Asthma 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 summer 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
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. ☺
My 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.