Archive for the ‘Asthma’ Category
Today I woke Pudding up.
I could count on one hand the number of times I could have used that sentence. Sleep has always been a challenge in our house, but over the last few weeks, things have been worse than ever. We’ve been starting the day at 3 am. I don’t function so great at ridiculous O’Clock.
Living at altitude seems to be particularly challenging on the respiratory system, and after struggling night after night with her breathing, we finally determined the cause: asthma.
It comes as no surprise to me. I was diagnosed with asthma in infancy. It runs in my family, and is strongly associated with the severe allergies that also plague Pudding. Every time we’ve visited the doctor, every place we’ve ever lived, I’ve always had them check her lungs. Until a few months ago, I’ve always been able to breathe a sigh of relief. Then the doctor heard a wheeze, and it got worse from then on.
In the last few weeks she has been so disturbed by coughing that sleep has been even worse than usual. I didn’t need a stethoscope to hear her wheezing, and even anti-biotics couldn’t clear up the persistent bronchitis.
So last week we got that initial asthma diagnosis, and along with it the medicines that would help her to breathe. Every night has been a little better than the previous, and then finally last night we were down to just a couple of interruptions, and the longest sleep in quite some time.
We don’t know if this is a reaction to living here. It could be the altitude, the incredibly dry winter, the many allergens specific to Southern Africa. We probably won’t know until we move. Or it could be that she was genetically pre-destined and this was going to happen sooner or later. I could have used later, but at least we got to 6.
The good thing is that she is responding well to the medication, because there are few things scarier than watching your child gasp for air. In fact, the medication is so effective, that she asks for it, and hasn’t even put up a fight about the strange-looking spacer that helps her breathe in her inhaler.
I don’t exactly want to add another disgnosis to Pudding’s collection, but at least with this one, I’m on familiar territory. I know how it feels, I know how to make it better, and I know what to do. While there may never be a cure, there are plenty of effective treatments available these days. She is doing better every day and even getting the colour back in her cheeks.
The only trouble is, she resembles me in another way too. This kid is furious at being woken up! Maybe I’ll make that Cubby’s job from now on. We have an awful lot of sleep to catch up on now that we’re both breathing easier.