Discussion in 'Coping and Compassion' started by LuvOrlando, Aug 27, 2007.
I see you're in PA - me too - and Ragweed just started last week around here which is the one thing that causes my allergies to act up. So it could be a reaction he's having to Ragweed that's causing his most recent asthma flare up. Could be stress of school starting too. Stress can affect any disease in the body, even if the doctors say it doesn't, I believe it does.
Does your son's teacher have direct email in her classroom? If so, more for your sake than hers, I would shoot her a quick email just saying that DS has been having some asthma flare ups this week, that you just wanted to give her a heads up in case he seems to be having a reaction to something. This way she is on alert to be on the watch for anything suspicious, and you may rest easier knowing that she has a special eye on him. She may even be nice enough to email you at lunch or the end of the day with an update.
My DS has mild asthma & so far the ragweed or the stress of starting school has not bothered him. He usually gets his worst flareups with the change of seasons, when the heat kicks in at home & school. That darn wheezing cough just never lets up does it! Hang in there!
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I see we not only have asthmatic sons in common, we are both in the Lehigh Valley, both started school today (Saucon Valley - how about you?) & were both married in 1993 (me on 9/18)!
Small world. I also cannot believe the nurses didn't follow the doctors orders today. Let's hope they get it right tomorrow!!
Hugs to you two....I do hope that they have a decent school year without the asthma attacks. I do not have anyone in my family with this but I have seen an asthma attack and it is not pretty....Please come here and talk anytime you need to and I am sure there are others on the Dis that will be joining you....it is such a horrible illness...gasping for breath.
Good Mornings LuvOrlando! You are smart (smarter than me) not to put personal info online. It was late & I was just so excited to meet someone nearby! I work at the Promenade! Just part time at Yankee Candle (there I go again with the personal info whoops!) when the kids are in school. This week I'm there every day (2 people quit unexpectedly so I'm covering for them). If you're ever out & about stop by & say hello.
DS10 with the mild asthma plays sports year round but has never had an asthmatic episode while playing. I've seen a few kids though have full blown attacks & need their inhalers, yes that is a scary sight. Because his asthma is mild I don't even have a current rx for his inhaler. We just found it the other day & we still have the Aerochamber on it from when he was much smaller. I said I think we can get rid of the Aerochamber now! He does much better with his nebulizer. I'e always scheduled his nebulizer treatments around school so that I wouldn't have to deal with the school nurses to administer it. Your story makes me see that I might be justified in doing so, even if it means he skips a treatment.
Good luck today & let us know how your son's day goes!
Hi! My DH & I are asthmatic (we became asthamtic w/in the past couple of yrs) and our two sons - DS12 and DS5 are also. They were diagnosed with it since they were around 3 yrs old. My DH and DS12 have been diagnosed with environmental allergies. Every year when school starts I get the jitters, more so with my little guy. I feel like that I have to entrust their well-being with the school, teachers and the school nurse. Every year at the beginning of school, I meet with the teachers, nurse and remind the principal that they have asthma. I find that my youngest doesn't really understand when he is having a problem and this terrifies me, because then he's at the mercy of making sure that an adult notices that something is wrong.
We leave a nebulizer with xopenex in the nurse's office for our youngest and an inhaler with her for our oldest.
I constantly preach to them about how important it is for them to notify the teacher, nurse, etc. if they are having any kind of a problem! With asthma every second counts!
We also carry around a portable nebulizer everywhere we go. It comes with a carry case that looks like a camera bag. It is really quite convenient and this sets me at ease. There have been times where we have been in an amusement park and they needed to use it. I find that any kind of excitement also sets them off. We live in NYC an asthma is very prevalant here. Thank God our DD8 is asthma free!
It helps to know that you're not alone. You have all been very helpful too me also - THANK YOU!
Just a thought because you said that your son is now 9....
When I work at camps we tend to expect 9 year-olds to remember that they need meds. (Yes, we check with them and reinforce when needed, but they usually get pretty good and remembering for themselves after a few days.)
Perhaps you could have a discussion with your son about how dangerous asthma can be. (I suspect that he already knows this because I know how awful it can feel to fight an asthma attack. I think they are hard to experience without getting worried.) Talk to him about the schedule for his maintenance meds and why it's important for him to get them everyday. Then ask him to tell the teacher what he needs if they forget again. I would imagine that a few days of this would make everyone aware that it isn't something that can be forgotten. Yes, his classmates would likely all learn about his need as well, but asthma shouldn't have much of a stigma attached and it can't hurt for his peers to be ready to say, "I think XX needs help breathing" during an attack where he doesn't have enough oxygen to speak.
I mostly work in high schools but we get a few students every year who have a presentation that they want to give to their teachers and classmates about medical conditions/learning issues/etc.
Usually, they started doing this in late elementary school and the quality of the material has changed a bit over time.
What is your DS like in terms of speaking in groups? Does he like surfing the net?
If he resents the asthma, then he might buy into how important the daytime maintenance meds are to keep him from needing to stop during fun times.
If he's up for the challenge of reading information (say from the lung association or the Allergy/Asthma Information Association) and putting together a brief speech for his teacher, school nurses, and peers then it might give him a sense of having control over the disease. Plus, if you can pair him with an allergist it ought to give him a sense of importance.
If he's too young yet for this suggestion, then you can keep it on the back burner for later.
Good luck getting people to listen and getting the school to remember his needs.
That's a good idea to have someone (or him) talk to the class about it. If my DS didn't have astma I'm sure he'd have no clue what it was.
Good luck today with the school - are you planning to go in - or at least call & check that he got his treatment? I'm back to YC at Promenade all day!
Let us know how day 3 goes.
I forgot to mention it in my previous post that we are using Advair. We also spoke to our doctor about the risks and was told that the risks outweigh the benefit. We have been using it for a couple of years and have had no problems.
I also find it difficult when we have an asthmatic cough and we are in public and you get those glances from people like they are afraid of catching something from you. It is more difficult with our kids when they are in school, at a party or another activity. I find myself "explaining" to everyone how they have asthma and that they're not sick. It makes me feel like I'm labelling them and I hate it! Now, we're finding that our oldest DS12 uses it as an excuse because he has such problems with asthma flare-ups when doing physical activities at times, that now he's becoming afraid to be active and the "asthma" is his crutch. Thanks for listening!
Even adults don't seem to be able to get this.
I get so tired of the dirty looks, and muttered insults when I cough in reaction to people's perfumes, smoke, etc. Believe me, if I could avoid coughing, I would! I won't eat out in states that allow smoking in restaurants, I'll go out of my way to walk around designated smoking areas, I'll bring an air purifier to work, etc. But, I cannot control the habits of others and thus, if you smoke outside the designated area, or get in an elevator with me when you are wearing perfume, I am going to cough. It is an asthmatic reaction and I cannot control it! Urgh, I know that on this thread I am really preaching to the choir.
Thank you to those of you who are working so hard to help your children learn to live with asthma and to educate the world around them. Your work will help more people than you realize.
Excellent! Did he get his meds midday?
I don't know much about Advair so I can't really help.
My DSis (respiratory therapist) tells me that the ideal goal should be to figure out which meds each individual responds to best. Supposedly some maintenance meds are best for environmental asthma and others for exercise induced asthma, etc. But, every individual still responds differently. Thus, although the drugs are frequently referred to by strength they don't really work in exactly the same way.
I have definitely been known to cycle on and off of maintenance meds depending upon my reactions. However, with your DS, I'd recommend that you be careful with this approach. If you have really been able to document an allergy season for him when 95% of his reactions occur, then you probably could switch him off the Advair in other seasons. But, if only 70% of his reactions occur during this season, or if the season is tough to predict, then I suspect it would be safer to keep him on the 'stronger' drugs. Have you discussed these concerns with your new doctor?
LuvOrlando, I'm not familiar with Advair or the other med you mentioned, we have never used either. We use regular Albuterol in the nebulizer as needed.
Isn't it a shame that people don't understand that an asthmatic cough is not contagious? I feel like I'm apologizing & explaining constantly when he's in a flare-up. My DS has that awful hacking, barking cough that lasts for a week or more. He coughs so hard at night that he throws up, and gasps for breath. His teachers often send him to the nurse for it, because it is disturbing the class!
I am sorry to hear about your son. A great source of information and treatment is the National Jewish Center in Denver. http://www.njc.org/
My late husband had very very bad asthma and would be hospitalized every 6 weeks or so until he found that hospital. He never had a bad episode after that. They worked miracles for him.
Without giving out too much personal information, I must applaud the OP for her responsible approach and desire to educate others. I find appalling that her former allergist was unwilling to write a simple note to help her son avoid triggers.
There is not much variability among the inhaled steroids in efficacy or patient response. Advair is more effective for many because it combines a long-acting airway muscle relaxer, which helps nighttime and exercise-induced symptoms, with the anti-inflammatory. It is very safe for the vast majority of patients. Cycling on and off controllers is not a good idea. Inflammation is present year-round. An ounce of prevention.... And no, I don't work for GSK.
LuvOrlando, I would ask your new allergist about immunotherapy (allergy shots) if you haven't already, since medication only modifies symptoms, the downstream effects of the allergic and asthmatic response, whereas induction of tolerance to environmental triggers can halt or even reverse progression of asthma. Certainly would be nice to reduce any patient's medication need.
Yes, I too have asthma. It doesn't have me.
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