Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘Asthma

Another Diagnosis

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Not my favourite ever Pudding picture.

Not my favourite ever Pudding picture.

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.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

June 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Breathing Freely

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I’m not sporty.  At all.  The girl who never got picked for a team?  That was me.  My husband refers to me as “indoorsy” and he is spot on.  I enjoy getting cosy under a blanket with a good book or TV show.  I enjoy treating myself to cups of tea, or hot chocolate…actually, chocolate in any form.  Lots of chocolate.  I have a feeling that I’ll make the most content old person ever, having practiced for it all my life.  As long as my home has plenty of chocolate.  On a Saturday evening we’ll put the kids to bed, eat take out followed by treats and watch TV, just lazing around.  It does me good, but it isn’t good for me.

I don’t enjoy exercise in the way that I feel about my more passive pastimes.  But I need it.

Last year was tough.  For the first half of the year, I felt like I added an extra worry every day.  There were big things like additional diagnoses, assessments for the other child, moving to another country…and other big  things like a supportive friend moving away  and trying to coordinate therapies for two children.  That is the thing about life- there are never any little things, and before long I was suffocating under the weight of so many big things.  After more than a decade symptom-free, I was back on two different kinds of medication for asthma.  Just so I could breathe.

Once we moved, I knew I had to make changes if I was going to stay healthy for my family.  We found a babysitter.  Once the kids were in their respective preschools, I started going to the gym.  And though there were still stressors, they didn’t seem to weigh me down so heavily.  I no longer need the asthma medication- I’m breathing freely again.

Now I can’t get enough pure oxygen.  Last weekend we took the kids outside to play sports.  Pudding refused to join in, preferring to draw with chalk.  Cubby soon tired too.  We couldn’t compete with the allure of the other kids in our housing complex, who are impressively accepting of our kids, quirks and all.  Instead of sinking in a chair to keep an eye on them, I suggested to Spectrummy Daddy that we had a game of tennis instead.  We only have plastic Swingball rackets, and the balls didn’t have half the bounce our kids do, but we managed quite the game!

We used the driveway for a court, and both of us were running around for the ball, unable to convince the kids to collect the strays.  Before long we were both a little out of breath, but this time in a good way.  We had a good time, and it doesn’t hurt our kids to see us play.  Maybe next time Pudding will join in too.  Spectrummy Daddy even said he’d pick indoorsy me for his team.  Maybe we were all winners that day, but the score was love-all.

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 20, 2012 at 11:53 am