Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Vitamin C can cause asthma?

From HealthDay: Vitamin Intake During Pregnancy May Affect Respiratory Health of Kids

But the shock came when they looked at vitamin C intake.

"Much to our surprise and consternation, we also demonstrated that a high
maternal intake of vitamin C was associated with increased wheeze in the second
year of life," said researcher Dr. Graham Devereux, a consultant respiratory
physician at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Now I'm trying to remember how many grapefruits I ate during my first pregnancy....

Monday, January 24, 2005

Magnesium Infusion Helps Kids with Asthma Attacks

I don't know how I missed this!

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For children who need to go to the ER because of a severe asthma attack, giving them an intravenous infusion of magnesium sulphate along with conventional medications provides an additional benefit, Hong Kong doctors report. (Click here to read the whole article)

Carmen wrote in to let me know about this, as it was reported on HealthDay on January 7. According to her, "the last time my daughter had an asthma attack I gave her 1 - 2 tsp (5 - 10 ml) milk of magnesia every day and could decrease her breathing treatments by about 75% !!!!!! she just didn't wheeze as much, period!"

Note that this was administered *in addition to* regular asthma meds.

Love to hear from anyone else who's tried this!

Combo Therapy Gives Asthma Relief

From HealthDay News:
Combining an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-lasting beta2-agonist seems to provide consistent relief for people with asthma, says a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
I think a lot of us knew this already, but confirmation's always good!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

New Resource - ParentCenter's Asthma Board

Look -- I'm not the only parent in the world with an asthmatic preschooler! ParentCenter's got a whole message board dedicated to the topic.

Hallelujah! (You'd think someone who's been on the Web as long as I have would have found this sooner...)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Omnicef and Adenoids

Poor Bryn. At 3-and-a-half, he's been on countless courses of antibiotics, he's been in the emergency room 5 or 6 times had RSV, occular (is that right?) surgery, and a six-day hospitalization. In the past year alone, he's switched schools, moved, and had to adjust to a new baby brother. And now this.

His sinus infection was kind enough to return after a 20-day course of amoxicillan. Nice, right. So we went to a pediatric otolaryngologist (ENT) on Saturday. Now he's on a 21-day course of Ominicef (broad-spectrum, super-strength antibiotic) and if that doesn't work, the doctor recommends having his adenoids removed.

Oh, yea. Another hospitalization.

The poor kid. He's obviously not feeling well, although he says he's fine. (He's 3.) He's lethargic, coughing his cute little head off, and wiping his nose every 5 minutes. I so want him to get better, but the thought of another surgery.... He's really brave and *such* a good sport about all this stuff, but I hate to do it to him.

I really need to read up on this. I mean, if the tonsils and adenoids are filters, wouldn't removing them mean that the bacteria/allergens/viruses (whatever the hell they're filtering!) would go right to his lungs? Wouldn't that make his asthma worse, potentially?

I'm not sure I understand this.

I know I'm jumping the gun here -- I'll just pray the Omnicef works. I don't need to worry about the adenoid removal -- yet.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

All Asthma Meds Created Equally

Here's a really, really useful article for a change:

I wonder how true this is when you're talking about children. I'm willing to wager that a mask-on nebulizer treatment is WAYYYY more effective than an MDI w/spacer when you're talking about peds.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Protein Can Protect the Lungs from Damage. (Will Tofu Work?)

A protein believed to cause lung problems may actually help protect the lungs
against damage caused by asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases, says
a University of Texas Medical School at Houston study.

This from HealthDay. Read it for yourself.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

There aren't enough screams in the world...!

So we have - what? - two, maybe three days left of antibiotics left for the sinus infection(s). He sounded GREAT for over a week, and now, suddenly, he sounds all congested and has begun coughing again.

Not enough screams in the world to vent my utter frustration.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Whistle Watch, part II

Neglected to mention -- when I spoke to the pulmonologist (in a harried panic the night before we left for holiday) I asked her about the Whistle Watch.

Her take: it's a piece of crap. (She was a bit more diplomatic.) There's a reason they don't trust kids younger than 8 with peak flow meters -- and the fact that this one has a whistle doesn't make it anymore reliable.

So there you have it.

Holiday Update

So, while other families are sending out their annual Yuletide Newsletter, I'm sending you, my dear readers (and it actually looks like I have some!) my AngryAsthmaMama Holiday Rant -- er, Update:

1. Number One Son has a sinus infection "everywhere." That is, every sinus in his tiny three-year-old head in infected. So we've extended his current course of Amoxicillan (prescribed for the Strep) from 10 days to 20. Then, he'll probably get another CAT scan. If things haven't cleared up, he'll go onto a course of Clindamycin (yes, the same stuff they use topically to treat acne). Can't wait to see what that does to his bum.

2. Number Two Son finished his antibiotics just before New Year's. All seemed to be well, but once we got home from our holiday trip to Canada, he got all "snuffly" again. And he seems to only have congestion and coughing at night. Go figure.

3. Number One Son was looking so well -- until New Year's Eve, when he suddenly went all flushed. His cheeks developed these queer little red circles, almost like a cartoon elf or something. This freaked me out mightily, as the *only* other time I've seen those weird Raggedy-Andy cheeks was when he had pneumonia last year. While he felt a little warm that evening, he doesn't seem to be running a fever. But he hasn't looked well since. He's been looking very pale and wan, and he went all flushed again last night.

In a typical maternal fashion, I blame myself for the kids being less than 100% right now. We spent the week with the in-laws, just outside of Toronto. It should have been a fun, relaxing week with their grandparents. And mostly, it was. But of course, we had to drag them out 1. for lunch Tuesday *and* Wednesday; 2. for dinner at a cousin's house Thursday (late!) 3. for a New Year's party on Friday (another late night!). Gosh, I feel like a terrible parent just typing all that out. Especially when you add the 9-hour drive home on Saturday.

Way to go, running the kids down during flu season. Why don't I just let them hang out in wet clothes in the freezing cold, while I'm at it?