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I am new to this site and have a 9 year old girl with asthma. Up until this point, it has not been much of a problem and easily controlled. This fall, things have gotten worse.
My biggest problem right now is determining when she is actually having a problem and how severe it is. When it is obvious that she is struggling, it's a no brainer that she needs to use her nebulizer, but lately I am not sure it hasn't become a way to get attention.
Each night she is complaining of chest pain & tightness. I can't hear any wheezing (I know that doesn't really mean anything - she doesn't have to wheeze to have an attack) and she isn't slowing down her activity. She can seem fine all night, but then at bedtime claim to be very tight and need her nebulizer. After using the nebulizer, she always says it does not help. We went to the ER one night and they determined that she was fine. No wheezing and clear lungs. The next day I took her to her allergy doc and he seemed to feel like she was exaggerating symptoms and gave me a peak flow meter to use. The problem with that is it is only effective if she truly tries her best when she uses the peak flow meter. There are times when it is obvious she is not.
I don't want to doubt her complaints, but she is going through a bit of a clingy stage right now and I don't know if this is an excuse to be close to me and stay home from school or if she is truly having problems. She also has not slept in her own bed more than twice in the last 2 months. It might be due to asthma, but it's hard to know because she doesn't wake me up - she just climbs in and goes back to sleep without waking me or my husband. We use her nebulizer nightly before bed time. She always says it doesn't help, but then if I get her to settle down and try to sleep, she will fall to sleep and her breathing sounds great from what I observe while she sleeps.
She is on Flovent, Singular, Claritin and has albuterol for her nebulizer. We also have a ProAir inhaler for school & on the go times that we don't have the nebulizer. I have prednisone on hand to use if we are unable to get out of her yellow zone, but again - is she really in her yellow zone this often or is it a play for more of my attention? BTW, I spend at least 45 minutes with her a night chatting, reading or watching TV with her before bed, so it's not like she doesn't one on one attention from me daily. She is also supposed to be getting allergy shots twice a week, but since they will not give her a shot if she has used her nebulizer in the last 24 hours, she hasn't had one in a couple of months as well.
Do any of you ever have this type of problem where you are not really sure how to determine what is a real attack and what might be exaggeration? We have an appointment with her doc again in 2 weeks and I honestly don't know what to tell him....