Friday, August 17, 2007

FDA Warning on Cold Meds for Babies

I heard this on the radio yesterday AM, and my cousin just sent me a link to the FDA Public Health Advisory (thanks, Sam!). And while I'll freely admit my parental dependency on Dimetapp (stops non-asthma-related coughing, promotes sleep) I doubt I'll give the stuff to Ig anymore.

Honestly, I find that Dimetapp is the only thing that works. Pediacare, Benadryl and Claritin have all been pretty useless for us. And of course, I can't ever give them cough supressants...

Anyway, here are a few highlights from the FDA Advisory:

FDA announced today that, in October, the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee will discuss the safety and effectiveness of cough and cold drug product use in children. Questions have been raised about the safety of these products and whether the benefits justify any potential risks from the use of these products in children, especially in children under 2 years of age. In preparation for the meeting, FDA is reviewing safety and efficacy data for the ingredients of these products...

What should parents know about using cough and cold products in children?

  • Do not use cough and cold products in children under 2 years of age UNLESS given specific directions to do so by a healthcare provider.
  • Do not give children medicine that is packaged and made for adults. Use only products marked for use in babies, infants or children (sometimes called “pediatric” use).

Read the entire Public Health Advisory from the FDA site.

Thursday Night at the Pulmonologist

So... here's the quick roundup:

  • B - Doing GREAT! He actually completed the Peak Flow Test (PFT) and did great! Dr. W said she would have been happy if he'd been over 80% -- and he actually surpassed 100% (He still improved after abuterol, but whatever.) He is not going back on Flovent this fall, at least not at this point. :-)
  • Oz - Doing well, but staying on Flovent 110 and Singulair. We'll keep watching him.
  • Ig - With the cyanotic episodes and overall dodgy health, we're starting Flovent 44 again now.

For a change, BETTER than I'd anticipated. I'm so excited about B!! No meds!!! Whoopeee!!!
Now all I have to pay for (for B) are the $500 orthotics, which our insurance wont' cover.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Quick Monkey Update

We seem to have beaten Oz's cough from earlier this week...but Ig had a blue-lip episode at daycare today. Two puffs of albuterol and he pinked right back up.

The blue-lip episode happened during a rather important meeting today, and made for a funny overheard conversation. The daycare admin called on my mobile, and I always take their calls, natch. Here's what the CEO, President and other around me probably heard:

"He's blue? Again?....Is he happy, or does he seem like he's in distress?...Okay. Did you give him albuterol?...Yes, two puffs. I'll sign the form when I pick him up. Okay. Thanks for calling! Bye!"

Ah, the life of a working mom of asthmatic kids. Don't you wish you were me?

Pulmo Tomorrow

Supermom is taking her three monkeys to the pediatric pulmonologist - single-handedly! - after work tomorrow.

Wish me luck!!!

...anyone feel like placing bets on the prescriptions I leave with? Do I hear two Flovents? Three? 44 or 110? Any 220s? How about Xopenex? Do I hear a Xopenex...?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ozzy Coughing

Quick note: Oz was coughing this morning, so I gave him some albuterol. Hopefully, we can head this off.

B looked puffy and said his nose felt funny...guess I'll be keeping an eye on that two. Sounds sinus-related to me.

All this on the day Rob starts a new job in NYC - an hour commute each way. Once again, he's out the door before the kids are out of bed, so the mornings are all on Mom.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

Because we all know someone who has (or had) breast cancer, I'm doing the Avon Walk to raise much-needed funds to combat this evil disease and to help those who are already fighting it.
Please support me! I need to raise $1800 to walk, but I'd like to raise a whole lot more.

I know I've already got asthma and autism to worry about in my world, but I had my first breast cancer scare this year (I'm fine) and it made me think of all the moms out there who are dealing with this illness while trying to raise their kids to be healthy and strong -- and of all the moms who lost their battles. I want to save those moms!!!

Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tiffany Teether (not asthma-related...just a MamaRant!)

I reading about last week's Fisher-Price recall, when while scanning the list, I noticed this older item:

CPSC, Tiffany and Company Announce Recall of Farm Teether Rattles

Tiffany & Co. makes teethers? Oh, dear...I had to read on, of course.

The following product safety recall was voluntarily conducted by the firm in cooperation with the CPSC. Consumers should stop using the product immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Farm Teether Rattle
About 3,700
New England Sterling of Attleboro, Mass., for Tiffany and Company of New York, N.Y.
Hazard: A metal bar on the rattle can break off during use, releasing small round beads and small farm animal figures that roll off the crossbar when the soldered joints break. The beads can pose an aspiration hazard to young children. The breakage also can create ragged edges on the ring, posing a laceration hazard.

OK -- hold it right there. Metal? I get the 'small beads' inside the rattle, but small farm animal figures? Do your rattles and teethers have any metal and choking-hazard sized animals on them? Moving on...

Incidents/Injuries: CPSC and Tiffany and Company have received one report of a farm animal figure that was found in the mouth of a 7-month-old child. The child
was not injured.
Description: The recalled rattle is designed for children ages 3 months and up. The Farm Teether Rattle is a hollow, sterling silver ring approximately 3 inches in diameter with a bar across its center. The bar is attached to the interior of the ring at two points and has three farm animals (sheep, duck and cow) and two beads that rotate on the bar. Small plastic beads inside the ring rattle when the product is shaken. Inscribed on the rattle is “© 2002 TIFFANY & CO. 925.”

It's sterling silver?? It's STERLING SILVER TEETHER? Are you freaking kidding me??? It's TEETHER that you have to POLISH. Oh, that's brilliant...
And don't get me started with the engraving for authenticity...

Sold at: Tiffany and Company sold these rattles in its retail stores and from its catalogs and Web site from November 2002 through early March 2004 for about

Manufactured In: United States

Remedy: Consumers can return the product to Tiffany and Company for a full refund, credit or a new rattle.

Are you kidding me? About 3,700 people spent $150 on a sterling silver teether? Who ARE these people? Do they all share the last name Hilton?

And damned straight Tiffany & Co. had better issue a "refund, credit or new rattle" for their high-society choking hazard.

Only in America, folks. Only in America.

Oh, and just another sad-state-of affairs note: The CPSC recall list is SO long and so frequently updated, they really should provide an RSS feed.

Albuterol Test, part deux

I have to really scrap the last albuterol test -- Ig was running a fever on Saturday, so he may have had some virus that was keeping him up. He slept PERFECTLY with the fever, though.

Of course, he was up again the next night, so I tried the "albuterol test" again last night. He slept through til 5:00 AM. (GREAT for him.) He woke up really happy, too - despite some icky green goo around his nose.

I'm calling the PP this week to schedule a seasonal visit for all three monkeys, so I'll keep the test up for a few more nights and report the results back to her. $10 says he's back on Flovent by next week.

In other news -- I'm taking B to the podiatrist Thursday (praying he doesn't need full orthotic - NO ONE covers those things) and the developmental peds. in October. Let's here it for back-to-school!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Iggy's Sick

Yesterday, when I dropped Ig off at daycare, I noticed his friend Jack had a croup-y sounding cough. Jack's a first baby, and his very sweet mom often asks me for advice. I told the caregivers in the room that they should keep an eye on Jack and watch his breathing at naptime. His cough, to me, sounded a little like bronchiolitis.

I mentioned this to my husband last night at bedtime, after telling him that I had given Ig albuterol again.

Naturally, when we woke up this morning (Ig slept right through!), Ig felt a little warm to me. I took his temp - 100.6. Not SUCH a big deal, since he ALWAYS seems to be running a low temp. But was getting cranky, so I gave him some ibuprofen.

Then I noticed, as I was changing him, that he seemed to be breathing a little fast, almost panting. He had some crusted mucus under his nose (also kind of a standard look lately), so I figured it might just be upper respiratorty stuff, but I gave him some albuterol anyway. Hey, our action plan says, "at first sign of a cold."

And THEN, about an hour later, I noticed a steady stream of green goo coming out of his nose. Awesome.

So...I'm refreshing my memory on the symptoms of bronchiolitis (so paranoid, I know) and keeping a close eye.

Meanwhile, I gave him some Dimetapp and put him down for an early nap. $10 he wakes up with a cough and AT LEAST 101.5. Can't seem to get a break with their health this summer...

UPDATE: In fact, Iggy woke up with 102.6, but no cough. He was fever-free by Sunday, but the green goo still lingers.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Happy Birthday, B!

It's B's sixth birthday today. I can't believe it's been six years since I gave birth to that wonderful kid.

The year begins with promise: His asthma is well under control - he's not even on meds right now. The Aspergers Syndrome that has the potential to threaten his social skills is barely perceptible. He is among the most popular with teachers and students a like. Sure, he sucks at sharing, but how many 6-year-old boys can boast "shares Transformers well" as a social skill?

I have nothing but optimism for his first year in public school, for his health or his happiness.

Happy Birthday, B! I love you!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Albuterol Test Results

He was up at 2:00AM. I don't know if this was a failure of the test or due to the fact that my darling husband hasn't the slightest idea what it means to TIPTOE when he goes to the bathroom at night.

Give it one more night. He slept through after I gave him albuterol at 2:00.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Albuterol Test.. and Yea, ME!

I've probably mentioned in several of the last posts that Ig hasn't been sleeping lately. It's an ongoing motif in my world. I've learned to function -- heck, even earn a PROMOTION -- on 4-6 hours sleep. (I used to swear I couldn't get by on less than 10.)

Ig, now 19 months old, wakes up at 11:00 almost every night, usually at exactly the moment I'm turning off the TV to go to bed. If he sleeps beyond 11:00, he's up at 2:00. Sometimes, he wakes up at 11 AND 2.

And he doesn't just wake up, he SCREAMS. It's horrible. There's not letting him cry it out -- no one would sleep if we did. And honestly, I'm not inclined to. My mom-sense tells me there's something really wrong, something beyond separation anxiety.

In the past, when Oz was waking up like this, we found out that we needed to put him back on Flovent. When Ig was waking up during the winter, we learned that he had chronic ear infections and needed tubes. So for me, the net-net is, if he can't sleep, he's either in excrutiating pain or not breathing well.

I brought this up with the peds at his 18-month checkup last week. She thinks it's just separation anxiety, and that I'll end up with this kid sleeping between his dad and me until he hits puberty....but she agreed we should see the pulmo "if I'm concerned."


Anyway, as he's getting over strep, he did sleep a few nights when we dosed him up with Dimetapp and Motrin. But then the screaming started again, so...for a test (YES, I'M GETTING TO MY POINT NOW) I gave him albuterol before bed last night.

And guess what...he slept til 5:00 AM.

So, I'm trying again tonight, to make sure it wasn't just a fluke. It's only 10:20 now, so I can't say yet, but I'll post a quick update in the AM.

One final note...I've won an award for this blog! Did ya notice the new bling in the right-hand nav? I'd always hoped to win a Tony Award, but y'know...this'll do!

I'd like to thank HealthCentral for this honor, my loyal readers, Google - for the free blogging platform, my stunningly smart co-workers, and of course, my wonderful children...(OK, I'll stop now).