Thursday, August 26, 2004

New year, new asthma?

I just got off the phone with Pat, the head nurse for our pulmonologist. As I was talking to her, it occured to me -- Bryn (thank goodness) hasn't really been sick since he had pneumonia this winter. I haven't had to treat a serious attack since then.

But since the winter, he's become a different boy. Suddenly, he can articulate his thoughts and feelings (to some extent, anyway), he's potty-trained, he's just more mature.

So a lot of the signs I associate with his attacks aren't necessarily valid anymore. He may not open and close doors the way he used to. He never did wheeze. He may not even act as cranky as he did with previous attacks. So how will I know when an attack is brewing?

Pat recommends plotting things on a calendar: he was pale today; he coughed three times; he didn't eat; he was cranky. Next day: Ate breakfast; cranky before bed; coughed once.

Etc., Etc.

Not a bad idea. It does all sort of go mish-mashy in my brain after a while. I know he's had mild cold symptoms since last Wednesday, but was he cranky? I remember that he barely ate all weekend, but I can't remember how his cough sounded.

So...plotting it on a calendar seems the way to go. Guess I'll have to start acting a little more "Type A" now.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

More specifically...

Check out this article on how stupid parents like me waste money on pointless attempts to relieve our kids' asthma:

Another Good Resource

Thanks, Technorati, for this one:

What's a Buteyko?

Check this out:

Apparently, there are these breathing exercises you can do that seem to strengthen the lungs and bronchial system. Pretty wild.

I won't be taking Bryn off his steroids in favor of this -- yet! Until he can tell me how he's feeling and/or use a peak flow meter so we can actually see how well he's breathing, we'll probably keep him where he is. After all, he's been doing pretty well on the reduced dosage of Flovent.

Maybe we'll even be able to take him off it next summer. Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, August 20, 2004

This is so sad...

...and so frightening: Tragedy: Asthma Kills Girl, 12

I didn't think I'd see stories like this. I have a million questions: Was she in treatment? Did they try a rescue inhaler? Did she have allergies, as well, or was her asthma triggered by viruses? Or aerosols?

Obviously, it doesn't get worse than this. My heart goes out to that poor girl's family.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Arrrggh! Stale again!

Good God! I've let this thing sit again! Bad blogger. Bad, Bad, Bad!

In truth, no news is good news. If I'm not posting, you can pretty safely assume that asthma issues are the furthest thing from my mind.

Which means there's a healthy, happy three-year-old boy running riot somewhere in New Jersey.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

But wait -- there's more!

My RSV theory is confirmed in that article I just linked to. Look:

A major branch of the study has shown that children with a small difference in their lungs caused by something before or just after birth makes them more susceptible to asthma.
Dr. Martinez has found that children that develop respiratory infections such as bronchialitis and pneumonia at a very young age or before birth started life with lungs that were different, and they are predisposed to develop asthma.

He said that if mothers smoke or the child is born prematurely, they are at a greater risk of developing these infections. Preventing these infections early in life is easier than trying to erase the asthma.

So it WAS the RSV, most likely. In most other kids, it would have just presented as a cold. But for some reason, although he wasn't born prematurely, Bryn was susceptible to bronchial ailments. (He'd had a mishandled bronchiolitis just after his first birthday.)

Right. More research to be done, Mama.

I'm right AGAIN

Somehow, it's made the news again today that kids *usually* don't outgrow asthma --

...but we already knew that, didn't we?