Alright Asthma Moms - Take Care Of Yourself!
Do you know that announcement the flight attendants make before your flight leaves? That if the cabin suddenly decompresses, an oxygen mask will drop down? Then they tell you if you are traveling with a child to put your oxygen mask on first, then help your child.
As moms, we can have a hard time putting our oxygen mask on first. Or doing anything else for ourselves first! We seem to put all of our time, love and effort to our kids and tend to neglect ourselves.
One of my sons was first admitted to the hospital with pneumonia when he was 5. Shortly after that, another son and daughter were diagnosed with asthma. That changed my world! Especially when I also was diagnosed with asthma.
As most moms know, when your kids are little it seems like they are ALWAYS sick. And when my kids were sick, they would get REALLY sick. A runny nose would send me into a panic because I knew that it was just the beginning of an illness. I knew that soon they would start sneezing, and coughing and end up with pneumonia.
That meant a lot of late nights, lack of sleep and generally just staggering around the house trying to give the kids breathing treatments, monitoring their oxygen level, and giving them their controller inhaler, steroids, and an antibiotic.
When you have asthma, you are more likely to develop pneumonia than someone who doesn't have problems with their lungs. WebMD says:
"Having a long-term or chronic, disease like asthma, heart disease, cancer or diabetes, also makes you more likely to get pneumonia."
And when my kids would get pneumonia, they would ALWAYS end up in the hospital. In fact, they were hospitalized 12 times for asthma and pneumonia. And having a kid in the hospital rips your world apart. As a mom, you can't sleep or eat. You are worried sick - literally. Since I also have asthma, I would often end up with pneumonia too and be coughing right along with my kids.
And if one kid was in the hospital, that meant I had 2 more kids at home. My husband and I would try to "tag team" - one at the hospital, and one at home. But sometimes if he drove down to the hospital to "trade shifts" and the kids were at school, who could pick them up? Take them to scouts? Take them to dance? Go buy gym shorts at 11pm because the new semester was starting the next morning and your son needed gym clothes? (That's a true story by the way!)
Self care for moms of kids with asthma
Being a mom is a non-stop job. You are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And we moms often drop what we are doing to help a sick kid, supervise math homework, throw in a load of laundry, pester a child to practice the piano - all while trying to cook dinner after a long day at the office.
And all that stress can lead to a lot of other problems.
I was recently diagnosed with a host of medical problems that my doctor said were related to chronic stress.
As moms, we are always going to have stress! So how can you as a mom deal with stress? We need to take care of ourselves (put our own oxygen mask on first) before we can help our kids.
You have to find what works for you. Some moms meditate or practice yoga. Others like to paint, sing, crochet or listen to music. Or maybe take a bike ride or have a good workout at the gym.
What helps you deal with the stress of being a mom of kids with asthma?
Share your ideas here! Maybe you can inspire another mom to take a little time for herself!
Do you get muscle cramps caused by your asthma medicine?