Neither of us have ever been tested for food allergies.

DS is allergic to animal dander and to several grasses. He takes Zyrtec all year (has since he was 7yo) and has rarely needed his inhaler since controlling the allergies. Right now pollen is high and he's been coughing a little, but nothing major.

My own allergen test was negative. My asthma was moderately annoying throughout childhood, and then disappeared around puberty. It reappeared when I was around thirty, and became a real nuisance, but nothing life-threatening. After several rounds of extended coughing that would only respond to Prednisone, we figured out my asthma was connected to acid reflux.
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#14 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 02:23 AM
 
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Maybe you're thinking of Dr. Kenneth Bock's book "Healing The New Childhood Epidemics: Asthma, Allergies, Autism, ADHD."
That's the one! Thanks. I read it a while back and I got very, very angry about the information that was in there. I've got asthma and allergies (not fatal food allergies, but environmental), one ds dx'd with autism and the other likely will be dx'd. It's a hard pill to swallow if it ever comes out that our kids are knowingly being harmed.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#15 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 12:30 PM
 
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Both of my boys had asthma when they were younger. For them, it was virally induced. It was a snowball effect though, and they just seemed to get virus after virus. We were in the hospital every two weeks or so. I LOVED having a portable nebuliser at home!( we still take our kit with us when we go on road trips and such). We had trouble with the puffers for some reason... the meds just wouldn't work as effectively. There was a great older thread in the health and healing section all about asthma and meds. We had great sucess when we reduced the amount of indoor air allergens( even though they werent having attacks from the dust for example, it did lower thier all over immunity) Hepa filter room units really helped, as did minimizing any extra surfaces or " stuff" in thier bedroom. We did a very thorough washing routine and weekly froze pillows and stuffies. The best improvement came by chance when we cut out gluten and casien. Another load off of thier system anyhow. When we glutened up for a celiac blood panel after being off of gluten for a bit, my son had his first major asthma attack that wasn't virally induced. We haven't been in the hospital since the diet changes, and have only needed meds a handful of times. I still keep them on hand at all times though.

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#16 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ghlight=asthma
this was the old thread that I like... lots and lots of info.

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#17 of 17 Old 07-29-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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DS is 6 and was diagnosed with asthma at 10 months old.

His asthma had always been triggered by cold weather and viruses. However he went over a year with no asthma attacks only to have them start again a little over a month ago. These recent attacks have been triggered by the high heat and humidity.

In the past, we've used a nebulizer for his breathing treatments, with Pulmicort as his maintenance medication and albuteral when he had asthma attacks. Because he's older now, the docotor decided to switch him to using an inhaler with a spacer (a plastic tube that allows him to take the medicine in with several breathes instead of one). This also has the advantage of letting us change his maintenance medicine, since the Pulmicort does not seem to be helping him as much as it did in the past.

We've been using the inhaler/spacer and the new meds for about a month with great results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KatWrangler View Post
First Excema, then ADHD inattentive type, now Asthma. Poor kid.
I know the feeling. DS has asthma, ASD, and albinism.

Lolly
Mom to an amazing little guy, age 9 (Autism, Hyperlexia, Dyspraxia, Albinism, Chromosome Microdeletion)

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