Friday, February 29, 2008

He has what??

Excerpt from a letter I wrote my family this week:
The biggest thing that has affected our last two weeks was a doctor's diagnosis for Joel that he has asthma. This was a very big shock to us as we just thought he had a cold and perhaps bronchitis so took him in to the clinic. He had just been coughing a LOT at night, but never during the day. I said to myself while we were in the waiting room, "I hope he coughs at least a little for the doctor or she'll think we are crazy for coming in." About 5 minutes later he started into a coughing fit that seemed to last for minutes. The doctor came out of her office and gave us a quizzical/concerned look. One of the first questions she asked me--is he asthmatic? I said no, and was pretty surprised when she said he was after listening to his lungs for awhile. She gave him a breathing treatment right then and there and still wasn't satisfied that it was under control. She made us wait for a half hour and then gave him another one. Later when I was waiting in the pharmacy to pick up the two things she prescribed and was feeling low and sorry for myself and for Joel, I met another woman waiting as well. She told me about when her 12-year old daughter was hit by a car, was in a coma for quite some time, and spent months in the hospital. She is now in her 30's but her mom said she will never work and never have children. I walked in that pharmacy with a load on my heart and a couple prescriptions and left 10 minutes later with the medications and some much needed perspective.

We have since learned that this is something he can and probably will outgrow. In the meantime we are being faithful at giving him his pump four times a day, his prednisone (a steroid), and Mark even spent a couple hours yesterday washing down the walls in his room, vacuuming, mopping the floors, and airing it out. It was a relatively mild day yesterday so he opened his window and let in some fresh air for awhile. The next step for me is to study up a bit on how diet can affect stuff for him and to see what kind of foods to avoid for a time.

update: The treatments are done for the time being. I tried to make an appointment with J's pediatrician and can't get in to see her until May 26th!! He has virtually stopped all nighttime coughing, so we are hopeful.