Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Students Face Health Risks from Air Contamination | Environmental Working Group

Classroom asthma, Children's Asthma created by cleaning supplies | Environmental Working Group

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Found this while surfing ... thought my "Mom" readers, as well as any students, might find it helpful and interesting. I sure did.

We've been switching, slowly but surely, to green and safe cleaning product. Most of what we use is from Trader Joe's "Next to Godliness" line, and we've also tried and liked WowGreen and some other brands. (Call me wacky, but I just don't feel like I've really *cleaned* when I've used only vinegar. And it leaves my house smelling like a tossed salad.)

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this one!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Asthma/Allergy Update - me, B and Oz

So, lately our house has been feeling a little...small. It's a great house - a ranch with a full walk-out basement. Not a stitch of carpet anywhere, and we've kept it fairly upholstery free. (If you're asthmatic, you know that the first thing you look for in a house is hardwood and/or tile!)

We have three bedrooms...and three kids. The two oldest boys love sharing a room with a bunk bed, and Ig has his own room. But the living space is very close to the bedrooms, and while we've made the basement into a bright and fun rec room, the kids don't spend a ton of time down there.

....which is why we've been hitting open houses on weekends. We're not sure we're serious about moving, but we're curious to see what's out there. Plus, we're having some "issues" with our town's special education programs, and they may well be insurmountable, so we may well have to move, once we find a town that's more willing to provide necessary  services for Ig. But that's another post for another day.

So, to my point. We went to an open house on Sunday, and in addition to having two cats, they also had loads of potpourri to hide the cat smell. And loads of broadloom. As soon as we walked in, I took two puffs of albuterol.

After checking out the house (beautiful curb appeal, bad corner, weird downstairs floor plan), we headed home. Within five minutes, I was coughing hard enough to gag. More albuterol.  Then I was OK for the rest of the day...but the next morning, I felt like I'd swallowed a Nerf ball, and it had lodged somewhere between my throat and chest. Not a nice sensation. And my chest hurt, too. I wasn't sure if it was asthma-related, indigestion, or just muscular.

I'm much better today, but realizing that I have a lot to learn about my triggers and the severity of each trigger.  A few sips of ice water got me going today! I need to start documenting what they are. Also, I need to see about getting a spare inhaler.  Right now I have one that I keep in the bathroom, and one I carry with me, but my purse MDI only has a few puffs left on it. Will they give you an RX for spare?

In other news, B tried eggs today for the first time since he was a baby. He had a moderate allergy, and they used to make him vomit. Last time he had them, just a few years ago, his face went bright red and he had a headache. He's always afraid to eat them - as well as mayo, French toast, and anything else "eggy."

But today, he had a little bit of my hard-boiled egg - just a few bites of white and yolk, and he's been perfectly fine.

But Ozzy's been coughing ever since. Go figure.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mom's Asthma - Symbicort

Another quickie update -

While the Asmanex did stop the coughing, mostly, I had a heavy feeling in my chest and just didn't feel well overall. I almost felt like there was a wet sponge wedged under my sternum, and it sort of pulsated or spasmed before I started coughing. Ick.

I called the doctor's office when I ran out of the Asmanex, and told them I wasn't feeling that much better. They gave me a sample of Symbicort, which I've been on  before.

It's only been a few days, and while I'm coughing a bit more, I feel SO much better overall.The only downside is that I keep losing my voice.

For other people, this might not be a big deal but (surprise!) I sing professionally and am booked every Friday this month. I had to cancel last week, because I couldn't get through two songs, and I'm supposed to sing four. During rehearsal, I was so winded after my first number, I could barely get through the less challenging second song. Singing, after all, does rely heavily on breath support.

When I asked the doctor about the laryngitis - which seemed to occur after every presentation I gave, or any time I spoke for 10 minutes at a time or longer - he said it was probably from the Symbicort. So, in addition to rinsing my mouth after taking the stuff (which you should do after taking ANY inhaled steroid), I am now gargling. It's very feminine and appealing, I assure you.

So...hopefully we're on the right path now. I'm looking forward to feeling better soon!