My younger boy midget has asthma, and his problems began when he was 8 months old. At that time he nearly died, due to his blood oxygen being as low as 50-60%. I had no idea what was wrong with him. He had been crying for days and nights and when he finally wouldn’t eat any applesauce or bread (his 2 main food groups) or nurse, I took him to a Saturday walk-in clinic. The doctor there took one look at his stomach sucking in and told me to get to a hospital emergency room. In fact, the doctor would all ahead to ensure the staff there were ready for us.
After a battery of tests, antibiotics (for ear infection as it turns out) and an overnight hospital stay, we took our boy home. This was just the first of what would be a bi-monthly trip to ER. It seemed we couldn’t get a handle on his breathing issues; and every time he got the sniffles he would have problems breathing (but even when he wasn’t sick, this still happened regularly). Eventually we took our boy to a well -known children’s hospital. No more fooling around with the local one. Once there, they expertly treated him (with equipment built for a baby, since that was their specialty) and the doctors had seen his issues before, and so they knew how to proceed to make boy comfortable. I had returned to work when boy was 11 months old, but I missed so many days that I wondered why I had bothered. I was reminded why when I picked up the many prescriptions. Our lives revolved around doctor’s visits and emergency room stays. Every time was traumatic, for we had to hold him down while a mask of ventolin was applied. And then hold him some more to get some prednisone into his little body. Every cough was regarded with worry. We constantly looked for signs of an attack, since our boy had been dubbed a Happy Wheezer and so wouldn’t show signs of distress.
Boy is nearly 13 years old now and has still not outgrown his condition but at least he is great at managing it on his own (mostly). This is a boy who would rather do anything else besides take a shower. He takes terrible care of his eczema patches on his arms, but he remembers to take his puff and pill every day. And we adults in his life have all learned how to administer proper meds when anomalies arise, such as him feeling wheezy. I’m trying not to get terribly worried each time, just moderately worried. Our conversations include questions and answers about chest tightness, chest pain, neck and stomach sucking, and nostril flaring.
Today while at work I received a call from the school, which is never a good thing. It was boy midget, complaining of wheezing above the norm. He and I calmly talked about him walking home (slowly), locating the ventolin puffer once he arrived there, and calling me soon after to give me a status on his health. Meanwhile, I’m at work trying to wrap things up here and gather work to take home with me. And I’m trying not to worry obsessively. I’m failing miserably at that, try as I may.
I’m getting this boy to adulthood, no matter what.