Friday, January 15, 2010

Albuterol vs. Xopenex - the debate continues!

Three years ago, I posted an article that stirred up huge debate regarding the value of Xopenex vs. Albuterol.

Amazing how many comments that post still gets!! I thought I'd bring it back to top of the blog to see who else wanted to weigh in.

Here's the original post.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And the pneumonia just keeps on comin'!

Update -

Sent Oz back to school yesterday. He'd been fine all weekend, and practically bouncing of the walls. He couldn't wait to get out!

When he came home, he immediately lay down on the sofa and fell asleep.

That is NOT like my Oz.

When I checked, he was running 100.8 and complaining of pain in his chest and a headache.

I put him to bed early, but he woke up shortly after crying hysterically - he was completely incomprehensible. Then he threw up all over my bed. Then he fell asleep again.

Next time he woke up, not an hour later, the screaming resumed. He was in pain, scared - I don't even know what. I started to warm up the car so I could take him to the ER.  But by the time I came back in, he was asleep again.

I'd spoken to the doctor twice by this time. She warned me that it could either be an effusion or a mucus plug. (eeeeuwwww.)

He made it through the night after that. He was laboring to breathe a bit, but his respiratory rate was OK.

This morning, we had to go back to the doctor, of course. And of course, we were sent for another chest X-ray.

The results? The Zithromax he'd been taking wasn't working. The pneumonia had actually gotten worse! WTF??!!!

So... while it may actually be a viral pneumonia, we're starting Omnicef tonight.

Wish us luck.  We're back to the pulmonologist next week.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

And still MORE pneumonia

Yes, really.

Oz was diagnosed today, after a chest Xray.

Last night was one of those hellish nights (we've all been there) where we were sitting up doing back-to-back nebs at 1:00AM.  Poor guy couldn't stop coughing.  And he's been running a fever (lower-grade) since Tuesday AM.

After barely sleeping, I can't tell you how much fun it was to run Oz around the hospital (where our pulmonologist's office is) and then down to X-ray, with ornery Ig in tow. Blecccch.

Xray showed a mild pneumonia, and since his sats were at 100 and he sounded pretty clear, we don't need oral steroids.

Anyway, we're starting antibiotics tonight. Hopefully, we'll have more sleep, less coughing, and healthier boys in the very near future.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I am in hell.

I have to vent like a big ol' whiner right now.

Today has been so miserable...there aren't even words.

Two sick boys: a four year old with a bad temper and a five year old with a bad attitude. Both feeling unwell enough to really highlight the worst of their personalities.

I've had Ig screaming and whining and carrying on all day. The whining and crying is enough to make me run  screaming into the freezing cold night.

And Oz, "Mr. Cool", just monopolizing the TV and complaining every time I let Ig watch Thomas the Tank Engine.

All this while I'm trying to hash out digital marketing strategies and analyze Google AdWords campaign reports. On a deadline.

I don't know whether to scream, cry, run or take a bubble bath.

The sad part is, Oz really is sick today. I feel bad for him (although he doesn't make it easy sometimes) and I want to take care of him. But Ig is making almost impossible! He's so jealous - I can't get near Oz without him  reacting. And then Oz reacts to THAT, and all hell breaks loose all over again.

I know they're sick, and I'm doing my best to take care of them....but I'm allowed to rant every now and then, right?

Pneumonia - Not Again!

Well, I was all set to send Ig back to preschool today, but he had a brutal fit of coughing last night. Here I was thinking that this would be my albuterol-free child...

I can handle a few coughs, but this was BAD. It sounded like he had croup for half of it, and the other half was this loud, wet-sounding cough-cough-WHEEZE, cough-cough-WHEEZE we'd been hearing a few days back. I wasn't sure if he needed albuterol or Dimetapp, but I figured since albuterol would actually help him breathe, while Dimetapp is purely prophylactic, I'd try the albuterol first. And it worked. The poor little dude went back to sleep after that.

I was on the fence about sending him back to school. If it were just daycare, I would definitely keep him home. But Ig is PDD-NOS (high-functioning autistic) and in a special preschool program in the morning where he gets speech therapy and OT. I hate for him to miss it! But I know how the school nurse gets when you give her that kind of responsibility. If I called her and said, "He had pneumonia last week, but is still coughing. If he breaks into a fit of spasmodic, coughing or sounds like he has croup, can you please call me?" she would tell me to keep him home. After all, the woman's got 500 other kids to worry about.

Anyway, my choice was made for me: This morning, Oz woke up coughing and running 101.  He was coughing yesterday, so I did start him on the albuterol MDI, but we definitely breaking out the neb today, kids.

I wasn't worried about pneumonia - I didn't think pneumonia could be spread AS pneumonia. I thought it was like strep, which doesn't always strike the throat - we've seen it fester as an infected hangnail!

But, horrifyingly, I was mistaken. I asked my dad - a pharmacist who almost died from antibiotic-resistant pneumonia as a teen. Dad said, "Theoretically, it is contagious. I got a lot of nurses sick in the hospital."


I confirmed Dad's assessment on

The bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia can be contagious. But once your son is taking the proper antibiotics for his bacterial infection, there is a minimal risk of passing the organism on. Check with the doctor about your son’s specific case.

Ugh. Guess we're going back to the doctor today...

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Quick Note: Ig's Pneumonia

Just a quick update: Ig developed pneumonia the day we left Canada for home. (We go to Canada for the holidays every year - in-laws are in Ontario.)

He's fine - didn't even need any nebs. Never mind that his fever hit 104.8 on New Year's Day!

Isn't it ironic? The kid who spent his first day of life in respiratory distress in the NICU is the kid with the strongest lungs! Fever started Thursday, and he'll be back in preschool tomorrow.

For the record, I believe this is pneumonia #6 for the mama.