Posts Tagged ‘ cough induced asthma ’

My Kids’ Health Crisis, Part 1 = My Resolution Crisis

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Remind me to never make a New Year’s resolution for as long as I have kids under the age of 18. My resolutions were reasonable and tangible. For 5 minutes. At the top of my list: getting back on the blog. Posting at least twice a week. Followed by running 2 times a week and doing yoga at least once a week.

Then came the proverbial thunderstorm that sucked me into its vortex as it wreaked havoc on my week. Here is part 1 of my war story.*

Wednesday at 3 a.m.: Em coughs to the point of barfing. Fia wakes up complaining of something in her throat.

Em eventually falls back asleep, propped up in crib, humidifier at full speed, slathered in Vicks Vapor Rub, particularly on his feet (click here for more on this cough tip).

For Fia, I see a white “thing” almost like a skin tag on her tonsil. I give her Motrin.

Wednesday 9 a.m.: Em is doing awful. He can barely breathe because the cough is relentless. Fia is saying it’s hard to swallow. I rush both kids to the doctor. Em is diagnosed with full-blown pneumonia. They give him a hospital-grade antibiotic shot in the butt to try and avert an emergency room visit. I guess this is a super painful shot, and he screams bloody murder as big fat tears roll down his face. Fia can’t wait to tell everyone about this. She is almost giddy.

Meanwhile, she is diagnosed with a “tonsil stone“…which is when debris of food and bacteria build up on your tonsil, causing a hardened, white, almost scab-like spot. The doc doesn’t think it’s hardened yet though and is able to put a long Q-tip in her throat and knock it off. Or so he thinks. Problem solved. 

Wednesday 4 pm: Fia spikes a 105.5 fever. I’m suspect that the stone wasn’t the only issue.  Problem not solved. I give her Motrin, she seems fine and I am so preoccupied with Em, I don’t call the doctor. Em just wants to cuddle and sleep. For once the world’s most active (almost) 2-year old boy is passive.

Wednesday 11 pm: Em’s fever is 103 (love my thermometer because I don’t have to touch him to take his temp) and he is panting in his sleep at a rate of 70 breaths per minute. I speak to the on-call doctor. She said if we can give him Motrin and get his fever down, his breathing should slow to 30-35 bpm. If not, then we have to get him to the ER for oxygen.

Emmett is the worst child with taking medicine. Even at the doctor’s office the nurse gave up on helping me with Motrin when he barfed all over her. He is so stubborn, and he gargles it at the back of his throat until he pukes. But Phil and I had to get it down. So we get him up and pinch his cheeks so his mouth is open and the cheeks are between his teeth. That way the nurse said he can’t bite down because he’ll bite his cheeks. I get 1/5th of a dose in before he projectile vomits on us both. Fia is awake now screaming with a 104 fever.

I get Emmett in a cool bath, then try again once he’s dried off and a little calmer. I manage to get down about half a dosage. I decided not to push my luck, because I’d rather him have a little bit than barf all of it up.

Phil is with Motrin-medicated Fia, whose fever is down again. I’m with Emmett, waiting for him to fall asleep so I can count his breaths. 30 minutes later he is panting, but at a rate of 35-40 breaths per minute. I put him back in his crib and go to sleep on the spare bed.

It’s only been 20 hours since this all began…and that was just the beginning of my perfect shit-storm. And the end to my New Year’s resolutions. I’ll post the rest tomorrow.

*I realize in the grand-scheme of things, this is just a bad day/week. We are not battling a chronic illness or worse. But I like to put it all out there in case anyone else has experienced these same conditions or others. It’s parenting in the trenches. Thankfully I don’t have to do it often. Tell me your tips/stories.  It feels good to write it all down.

 

Yoga pose via Shutterstock

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Fia’s Mystery Cough. Any Ideas For Me?

Monday, December 24th, 2012

girl coughing

Fia has this chronic cough. By chronic, I mean it’s lasted at least eight weeks. Could be twelve. I remember about a year ago in Brooklyn she had the same thing. But now we’re in a totally different climate so I don’t think it’s allergies. Plus, when she got that crazy rash five months ago, I had her tested at an allergist. All she had was a high histamine level.

I took her to the doctor last week to have her checked out. Thing is, she only coughs when she goes down for bed, or mid morning. The rest of the day is nothing. She’s not sick, she’s not congested, and no, it’s not Whooping Cough (and we vaccinated for that).

When the doctor came in he said, “Eight weeks???” I told him not to think I’m a terrible mom. It’s just that I took her to our Brooklyn pediatrician last year and she couldn’t find anything wrong and said something (I recall) about kids can cough a lot because their lungs are still developing and we can’t give them cough syrup until they’re 4 or 5?? And believe me, I’m in no hurry to dose her up on meds. Especially those with Red Dye 40. (Side note: my cousin swears the RD #40 gives her children night terrors. They cut out all medicine and candy, etc with RD #40 in it, and the results were incredible. No more screams in the night.)

Anyway, the doc listened to Fia’s heart and her lungs. They sounded fine. No wheezing. She had a small cough in his presence. He said it was a dry cough and her throat was a little red on one side but nothing crazy. I told him I give her a natural honey medicine (Little Remedies for Colds), and it does seem to help in the short term.

He prescribed me liquid albuterol sulfate, which I guess is a medicine for asthma. I can still do the Honey Elixir, which she now comes to expect, of course, since it tastes good.

The goal is to see if the albuterol lessens the cough. If it does, she could have a type of cough-induced asthma and we’d give her this medicine more long term. Ugh. I hate giving medicine as an “experiment.” It makes me incredibly nervous, because you never know how your kid will react. I gave two doses last week at night. I kept going in and checking on her breathing because I’m so paranoid. She coughed some, not a ton. Then I decided to stop and just stick to the natural honey stuff. But yesterday morning she coughed so hard she started to gag and burp. Poor thing. It just wears her out. So back to the meds.

This morning she was coughing a bit, so I gave her the albuterol again and she coughed a few times before I dropped her off at preschool. They told me that she’s continued to cough a little, not a lot.But as the day wears on, the cough lessens anyway until night.

I’m not sure what to think. I can’t say definitively the medicine is working. I guess I’ll have to keep giving it to her. Was wondering if anyone has any homeopathic remedies or other advice to offer? I can put the humidifier in her room, but that will only help at night. Not with the morning cough when we are out and about. It is seriously driving me mad. It’s so frustrating to not know what to do. Thoughts?

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This post is sponsored by Little Remedies — makers of children’s medication without artificial colors, artificial flavors, or alcohol.

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Photo: Illustration of girl sneezing via Shutterstock
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