Thursday, March 29, 2012

Allergies, Eczema and Asthma..oh my!

Wasn't it only a year ago that I held my little boy, ear pressed to his chest as he took short, shallow breaths, while rushing into the doctors office? I suppose I should have guessed this day would arrive for her as well.

Yet, here I was with my girl, listening to her little body wheezing with every breath, and feeling so unprepared. This scene all too familiar. I don't know if I thought that maybe she would escape all this asthma, allergy hullaballo, or if I thought I had a few more years before I needed to worry about it all. Though, putting some thought into it now, I should have known better. Especially with how she suffers daily from horrible eczema. Our doctor has told us many times, given family history it's not uncommon for the Asthma, Allergy, Eczema trio to be present. In fact it is more likely since this trio tends to be hereditary. Fred has it, Mason given her history with eczema, and evidence of allergies being present, it was bound to happen. But let's back up for a bit.

I first noticed her having a wheeze two weeks ago. It was a Friday, we were having a play date at the home of my kids best friends, who happen to also be the kids of our pediatrician. I think I've mentioned this before. The ironic story of our friendship. Anyway, the boys were happily playing off by themselves and our daughters, having some fun of their own, jumping on couches and running up and down stairs. Sophie had a bit of a cough, but I noticed as she ran by me that she had a different sound to her breathing. A wheeze. Nema heard it too, but it was subtle, and after some settling down from running it was gone. I forgot about it.

But now it has been a few days of this nasty cough and her periodically emanating that whistling sound, more pronounced after she has been running. I kept looking for any signs, mostly that of retractions in her neck muscles (what Mason was doing during his episode), but never saw it. So I did my best to not freak out. Convincing myself that it was nothing to worry about because it didn't seem to slow her down. Not even a bit. She was still go, go, go. Can't slow her down. A trait similar to her brother. It's hard to tell when these kids are sick because they just keep going and going, like the Engergizer Bunny. That said, I monitored her closely and would periodically say to Fred, "come listen to her breathe." Clearly I was concerned, but didn't want to seem the overprotective mother, freaking out over every little cough or wheeze. Fred and I had a long discussion after Mason's episode last year and I promised to try to be more easy going. I should never ignore my mothering instincts.

Yesterday, after a trip to the playground, where she would normally be running all over the place, she seemed sluggish and her breathing more rapid, as if it was difficult to do so. We headed home, where I had Fred check her breathing once more, and even though it was her nap time, and she was clearly tired, I finally made the call to our doctor. Fifteen minutes later, we were in the waiting room. Thankful, once again, for our doctor making the time to see her. Even without her cooperation to take deep breaths, he could clearly hear her wheeze with each and every breath she took. Though really concerned, I kept my cool. I suppose having gone through this once already made it easier the second time around.

Of course she hates the nebulizer. She was always scared of it when Mason had treatments. At first, it was a struggle to get her to sit still and put the mask on, but then she sat down on Daddy's lap and watched My Little Pony. Sophie has been slower to recover. It could be her age. She is only two and not the best at expressing herself. She doesn't talk very much, and answers questions even less. When she does talk, she is not very articulate and it takes me two or three guesses before I know what she is saying. I have to be very observant in order to have any idea of her symptoms, making her slightly different to manage. 24 hours and three nebulizer treatments later she's down for a nap, and as far as I can tell breathing better. Still I will follow the directions of our doctor and give her at least one more treatment today, continuing to monitor her closely through the weekend.

Spring has always been my favorite season. Beautiful weather with blooming trees and a myriad of smells. We are a family that prefers to be outside, kicking the ball around, riding bikes, going for walks, blowing bubbles and of course planting and harvesting our garden. With the pollen count in the moderate to very high range all month it is no wonder our allergies have been kicked into high gear. It is clear to me now that monitoring breathing habits and nebulizer treatments will become the norm, and that stocking up on tissues and Claritin will be brought to a whole new level.

That and it seems like I can't tell a story in any reasonable amount of words.
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