Asthma Can Be Scary

IMG_0205Asthma can be scary. I did not realize how much risk we were taking when we took our son off a regular steroid treatment over the summer. He had a few colds over the summerIMG_0221 and we were using Albuterol to help him get through them and we did have one run to the emergency room where he ended up being fine and I felt silly for even bringing him in. Then the week of Thanksgiving we ended up in ICU with a child who wasn’t responding to albuterol and needed oxygen and constant support from the doctors.

During the summer the signs that we needed to go back on the steroid to prevent ending up in the hospital were all there, but I was in denial of what would eventually happen. And even during the follow-ups with our pediatrician he never suggested I put him back on the steroid. The truth is the steroids although I don’t like them are the best choice for our son. The steroid he is on daily now is the same dosage he receives in a few short days at the hospital, but over a year’s time. Plus the added toll on his little body having to work so hard and with his heart rate through the roof with all the albuterol given to him to help him be able to breathe made me wonder why I thought the risk was worth it.

In reality I didn’t think we were playing a game of risk. I really thought he was getting better and the steroids were more harmful than IMG_0219
helpful. Especially after ending up in the Emergency Room during the summer and his breathing started to improve so dramatically and he only needed Tylenol.  

Now we are getting help. We are seeing a Pulmonologist in the next few weeks and  while we were at the hospital  we had them take his blood for in-depth allergy testing. We have a plan going forward and it will no longer be a guessing game on whether his body can handle a cold on its own.

We are lucky, his asthma only seems to show up when he has a cold and last winter when he was on the steroid he handled a cold like a normal kid. Just a runny nose and a little bit of tiredness, which is really hard to notice because a 1.5 year olds energy level is through the roof. ☺

IMG_0211My only advice to parents who have a child who has breathing difficulties is to get them checked out and under control before you end up in ICU seeing your little one suffer. Not everyone will need to be on steroids and some kids may just have one issue and then never again, but the more you can do to help prevent an extreme episode is worth it.

13 comments on “Asthma Can Be Scary

  1. I can just imagine how scary this was for you because I am sure you felt rather helpless. As a mom myself that is the worst feeling. I am thanking God with you that your son is doing better. Blessings!

    • It is a helpless situation, but surprisingly I had God’s peace through the whole experience. I knew it was bad, but also knew we were in the right place and all the doctors and nurses were there to help him get better. Thankful we were able to get the treatment we needed and he is better now.

  2. Oh Amanda, I am so sorry. Happy that he is better though.

    We lived this life. At 6 wks, ours was in ICU again because of his risk of stopping breathing We did so much it was unreal, CT’s, MRI, Spinal Taps blood work etc. Eventually just to find out he had severe allergy and asthma and sleep apnea.

    Steroids are your friend and there is a med called Xopenex (pronounced with a Z) and maybe that could be an alternative. Xopenex has the same effects as Albuterol without the side effects that Albuterol has.

    Will be praying for you and your son as you manuveur the medical system, in financial, careteam, and all the other aspects of having a chronically ill child.

    God Bless you all, and we will be praying for you all.

    • Thanks I’ll ask the pluminologist when we have our follow up. Luckily he doesn’t need albuterol unless he has a cold and then he goes from fine to not fine very quickly. We are also blessed with great health care so there are many blessings all around. Thanks for the prayers.

  3. How old was he when he was diagnosed with Asthma?

    My Luke has an albuterol inhaler and a nebulizer but they haven’t suggested daily steroids. His episodes are pretty infrequent so far.

    • I have been told as they get older the often don’t need it. Not all kids with asthma need to be on steroids. It was only recommended to us after multiple er visits in such a short time. It was more going off of them without testing that seems to be the problem. In hindsight I wish I would have kept him on them, but now we are being referred to a doctor to help us manage it and hopefully in a few years he can be off the steroids for good.

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