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I have three children and I suspect my youngest has asthma. I feel like I should be doing something more for her but I'm not sure what to do.
My daughter just turned 6 yrs old and has always had chest colds, pneumonia, pertussis (even with vaccinating), croup, etc. (She is a carrier for Cystic Fibrosis but I understand that being a carrier shouldn't be causing problems like this). Two years ago, she seemed to have significant breathing problems when she was sick and we used albuterol in a nebulizer for her. (My middle daughter had bad croup episodes when she was younger and we purchased a nebulizer). Last year, it became worse and our pediatrician mentioned that he thought she would receive a diagnosis of asthma when she was older if she didn't outgrow it. At the time, when she was ill, she would need proventil, flovent and prednisone in addition to other otc meds.
Last spring was her first major problem and it was noticed only because she was in pre-school. (I was accustomed to her raspy breathing). The pre-school called alarmed and when I got there, she was pale, confused and said things were blurry. She couldn't remember simple things like where we lived or the fact that her sisters were at school. I used albuterol and then took her to our pediatrician once she could breathe well. She was out of pre-school for three weeks with a virus and breathing complications that I didn't feel comfortable asking them to address.
She did fine over the summer, but this fall she had another virus and missed a little over two weeks. I tried to send her back a few days early for half days, but she started having difficulty breathing. It was so alarming to her teacher that she picked her up and ran with her to the nurse calling for help as she ran. At the time, I had told them what my pediatrician told me, that she has bronchospasms, but no diagnosis of asthma.
In December, she had a small virus and only missed three days of school. January she missed four days of school (and upon returning started carrying an inhaler in her backpack that the nurse helped her use). She missed Friday with the start of a virus and we were in the ER last night because she said her throat keeps getting smaller. She was pale and dizzy, so off we went. The ER said she had asthma and told me to quit saying bronchospasms because others needed to know she had asthma. She's better today (with all the meds) but I'm not sure that she will be going to school on Monday (or Tuesday even).
Currently, she is taking nasonex, prescription cough syrup, motrin, proventil and flovent (and albuterol if she seems to need more). Our pediatrician suggested using the flovent a bit longer than the virus and we usually use it about a week or two after she is better before stopping.
When she is ill, she has trouble breathing (though it's controlled with the meds) and becomes pale, her eyes bulge, she can't talk, you can hear (most times) the raspiness and she looks panicky.
I plan on calling our pediatrician on Monday to tell him about the ER episode and to schedule an appointment for her. I want a diagnosis of asthma. But, it may be that I'm too impatient. I like things organized and despise the loose structure of her health care and treatment (not from my pediatrician, but rather I don't like how I'm not clear on how long to give meds, how to know when to go to the ER, etc). My oldest has autism (non-verbal) and my middle daughter has Celiac Disease. Things don't always run perfectly, but I have clear instruction on what to do for most things. And the school has clear guidelines for those two in the form of IEP and 504 plan. I really love our pediatrician, but I think it's time to push harder for a diagnosis.
You are not too pushy at all. Those are all serious asthma symptoms and need to be addressed ASAP. Random treatment when she is "most sick" is not going to help her. She needs daily asthma meds and an "asthma action plan." That is how you would know what to do and when to do it. Most of the other mom's on here I think see a pulmonologist. Danny goes to an allergy and asthma doctor but she definitely needs a diagnosis and a much better/more effective treatment plan. ((((HUGS)))) You know what she needs. Either get a referral to a pulmonologist or asthma doctor as it sounds to me like your doctor has let this go on for too long... JMO...
I agree your pediatrician might have wanted to avoid that diagnosis so as not to label her but really she has asthma and needs a treatment plan. I would see a specialist. My son takes singular once a day and when he even hints at a sniffle gets a neb treatment. We are very proactive now. You don't want her to go to Elementary school without a plan. It is probably scary for her too when she has the attacks. It sounds like she is having asthma attacks. Welcome to the group. Please let us know how it goes and if you have any more questions.
Thank you both. I just came home from Children's Hospital where we took her today. She has a virus that seems to be affecting her a bit more harshly than other kids. Today, she developed what we call "the cough". The doctor thinks she should be able to return to school possibly on Wednesday unless the cough complicates things.
I'll call our pediatrician tomorrow and see what he can do for a referral. She wants to play soccer in a local program and I'm nervous. But, I really don't want to put her in a bubble, you know?
I would see the pulmonologist before deciding on soccer. At least for this year. Get her asthma under control and she should be able to be a normal kid and do normal sports. The problem now seems to be that the dr is reacting instead of being proactive. Let us know what the dr says tomorrow.
this brings back memories to when my son nick had his first asthma attack he was 2 1/2 yrs old. that was scary. he couldn't breath and he was crying and we brought him to the er, they gave him a steriod and he stayed there for a few hrs and we brought him to the pedtrician. she gave us albuterol/ pulmocorte pakets and we got a nebulizer. he's been in the hospital 2 times with pnuemonia and he's had weeks of school he's missed b/c of asthma and it doesn't help we have ehlers danlos which a symptom is weak immune system, prone to colds and virius's. ~hugs~ hope everything works out
I agree...until you get her asthma under control by finding a proactive plan, she really needs to be in a bubble. Thankfully Danny just has the can't stop coughing type asthma and doesn't get to the "inflamed to the point he can't breathe" stage. If he did, he wouldn't go anywhere or do anything that could irritate it until he had a plan in place to help him if needed and preventative medicines to help avoid those situations...
I called our pediatrician and spoke with his nurse. He's out until Thursday. She and I have spoken on the phone before (which is good because she "gets" me). She told me to cut out the rescue inhaler unless she needs it and to continue with the steroid one until our next appt (well child visit later this month). I told her to please stick a note on our doctor's desk that I want a diagnosis of asthma or a referral for a second opinion and to write it nicely so he's not offended. She laughed and said that she understood and so would he (and he will).
I asked her about soccer since try-outs were this week-end. She said to go ahead and do it since exercise doesn't seem to make her flare up, but to be present while she's practicing and playing until we get a better idea of what to do. I'm going ahead and letting her play, but if she has trouble with it at all, then I'm pulling her out. She does fine running around here, but it may be different once she's more active.