Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Baby has RSV -- From now on, I call the peds. pulmonlogist FIRST

I trusted my instincts and didn't fill the Biaxin Rx...and took #2 son to the Peds. Pulmo instead.

Good thing I did. She listened to him for about two minutes, then promptly ordered a nebulizer treatment, chest X-ray, and tests for RSV and Flu. She said she heard "wheezing in the front and crackling in his back."

Sure enough -- four hours of my prego self dragging the toddler around the massive hospital later -- we got confirmation. He has RSV.

A few hours later, the results of the chest X-ray were back. Apparently, he's had it for a while (so the peds. missed it) because the irritation and inflammation in his lungs is pretty bad.

I don't know why I alwaya question my instincts. I could have called this two weeks ago, before he started the Omnicef. Now I'm really mad that I didn't!!!

Up until yesterday, he was pretty happy during the day, just the spikey fevers at night, along w/rapid, shallow breathing. And the cough, of course.

But last night, the breathing was really bad - and his fever didn't shoot up. Today he's been positively miserable, and -- frighteningly -- not responding well to treatments. He was about 48 resps per minute during his nap, but then he shot up over 50.

I gave him a DuoNeb treatment, and an hour later, he was still at 58. So I did another treatment (per the PP) and gave him his Orapred a few hours early. He dropped into the forties.

Now, less than two hours later, he's well into the 50's again. I'm going to do another treatment, and if he doesn't drop by at least 10 breaths per minute, I'm paging the PP again -- no matter how much of a pain in the ass I appear to be!!

I so don't want this baby to have to deal with being in the hospital -- he's not even 20 months old, and it would be so scary for him. But at the same time, I almost wish they would take him. It's so frightening not knowing what's going on with him. He was at 100% oxygen saturation yesterday, but today -- who knows? I don't own a pulse-oximeter. (Wish I did.) Plus, I'm supposed to be doing nebulizer treatments every three hours around the clock. That's a lot of work. Thank goodness we can sleep in tomorrow (assuming the kids let us).

So...that's the tale so far.

Happy freaking Thanksgiving, right?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Warning for Asthma Drugs Sought

Thanks to the brilliant moms on the asthma-parents email list for this one:

Warnings for Asthma Drugs Sought

ReutersSaturday, November 19, 2005; Page A08

U.S. regulators yesterday asked the makers of three popular asthma medications to add warnings to their labels stating that the drugs could increase the chances of severe asthma episodes that could result in death.

The warnings involve long-acting bronchodilator medicines Advair and Serevent, made by GlaxoSmithKline, and Foradil from Novartis AG. Patients use them daily to relax bronchial muscles and prevent asthma attacks.

In a public health advisory issued on its Web site, the Food and Drug Administration said drugs in the class known as long-acting beta 2-adrenergic agonists should only be used after other medicines fail to control asthma.

Read the whole thing...

#2 Son sick AGAIN

It's been six weeks (at least) since #2 son had his first fit of coughing til he gagged this year. (Last year we blamed those fits on a poultry allergy. Hah - caught that error early on!) The pediatrician, at that point, diagnosed him with a sinus infection and gave us Zithromax. (#2 is allergic to Amox.)

Ten days after we finished the Zithro, he was full of green and yellow gunk and coughing again. And he had a fever again, too. By this point, I'd already taken him to the Peds. Pulomologist for the first time, and he'd gotten an official diagnosis of "mild" Reactive Airways Disease. (I've still yet to find a real definiton of RAD. If anyone has one, please feel free to post it - or a link to it - in the comments. As much as I love our PP, I take the RAD dx as a diagnostic cop-out.)

Anyway, so when the fever persisted, I gave in and put him on Omnicef, largely because the regular ped. said he also had an ear infection.

Five days after finishing the Omnicef, my poor 19-month-old was packed full of mucus again. He started coughing the next day, and the day after that he was spiking fevers of 104. We went through two nights of that, combined with labored breathing and coughing til he gagged...and took him to the regular ped. today.

She said his lungs sounded "pretty clear" (what the heck does that mean?) and she thinks he has a recurrent sinus infection. She wants him on Biaxin, which is pretty hard core. Besides the fact that it tastes awful, it would undoubtedly leave the kid with diarrhea and a diaper rash. Plus, it's really strong for a baby who's not even two yet. Do I want him on such powerful stuff already, unless I know for sure that he needs it?

I normally wouldn't question my pediatrician - who I really respect - so intensely, except for this: Our peds. pulmonologist doesn't seem to believe that toddlers CAN develop recurrent sinus infections. They're sure it's viral.

I guess we'll see when I take #2 there tomorrow.

I just hope it's not RSV.

Anyway, just wish me luck tonight. I've got six weeks of this pregnancy left, I'm pretty darned exhausted, and that little boy is sure to keep me up half the night....I would just love for him to *get* healthy, and for me to *stay* that way!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

AANMA on the Danger of "Mild" Asthma

Just an important item to share from AANMA's Allergy and Asthma Today: In a small article on page 9 of the issue, there's a really, really urgent reminder.

"Mild Asthma Myths" reminds us all that 'The risk of severe asthma exacerbations seems to be unrelated to the symptom severity." So a child diagnosed with mild asthma is no less likely to suffer a SEVERE attack than a child diagnosed with severe, persistent asthma.

It's a wakeup call for me to always keep that MDI and spacer on hand, whether I'm traveling with Persistent Asthma Boy or Mild RAD Boy.

In a somewhat morbid footnote to the article, moms are invited to order a free copy of the booklet, "Mikey's Mom Didn't Know Asthma Could Kill" by calling AANMA. Is it just me, or is that seriously creepy?

A note to my "regulars"

FYI...I apologize for the infrequency of posts lately, but I've been working my tail off at the office!! I've got our biggest trade show on 11/7, I've got two companies to look after there (we're launching a sister company at the show) and - oh, yeah - I'm seven months pregnant.

I'll be back in "full force" next week!

AANMA launches "Breathe: It's the Law" Campaign, site

Allergy & Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics is on the warpath, fighting for kids to carry Epi Pens and MDIs at school. Yes, it's the law, but there are still plenty of schools that make it difficult for kids to get the meds they need. And what do you do whne your five- or six-year old asthmatic child goes to a public school that only has a part-time nurse.

Learn the rules and your rights at And kudos to AANMA on their 20th anniversary and the many, many victories they've won for us all.