Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy holidays and quick update

First off - Happy Holidays to everyone! Hope you've all enjoyed whichever of the many December holidays you celebrate, and (if I don't post before then) that you have a wonderful and HEALTHY New Year!

Just a quick update on the boys --

B didn't have the flu after all. Typical of me to panic like that, right? He was fine the next day, but he has developed kind of a nasty cough over the last few days. I have him on Combivent for the first time since September. Funny how he only develops coughs like that when we come to Canada. Must be something with this fresh Ontario air...

Oz didn't get the stomach virus, but did develop 102 fever and a lovely grayish skin tone as soon as we arrived in the Great White North. He's still not looking all that well, but he isn't coughing, either. He's just congested, puffy-eyed and pale, and he does seem to be retracting a bit. So he's on Dimetapp and albuterol for the time being. We'll see the peds when we get back.

Ig (who turned two last week - did I post that?) is doing well, but is a total toddler. Little tyrant!! Good thing he's so cute... He has a bit of a runny nose and loose cough, but he looks really good. Just keeping an eye on things, but he really seems OK. His lips have been blue a few times, but I think it might just be because my in-laws have cold floors. (Albuterol's always handy, though!)

That's about it. I'm happy to be away from work and focusing on the kids...and actually READING a BOOK. Fiction. Nothing on asthma, Aspergers or business - just pure entertainment.

Now THAT's a vacation!


Petecito's blog said...

Hi Angry Mama, just stumbled on your blog after looking for the Lancet’s landmark statement on asthma not being a disease. I’m 40 years old and live in Sydney, Australia, the asthma capital of the world. It’s 04:56 and I’m up blogging because I can’t breathe and I can’t sleep. I wanted to share some of my stories and hopefully offer some consolation.

I’ve been on all kinds of meds since I was 5 (yes, 35 years!) and seven years ago I got to the point when I said “no more!”. I’d been turned down diving certification because I couldn’t expel air from my alveoli quickly enough and was referred to Sydney’s finest, an asthmatic ‘specialist’ (now that term makes *me* angry!). When I asked her if I would need to take the meds for the rest of my life I was met with a resounding ‘oh yes’.

Well, fortunately she was wrong, hence the reason for my writing. I came across a wonderful doctor and naturopath in Sydney who was an ex-asthmatic and got me on the path to throwing away those pesky inhalers. I went to live in Dallas (wow, what a trip!) and after fixing myself up (diet, lifestyle etc.) I threw away those inhalers and lived symptom-free for 3 years! During that time I did a whole boatload of personal research into how inflammation and bronchoconstriction come about.

I came back to live in Sydney and am on the meds again, albeit part-time. I want to see the asthma specialist and tell her what I think of her (!) but I’m focussing again on how to kick the drugs because, believe it or not, they actually make the asthma worse and do nothing for you for dealing with what’s going wrong in the first place. I’m trying new things such as the Buteyko breathing method and it’s slowly getting better and I’m heading towards being drug-free again. Bit like 4 steps forward, 3 back.

Anyway, thought I’d offer a little bit of hope. I have a 3-year old absolute gift from the heavens and am doing everything I can to make sure she doesn’t go the way I did. Fortunately she’s as strong as an ox. I too am against vaccinations (you know the pertussis component of the DTP vaccine is actually designed to modify your immune system (interleukins 4, 5, 9 and 13) to increase your predisposition to asthma?) and have recently had all the mercury removed from my mouth (had a few spillages and got such a bad neurological reaction I couldn’t sign my name for 2 weeks – great fun when paying by credit card!). I’m trying anything and everything (even preservative-free wine, which has helped a little) and it’s getting better all the time.

I think I’ve cleared my lungs now and will try and get some more sleep before getting ready for work. I’d love to share some of what I’ve learned over the years but offering hope like this routinely gets branded with “oh, he’s a quack and out to make money” – how sad. Would love to hear what you think of this post.

Good luck with keeping your boys happy and healthy!


Freadom said...

I hope you really enjoy the book and have a good rest of the holiday.

Aimee said...

Thanks petecito! Glad for your comment (as long as you're *really* not selling anything)!

It's great to hear an asthma success story...and I TOTALLY have to read up on the Pertussis vaccine now.

Have a wonderful new year...and I hope to see you around here more often!

(You too, Freadom!)

Petecito's blog said...

Hi Aimee,

Not sure how far you got with the pertussis vaccine and asthma research but you might want to focus your efforts on the Th1 and Th2 components of the immune system when you go surfing Google.

Some notes from this article on Th1 and Th2 responses.
“Th1 cells produce interleukin-2, interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-b
Th2 calles produce IL-4, 5, 9 and 13 but not INF-gamma nor IL-2. These cytokines are important in inducing synthesis of igE and activating eosinophils, which have a role in the pathogenesis of asthma. It is now accepted that asthma and allergic diseases are disorders with a predominant Th2 immune response.”

This guy goes on to explain how we might develop a predominant Th2 immune response, and postulates that over-vaccination plays a significant role. Of course you’ve got tons of time on your hands ;) and I hope you find this line of research intriguing.

My personal ‘experimentation’ has had me med-free for a week now after not using the shower room which has a build-up of mould (don’t worry, I shower elsewhere!) and staying off the red wine (preservatives here in Sydney are pretty rough). Too much boozing over the holdays had me back on the puffer last night though, so it’s back to good living for the next few days!