Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ig's Ears

As good as my pediatricians are, sometimes they're in a rush. They've got a busy practice.

Today, I got one of the docs to slow down and read the file.

Ig, as it turns out, DOES have another ear infection. Dr. G listened to my reports about Ig's two weeks of low-grade fever and persistent cough (upper respiratory, thankfully). She flipped through his file and noted that we'd had a rough time pretty much since New Year's. Lots of coughing, fevers, plenty of ear infections. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you the kid was there every two weeks.

She prescribed a 10-day course of Omnicef, but recommended we keep him on for two full weeks if he's not completely symptom-free.

She also recommended that we see the ENT again, since he's had so many ear infections. Hopefully we won't need tubes again. Although, we all slept a lot better when he had them!

Mostly Quiet

It's been a little quieter around here as allergy season looms ahead!

Ig is still coughing a bit, and I do believe he has an ear infection...but overall, not so bad.

The big headache is that we've changed insurance, and the new company - ExpressScripts - is giving us a hard time filling B's Singular Rx. Shocker, right?

Anyway, taking Ig to the peds AGAIN this afternoon for the ear, so I'll keep y'all posted.

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Study -- Aspirin Reduces Asthma Risk Among Older Women

From the Washington Post:

Taking a small dose of aspirin every other day seems to reduce the risk of developing asthma among older women.

The study, appearing in the online issue of Thorax, essentially mirrors a similar study in which men taking aspirin saw the same
reduced risk.

Interesting, right? But check THIS out...

The incidence of asthma is on the increase, possibly due to obesity, dietary factors, exposure to antigens and environmental factors. But the trend also coincides with a decreased use of aspirin as people have switched to other over-the-counter pain relievers, or have avoided aspirin use in children due to concerns about Reyes syndrome.

That led some researchers to wonder whether the reduction in aspirin use was contributing to the rise of asthma.

Discuss amongst yourselves...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oz Is Better; Ig Is Coughing

It just never ends!

We finally managed to get Ozzy's cough under control Friday afternoon, after about 36 hours of DuoNeb treatments. It was pretty scary for a while there -- we were prepped and ready to take him to the ER if needed. And I'm amazed that we made it through that one without orals!

...but then, he's still coughing a little, so I should probably refrain lest I jinx myself.

His fever, by the way, hovered over 102 for a full three days, but then just broke out of nowhere Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, it's been two weeks since Ig was sick, so I guess we're due there. I heard him cough once or twice yesterday, and then at dinner tonight he let out a few seriously croupy barks.

So...I'm going to bed now. Since I probably won't sleep. Again.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Holy Virus!!!

I just heard from the PP ... based on my description and the peds assessment, they think it's a virus that they're seeing a lot of. Here's the skinny on the virus --
  • Fever of up to 105 lasting 5-7 days.
  • Cough is so acute, they're recommending DuoNeb every 4 hours
  • They are hospitalizing kids with this
If I can be selfis and even sacreligous for a second here: 5-7 days?? God, did you plan this because I was starting a new job? Is this a sign that I shouldn't have left the old one? I mean, my new boss is a mom, too...but a whole WEEK???

Secondly, how scary and POOR OZ! I've never heard my PP, as aggressive as she is, prescribe DuoNeb only every four hours. She usually has us alternate between DuoNeb and albuterol.

I just pray that 1) Oz gets well quickly and without a trip to the ER and 2) that the others don't get this.

Think of me at 4:00 AM while your sleeping and I'm nebbing away. I hope they have Law & Order reruns on then.

Oz is sick - not strep, not flu

Terrible day! I started a new job last week, and while I *will* have flexibility ultimately, I do need to put on a good show and be at my desk for now.

But Oz let out a few croupy coughs overnight Tuesday, and had a moderate cough yesterday. I started albuterol, just to be safe.

Last night, he woke up with a fever, and my husband ("B") stayed home with him today. I gave him some ibuprofen a neb before I left for work, and told B to call me if he had any concerns.

B called at 11:30 - Oz was coughing uncontrollably, until he gagged. He'd already had a second neb, and I told B it was OK to give him Dimetapp. (Yes, I know about the warnings. Please don't call family services on me. The stuff WORKS, and the situation was dire!)

Dimetapp didn't work, so B gave him DuoNeb, which helped a little, but I was already paging the peds and the pediatric pulmonologist from my cube!! The peds were able to see him immediately.

Of course, B's car is in the shop and I have the (hideous, horrible) minivan, but thank goodness our neighbor was home and willing to loan us their car. I'm sure Oz will love sitting in their daughter's Disney Princess car seat.

They tested for strep and flu (both negative) and chalked it up to something viral. They said his chest sounded clear. Unsurprised sinced the kid had three nebs in less than four hours.

I'm waiting for a call back from the PP.

Keep y'all posted --

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pulmicort 'Roid Rage - response to question in comments

This came in today via comments:

I'm not sure I'm typing in the correct spot... I'm new at this. I was hoping to find some answers to a question I had concerning my son. I was wondering if you have heard of any children becoming aggressive or violent from the medicine Pulmicort? My son just turned 3 and since on Pulmicort has been exhibiting some very violent behaviors. Maybe just hit at the same time???? who knows? Do you have any advice or help?

I've been fortunate to have never experienced this, but I've definitely heard about it before.

Pulmicort is a steroid, and sometimes kids will react to it the same way grownups react to, say, anabolic steroids.

While some parents are OK if their kids "occasionally kick the dog," as one mom so quaintly put it, so long as they can breathe, sometimes the behaviors are a lot more extreme and hard to live with.

I've heard, on the Asthma-Parents Yahoo group, that other parents have seen better results simply by switching steroids. So ask your doctor if Flovent or Qvar is an option for child. Ad there's an added bonus: Being a "Flovent Mom" myself, I can assure you that administering a metered-dose inhaler (or MDI) twice a day is a LOT easier than holding a three-year-old down for a nebulizer treatment every single day.

Singular is another commonly-used maintenance med for preschoolers. I've rarely heard of adverse reactions from it, but it does work differently than inhaled corticosteroids like Pulmicort and Flovent, so it may not be right for your son's needs. In fact, my kids have needed to be on both Flovent AND Singular during peak season.

So...I hope this helps. Definitely talk to your doctor about alternatives. You shouldn't have to live with a psychotic preschooler when there are other options available.

Other parents, please feel free to share your experiences and wisdom!